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231 Pa. Code Rule 1910.16-7. Support Guidelines. Multiple Family Child Support Obligations.

Rule 1910.16-7. Support Guidelines. Multiple Family Child Support Obligations.

 (a)  When an obligor’s basic child support obligations total 50% or less of the obligor’s monthly net income, there will be no deviation from the basic support obligation on the ground of the existence of a new family.

  Example: If the obligor requests a reduction of support for one child of the first marriage on the basis that there is a new child of the second intact marriage, and the relevant monthly net incomes are $2,500 for the obligor, $500 for the former spouse, and $1,300 for the current spouse, the request for a reduction will be denied because the obligor’s basic support obligations total $1,138 ($576 for the first child and $562 for the second child) and are less than half of the obligor’s monthly net income.

 (b)  When the total of the obligor’s basic support obligations exceeds 50% of the obligor’s monthly net income, the trier-of-fact may proportionately reduce the basic support obligations.

   (1)  The goal of the guidelines is to treat each child equitably, and a first or later family shall not receive preference.

   (2)  The trier-of-fact shall not divide the basic child support obligations for all of the obligor’s children among the households in which those children live.

  Example 1. The obligor is sued for support of an out-of-wedlock child. The obligor is already paying support for two children of the first marriage, and has an intact second marriage with one child. The relevant monthly net incomes are $3,800 for the obligor, $1,100 for the former spouse, $0 for the current spouse, and $1,500 for the parent of the new child. The obligor’s basic child support obligations to each family are $1,140 for the two children of the first marriage, $854 for the one child of the second marriage, and $743 for the one child out of wedlock for a total of $2,737. Since the total of these obligations exceeds 50% of the obligor’s monthly net income of $3,800, the trier-of-fact may consider a proportional reduction of the orders.

  Example 2. The obligor is sued for support of three children of a second marriage. There is already an order in effect for two children of the first marriage. The relevant monthly net incomes are $2,500 for the obligor, $0 for the first spouse, and $500 for the second spouse. The obligor’s basic child support obligation to each family is $877 for the two children of the first marriage and $1,040 for the three children of the second marriage for a total support obligation of $1,917. Since the total obligation leaves the obligor with only $583 on which to live, the orders are too high as the obligor must be left with a Self-Support Reserve of $1,063. However, reducing the order for three children while leaving the existing order intact would give preference to the first family, contrary to the rule. Therefore, both orders shall be reduced proportionally.

  Example 3. The obligor is sued by three obligees to establish orders for three children. The monthly net income for the obligor and for each obligee is $1,500. The trier-of-fact would determine that the obligor’s basic child support obligation for each child is $346 for a total of $1,038 for three children. It would be incorrect to determine the basic child support obligation for three children, in this case $1,253, and divide that amount among the three children. As the obligations exceed 50% of the obligor’s monthly net income, the support orders should be reduced proportionately consistent with subdivision (b) and ensure the obligor retains the Self-Support Reserve of $1,063 consistent with Pa.R.C.P. No. 1910.16-2(e).

 (c)  Presumptive Basic Support Obligation.

   (1)  For purposes of this rule, the obligor’s presumptive basic support obligation:

     (i)   is calculated using only the formula in Pa.R.C.P. No. 1910.16-4; and

     (ii)   does not include any additional expenses that may be added pursuant to Pa.R.C.P. No. 1910.16-6.

   (2)  In calculating the obligor’s presumptive basic support obligation, the trier-of-fact shall ensure that the obligor retains at least $1,063 per month consistent with Pa.R.C.P. No. 1910.16-2(e).

  Example 1. Assume that the obligor is paying $553 per month support for one child of the first marriage, plus an additional $200 per month for child care expenses. The obligor requests a reduction in this support obligation on the basis that there is one new child of the second intact marriage. The relevant incomes are $2,400 for the obligor and $0 for the former and current spouses. The obligor’s request for a reduction shall be denied because the total of the basic support obligations for both children is only $1,106 ($553 for each child) and does not exceed 50% of the obligor’s monthly net income. A reduction shall not be given on the basis that the obligor’s contribution to child care expenses for the first child results in an total basic support child obligation of $1,306, which exceeds 50% of the obligor’s monthly net income. The presumptive basic child support obligations for the two children still total $1,106 ($553 for each child). The trier-of-fact shall consider the deviation factors under Pa.R.C.P. No. 1910.16-5 and the parties’ respective contributions to additional expenses under Pa.R.C.P. No. 1910.16-6 in arriving at an appropriate total child support obligation for each child.

  

   Example 2. Assume that the obligor is paying $346 per month support for one child of the first marriage. The obligor has one new child of the second intact marriage. The relevant incomes are $1,500 for the obligor and $0 for the former and current spouses. A reduction shall not be given on the basis of the obligor’s new child because the presumptive basic child support obligations total $692 ($346 for each child) and this amount does not exceed 50% of the obligor’s monthly net income. Since, however, this amount leaves the obligor with only $808 per month, the trier-of-fact shall proportionally reduce the basic child support obligations so that the obligor retains $1,063 per month. The presumptive basic child support obligations total $437 ($218.50 for each child). The trier-of-fact shall consider the deviation factors under Pa.R.C.P. No. 1910.16-5 and the parties’ respective contributions to additional expenses under Pa.R.C.P. No. 1910.16-6 in arriving at an appropriate total child support obligation for each child.

Explanatory Comment—2010

   Rule 1910.16-7 has been amended to reflect the updated schedule in Rule 1910.16-3 and the increase in the Self-Support Reserve to $867 per month, the 2008 federal poverty level for one person. The distribution priorities formerly in subdivision (d) have been moved to Rule 1910.17(d) to clarify that these priorities apply to all support orders, not just those involving multiple families.

Explanatory Comment—2013

   Rule 1910.16-7 has been amended to reflect the updated schedule in Rule 1910.16-3 and the increase in the Self-Support Reserve to $931 per month, the 2012 federal poverty level for one person.

Source

   The provisions of this Rule 1910.16-7 adopted December 7, 1998, effective April 1, 1999, 28 Pa.B. 6162; amended October 30, 2001, effective immediately, 31 Pa.B. 6273; amended October 31, 2002, effective immediately, 32 Pa.B. 5632; amended September 27, 2005, effective 4 months from the date of this order, 35 Pa.B. 5643; amended August 13, 2008, effective October 12, 2008, 38 Pa.B. 4736; amended January 12, 2010, effective May 12, 2010, 40 Pa.B. 586; amended April 9, 2013, effective August 9, 2013, 43 Pa.B. 2272; amended September 25, 2014, effective in 30 days on October 25, 2014, 44 Pa.B. 6553; amended February 10, 2017, effective May 1, 2017, 47 Pa.B. 1123; amended February 9, 2018, effective April 1, 2018, 48 Pa.B. 1093; amended August 17, 2021, effective January 1, 2022, 51 Pa.B. 5539. Immediately preceding text appears at serial pages (395644) to (395647).



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