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New Pennsylvania Child Support Guidelines

By Sheryl Rentz on June 3, 2010

Whether you are currently thinking about filing for divorce and children are involved, or are presently receiving or paying child support in Pennsylvania, you should be aware of the new PA child support guidelines that went into effect on May 12, 2010.

One of the main child support guideline changes relates to the increase of the Basic Monthly Child Support Schedule. According to a Main Line Media News report, the Basic Monthly Child Support Schedule, which is a chart that determines the basic child-support amount based on the parents’ combined monthly net incomes and number of children, has been altered at all income levels.

The revision of the Schedule will pertain to all cases in which the parties’ shared monthly net incomes are less than $30,000. This means that for cases involving parties that have shared monthly net incomes above $30,000, an income-based formula will be utilized to determine child support payment amounts. That being said, high-income child-support cases in Pennsylvania will now be centered almost exclusively on income instead of expenses for a child’s “reasonable needs”.

The new schedule also contains an assumption that the parent paying child support has overnight visits with the child or children at least 30% of the time. If this does not apply to your particular situation, the other parent may request that the court issue a higher child-support amount. Moreover, the new guidelines have raised the “Self-Support Reserve” (minimum income level of the individual disbursing support) from $748 to $867 per month to match the 2008 federal poverty level for one person.

In order to calculate whether these new guidelines will contribute to an increase or decrease in child support payments, specific incomes and family situations must be examined on an individual level.
Most importantly, parents must realize that the new guidelines do not automatically modify child support orders. If you wish to file a Petition to Modify, it is recommended that you consult with a Pennsylvania child support attorney who will systematically examine how the new guidelines will affect your specific situation before you file. If you have any questions regarding the status of your Pennsylvania child support payments, please contact experienced Philadelphia family law attorney, Sheryl R. Rentz, for a free consultation. Call 610-645-0100 today.

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