Pennsylvania Child Support Guidelines Are Revised – February 2017
Parents who are receiving child support in Pennsylvania might get a small raise in 2017 — if they negotiate or go to court under the new Pennsylvania child support guidelines, effective May 1, 2017. To find if you might be entitled to a raise (or have to pay more), look at the new Pennsylvania child support guidelines that are posted here.
The Pennsylvania courts do not automatically grant child support increases when the guidelines are updated. A parent must file a child support modification request and obtain a new child support order. An experienced family lawyer from Pollock Begg may be able to negotiate a new child support order without ever going to court.
The 2017 child support increases are modest at most income levels. For two parents, each earning $4000 per month after taxes, the increase would be around $30 per month. The increase is not the same at all income levels.
When a petition for modification is filed, the petitioner is required to demonstrate proper grounds for modification. A change in the guidelines is sufficient grounds for a support modification, if the new guidelines would result in a material change in child support. Pa.R.C.P. 1910.19(a). At the same time, the court may consider other changes, such as increases or decreases in the parents’ incomes, medical insurance premiums, child care costs or extracurricular activities.
The Pennsylvania child support guidelines are routinely updated every four years, to reflect changes in the cost of living. The guidelines are based upon a statistical model that measures the portion of household income that intact families spend on their children — with the idea that divorced, separated and unmarried parents should spend the same amount. The statistical model is updated with new survey data every few years, and then the child support guidelines are updated.
When it’s time to consider a child support modification, due to new Pennsylvania child support guidelines or other changes in circumstances, call the child support lawyers at Pollock Begg. We have the knowledge and experienced to guide clients toward a negotiated settlement, or if necessary, a modification hearing. Our team of problem solvers can run the numbers and help you to decide if it is worthwhile to pursue modification or settle out of court. Call today at (412) 471-9000 to speak to one of our lawyers or use our online contact form.
Brian C. Vertz is a partner in Pollock Begg with decades of experience in routine and complex child support, divorce and tax-related family law cases. Author of the legal reference book “Frumkes & Vertz on Divorce Taxation,” Brian is a sought-after speaker, course planner and the author of the 2017 Family Law Update for the Pennsylvania Bar Institute. Brian is a fellow of the International Academy of Family Lawyers as well as the American Academy of Matrimonial Lawyers.