Title 231—RULES OF
PART I. GENERAL
[ 231 PA. CODE CH. 1910 ]
Amendment of Rules 1910.16-1, 1910.16-2, 1910.16-3, 1910.16-3.1, 1910.16-4, 1910.16-6 and 1910.16-7 of the Rules of Civil Procedure; No. 576 Civil Procedural Rules Doc.
[43 Pa.B. 2272]
[Saturday, April 27, 2013]
And Now, this 9th day of April, 2013, upon the recommendation of the Domestic Relations Procedural Rules Committee; the proposal having been published for public comment in the Pennsylvania Bulletin, 42 Pa.B. 1642 (March 31, 2012):
It Is Ordered pursuant to Article V, Section 10 of the Constitution of Pennsylvania that Rules 1910.16-1, 1910.16-2, 1910.16-3, 1910.16-3.1, 1910.16-4, 1910.16-6, and 1910.16-7 of the Pennsylvania Rules of Civil Procedure are amended in the following form.
This Order shall be processed in accordance with Pa.R.J.A. No. 103(b), and shall be effective on August 9, 2013.
TITLE 231. RULES OF CIVIL PROCEDURE
PART I. GENERAL
CHAPTER 1910. ACTIONS FOR SUPPORT
Rule 1910.16-1. Amount of Support. Support Guidelines.
(a) Applicability of the Support Guidelines.
(1) Except as set forth in subdivision (2) below, the support guidelines set forth the amount of support which a spouse or parent should pay on the basis of both parties' net monthly incomes as defined in Rule 1910.16-2 and the number of persons being supported.
(2) In actions in which the plaintiff is a public body or private agency pursuant to Rule 1910.3, the amount of the order shall be calculated under the guidelines based upon each obligor's net monthly income as defined in Rule 1910.16-2, with the public or private entity's income as zero. In such cases, each parent shall be treated as a separate obligor and a parent's obligation will be based upon his or her own monthly net income without regard to the income of the other parent.
(i) The amount of basic child support owed to other children not in placement shall be deducted from each parent's net income before calculating support for the child or children in placement, including the amount of direct support the guidelines assume will be provided by the custodial parent.
Example 1. Mother and Father have three children and do not live in the same household. Mother has primary custody of two children and net income of $2,000 per month. Father's net monthly income is $3,000. The parties' third child is in foster care placement. Pursuant to the schedule at Rule 1910.16-3, the basic child support amount for the two children with Mother is [$1,350] $1,369. As Father's income is 60% of the parties' combined monthly net income, his basic support obligation to Mother is [$810] $821 per month. The guidelines assume that Mother will provide [$540] $548 per month in direct expenditures to the two children in her home. The agency/obligee brings an action against each parent for the support of the child in placement. Father/obligor's income will be [$2,190] $2,179 for purposes of this calculation ($3,000 net less [$810] $821 in support for the children with Mother). Because the agency/obligee's income is zero, Father's support for the child in placement will be 100% of the schedule amount of basic support for one child at the [$2,190] $2,179 income level, or [$528] $520 per month. Mother/obligor's income will be [$1,460] $1,452 for purposes of this calculation ($2,000 net less [$540] $548 in direct support to the children in her custody). Her support obligation will be 100% of the schedule amount for one child at that income level, or [$354] $348 per month.
Example 2. Mother and Father have two children in placement. Father owes child support of $500 per month for two children of a former marriage. At the same income levels as above, Father's income for determining his obligation to the children in placement would be $2,500 ($3,000 less $500 support for two children of prior marriage). His obligation to the agency would be [$866] $848 per month (100% of the schedule amount for two children at the $2,500 per month income level). Mother's income would not be diminished as she owes no other child support. She would owe [$698] $685 for the children in placement (100% of the schedule amount for two children at the $2,000 income level).
(ii) If the parents reside in the same household, their respective obligations to the children who remain in the household and are not in placement shall be calculated according to the guidelines, with the parent having the higher income as the obligor, and that amount shall be deducted from the parents' net monthly incomes for purposes of calculating support for the child(ren) in placement.
Example 3. Mother and Father have four children, two of whom are in placement. Mother's net monthly income is $4,000 and Father's is [$2,000] $3,000. The basic support amount for the two children in the home is [$1,483] $1,628, according to the schedule at Rule 1910.16-3. As Mother's income is [67%] 57% of the parties' combined net monthly incomes, her share would be [$994] $928, and Father's [33%] 43% share would be [$489] $700. Mother's income for purposes of calculating support for the two children in placement would be [$3,006] $3,072 ($4,000 less [$994] $928). She would pay 100% of the basic child support at that income level, or [$1,033] $1,032, for the children in placement. Father's income would be [$1,511] $2,300 ([$2,000] $3,000 less [$489] $700) and his obligation to the children in placement would be [$531] $782.
