New PA Child Support Guidelines

January 13, 2010 | Child Support, Divorce, Legal Perspective

Icon for author Brian Vertz Brian Vertz

For months now we have been telling our clients that a change in the child support guidelines was imminent. On January 12, 2010, our predictions were realized: the Pennsylvania Supreme Court Domestic Relations Rules Committee enacated new child support guidelines, effective May 12, 2010.

The amount of child support was revised at all income levels. Some child support guidelines increased while others decreased. The most significant change in the guidelines was the elimination of the Melzer formula, applicable only to high-income cases.

Prior to the 2010 guideline revision, high-income cases were treated differently than ordinary cases. In cases where the parents’ combined net income exceeded $20,000 per month, the chart of child support figures did not apply. Instead, parents were required to submit budgets of their monthly expenditures for the children, which were allocated between them in proportion to their available net income after paying their own living expenses. This budget-based formula for determining child support in high-income cases was totally different from the income-driven formula for ordinary cases. That distinction has been eliminated in the 2010 revisions.

The child support guidelines have been extended upward to $30,000 per month combined net income. They were formerly limited to $20,000 per month combined net income. As mentioned above, the amount of child support has been revised at all income levels, sometimes upward, sometimes downward.

The amended Rules also overruled the Isralsky decision, which held that the mortgage subsidy under Rule 1910.16-6(e) might apply in cases where a custodial parent lived in the former marital residence after the divorce.

Further details will be posted in this space. Come back soon!

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