I find that many of my clients (and my friends/family members too) are very hard on themselves when it comes to making sure their children are happy during the holidays. Do your children really need all the latest electronic gadgets? Must there be a mile-high pile of gifts for your children to know how much you love them?
Thankfully, the answer is no. What your children want more than anything is you. Your time, your attention, your interest in their lives. Even with that, it's more about quality than quantity. Make sure that the time you spend with your children, even if it is limited, is more about being there and listening to them, than anything else. Memories are infinitely more valuable than material items.
The PA Rules of Civil Procedure regarding support (Rule 1910.16) discusses what parents must do at an absolute minimum, in both giving and receiving child support. The support amounts reflected in the child support schedule of calculations are based on the average expenditures of families, which covers food, housing, transportation, clothing and other miscellaneous items. This is the absolute minimum basic support.
Of course, there are other matters (called deviations) which go into calculating the support amount. Private school tuition, extracurricular activities, child care, summer camp and medical expenses/ special needs are reasons to go above and beyond the basic support amount.
The PA Support Guidelines are updated every four years to reflect the changing costs of living. If you are unsure as to how much child support you should be giving or receiving, make sure you discuss the current support guidelines with your family law attorney.