* * * * *
Explanatory Comment—2010 * * * * *
H. Other Amendments. All of the examples in the guidelines have been updated to reflect the changes to the basic child support schedule. Prior explanatory comments have been deleted or revised and incorporated into new comments.
The schedule of basic child support has been updated to reflect newer economic data. The schedule was prepared by Jane Venohr, Ph.D., the economist who assisted in the last guideline review using the same methodology. It includes an increase in the Self-Support Reserve to $931 per month, the 2012 federal poverty level for one person.
Rule 1910.16-2. Support Guidelines. Calculation of Net Income.
Generally, the amount of support to be awarded is based upon the parties' monthly net income.
* * * * *
(b) Treatment of Public Assistance, SSI Benefits, Social Security Payments to a Child Due to a Parent's Death, Disability or Retirement and Foster Care Payments.
(1) Public Assistance and SSI Benefits. Neither public assistance nor Supplemental Security Income (SSI) benefits shall be counted as income for purposes of determining support.
(2) Social Security Payments for a Child. If a child for whom support is sought is receiving Social Security benefits as a result of a parent's retirement, death or disability, the benefits the child receives shall be added to the combined monthly net incomes of the obligor and the obligee to calculate the income available for support on the vertical axis of the basic child support schedule set forth in Rule 1910.16-3. The presumptive amount of support as set forth on the schedule at the combined income of the obligee, obligor and child's benefits shall then be reduced by the amount of the child's benefits before apportioning the remaining support obligation between the parties pursuant to Rule 1910.16-4. This calculation presumes that the primary custodial parent, or the shared custodial parent who is the obligee, is receiving the child's benefits. In cases in which the obligor is receiving the child's benefits, the amount of the child's benefit shall be added to the obligor's income and support shall be calculated as in any other case without deduction of the amount of the benefit from the presumptive amount of support set forth in the basic support schedule. For purposes of determining the support obligation of a surviving parent when the child is receiving benefits as the result of the other parent's death, the income of a non-parent obligee who is caring for a child but has no support obligation to that child shall include only those funds the obligee is receiving on behalf of the child.
(3) Foster Care Payments. If either party to a support action is a foster parent and/or is receiving payments from a public or private agency for the care of a child who is not his or her biological or adoptive child, those payments shall not be included in the income of the foster parent or other caretaker for purposes of calculating child support for the foster parent's or other caretaker's biological or adoptive child.
Example 1. If the obligor has net income of $1,200 per month; the obligee has net monthly income of $800; and the child receives Social Security derivative benefits of $300 per month as a result of either the obligor's or obligee's retirement or disability, then the total combined monthly net income is $2,300. Using the schedule at Rule 1910.16-3 for one child, the amount of support is [$551] $543 per month. From that amount, subtract the amount the child is receiving in Social Security derivative benefits ([$551] $543 minus $300 equals [$251] $243). Then, apply the formula at Rule 1910.16-4 to apportion the remaining child support amount of [$251] $243 between the obligor and the obligee in proportion to their respective incomes. The obligor's $1,200 net income per month is 60% of the total of the obligor's and the obligee's combined net monthly income. Thus, the obligor's support obligation would be 60% of [$251] $243, or [$151] $146, per month.
Example 2. Two children live with Grandmother who receives $400 per month in Social Security death benefits for the children as a result of their father's death. Grandmother also receives $500 per month from a trust established by Father for the benefit of the children. Grandmother is employed and earns $2,000 net per month. Grandmother seeks support from the children's mother, who earns $1,500 net per month. For purposes of calculating Mother's support obligation, Grandmother's income will be $500, the amount she receives on behalf of the children from the trust. Therefore, the obligee's and the obligor's combined net monthly incomes total $2,000. Add to that the $400 in Social Security benefits Grandmother receives for the children to find the basic child support amount in Rule 1910.16-3. The basic support amount at the $2,400 income level for two children is [$831] $815. Subtracting from that amount the $400 in Social Security derivative benefits Grandmother receives for the children, results in a basic support amount of [$431] $415. As Mother's income is 75% of the parties' combined income of $2,000, her support obligation to Grandmother is [$323] $311 per month.
* * * * *
(e) Net Income Affecting Application of the Support Guidelines.
(1) Low Income Cases.
(A) When the obligor's monthly net income and corresponding number of children fall into the shaded area of the schedule set forth in Rule 1910.16-3, the basic child support obligation shall first be calculated using the obligor's income only. For example, where the obligor has monthly net income of [$950] $1,100, the presumptive amount of support for three children is [$77] $156 per month. This amount is determined directly from the schedule in Rule 1910.16-3. Next, calculate the obligor's child support obligation as in any other case, using both parties' monthly net incomes. The lower of the two calculations shall be the obligor's basic child support obligation.
