In a divorce where high net worth is a factor, the guidelines for continued financial support can be a bit different than in middle class divorces. For example, the Pennsylvania Supreme Court ruled that the formulas used for most child support calculations aren’t suitable for wealthier couples, and created new guidelines for higher income brackets.
That being said, a high-earning parent who is granted full custody of their children might be left wondering if they’ll have to take on the full cost of the child if their income is higher than their ex-spouse.
A calculated approach
Joint assets and finances are, for the most part, split down the middle or divided according to a prenuptial agreement. Alimony payments may be taken into consideration in the final calculations for child support.
When the custodial parent earns more than the part-time parent, does that let the other parent off the hook from paying child support or reduce the total payment amount?
Both parents are responsible for financial support
The answer is that a non-custodial parent cannot avoid paying support just because the other parent earns more income. Adjustments to payment amounts can potentially be made, but the burden of expenses will not fall entirely on the parent who retains custody.
The non-custodial parent’s payments will be calculated as a percentage of his or her income, with higher figures paying smaller percentages. Modifications to the support amount can be made, but it’s worth bearing in mind that a non-custodial parent whose own net worth is still in an upper bracket may even see increases in payment over time, such as when alimony expires.
Because their combined net worth is greater than average, high earning couples seeking divorce have to account for more economic factors in order to keep their child’s life consistent and thriving.