Example: The parties have two children. The obligor has net monthly income of $1,500, which falls into the shaded area of the schedule for two children. Using only the obligor's income, the amount of support for two children would be $518. Next, calculate support using both parties' incomes. The obligee has net monthly income of $2,500 so the combined net monthly income of the parties is $4,000. The basic child support amount at that income level for two children is $1,240. As the obligor's income is 38% of the combined net monthly income of the parties, the obligor's share of the basic support amount is $471. As the amount of support the obligor would pay using the obligor's income alone is more than the amount calculated using both parties' incomes, the lower amount would be awarded. Thus, the obligor's basic child support obligation is $471.
(B) In computing a basic spousal support or alimony pendente lite obligation, the presumptive amount of support shall not reduce the obligor's net income below the Self-Support Reserve of [$867] $931 per month. For example, if the obligor earns $1,000 per month and the obligee earns $300 per month, the formula in Part IV of Rule 1910.16-4 would result in a support obligation of $280 per month. Since this amount leaves the obligor with only $720 per month, it must be adjusted so that the obligor retains at least [$867] $931 per month. The presumptive minimum amount of spousal support, therefore, is [$133] $69 per month in this case.
(C) When the obligor's monthly net income is [$867] $931 or less, the court may award support only after consideration of the [obligor's] parties' actual financial resources and living expenses.
* * * * *
Explanatory Comment—2010 * * * * *
Subdivision (e) also has been amended to eliminate the application of Melzer v. Witsberger, 505 Pa. 462, 480 A.2d 991 (1984), in high income child support cases. In cases in which the parties' combined net monthly income exceeds $30,000, child support will be calculated in accordance with the three-step process in new rule 1910.16-3.1(a).
The SSR has been increased to $931, the 2012 federal poverty level for one person. Subdivision (e) has been amended to require that when the obligor's income falls into the shaded area of the basic child support schedule in Rule 1910.16-3, two calculations must be performed. One calculation uses only the obligor's income and the other is a regular calculation using both parties' incomes, awarding the lower amount to the obligee. The two step process is intended to address those cases in which the obligor has minimal income and the obligee's income is substantially greater.
Rule 1910.16-3. Support Guidelines. Basic Child Support Schedule.
The following schedule sets forth the amounts spent on children in intact families by combined income and number of children. Combined income is on the vertical axis of the schedule and number of children is on the horizontal axis of the schedule. This schedule is used to find the basic child support obligation. Unless otherwise provided in these rules, the obligor's share of the basic support obligation shall be computed using the formula set forth in Part I of Rule 1910.16-4.
[Monthly Basic Child Support Schedule COMBINED ADJUSTED NET INCOME ONE CHILD TWO CHILDREN THREE CHILDREN FOUR CHILDREN FIVE CHILDREN SIX CHILDREN 0-900 50 55 60 65 70 75 950 75 76 77 78 78 79 1000 120 121 123 124 125 127 1050 165 167 169 171 172 174 1100 210 212 215 217 219 222 1150 255 258 261 264 266 269 1200 294 303 307 310 313 317 1250 306 349 353 357 360 364 1300 318 394 399 403 407 412 1350 330 440 445 450 454 459 1400 342 485 491 496 501 507 1450 354 514 537 543 548 554 1500 365 531 583 589 595 602 1550 377 548 629 636 642 649 1600 389 565 665 682 689 697 1650 401 582 684 729 736 744 1700 412 598 704 775 783 792 1750 424 615 723 808 830 839 1800 436 631 742 829 877 887 1850 447 648 762 851 924 934 1900 459 664 781 872 960 982 1950 470 681 800 894 983 1029 2000 482 698 820 915 1007 1077 2050 493 714 839 937 1031 1120 2100 505 731 858 959 1054 1146 2150 517 747 877 980 1078 1172 2200 528 764 897 1002 1102 1198 2250 540 781 916 1023 1126 1223 2300 551 797 936 1045 1150 1250 2350 563 814 956 1068 1174 1277 2400 575 831 976 1090 1199 1304 2450 587 849 996 1113 1224 1330 2500 598 866 1016 1135 1249 1357 2550 610 883 1036 1158 1273 1384 2600 622 900 1057 1180 1298 1411 2650 634 917 1077 1203 1323 1438 2700 646 934 1097 1225 1348 1465 2750 657 951 1117 1248 1373 1492 2800 669 968 1137 1270 1397 1519 2850 681 985 1157 1293 1422 1546 2900 693 1002 1178 1315 1447 1573 2950 704 1019 1198 1338 1472 1600 3000 714 1033 1213 1354 1490 1619 3050 723 1045 1226 1370 1507 1638 3100 732 1057 1240 1385 1523 1656
No part of the information on this site may be reproduced for profit or sold for profit.
This material has been drawn directly from the official Pennsylvania Bulletin full text database. Due to the limitations of HTML or differences in display capabilities of different browsers, this version may differ slightly from the official printed version.