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PA Bulletin, Doc. No. 01-2044


Title 231--RULES OF


[231 PA. CODE CHS. 1910 AND 1915]

Amendments to the Rules Relating to Domestic Relations; No. 361; Civil Procedural Rules Doc. No. 5

[31 Pa.B. 6273]


Per Curiam:

   And Now, this 30th day of October, 2001, Pennsylvania Rules of Civil Procedure 1910.3, 1910.6, 1910.10, 1910.13-2, 1910.16-2, 1910.16-4, 1910.16-6, 1910.16-7 and 1915.3 are amended as follows.

   This order shall be processed in accordance with Pa.R.J.A. 103(b) and shall be effective immediately.

Annex A




Rule 1910.3.  Parties.

   An action shall be brought

   (a)  by a person, including a minor parent or a minor spouse, to whom a duty of support is owing, or

*      *      *      *      *

Rule 1910.6.  Notification.

   Parties to a support action and their attorneys shall be provided notice of all proceedings in which support obligations might be established or modified. Notice must be provided at least 20 days prior to the proceeding. The parties and their attorneys shall also be provided with a copy of any order issued in the support action within 14 days after issuance of the order. If there is no activity in a support action for a period of three years, the domestic relations section shall send a notice to each of the parties' attorneys advising each attorney that his or her appearance in the support action shall be deemed to be withdrawn unless the attorney objects within thirty (30) days of the date the notice is mailed to the attorney. An attorney representing a party in a support action shall not be deemed to be representing that party in any other action, nor shall a withdrawal of appearance in a support action be deemed to be a withdrawal of appearance for the party in any other proceeding.

Rule 1910.10.  Alternative Hearing Procedures.

   (a)  The action shall proceed as prescribed by Rule 1910.11 unless the court by local rule adopts the alternative hearing procedure of Rule 1910.12.

   (b)  The president judge or the administrative judge of Family Division of each county shall certify that all support proceedings in that county are conducted in accordance with either Rule 1910.11 or Rule 1910.12. The certification shall be filed with the Domestic Relations Procedural Rules Committee, and shall be substantially in the following form:

   I hereby certify that ______ County conducts its support proceedings in accordance with Rule ______ .



Official Note

   Pursuant to Rule 1910.10, the following counties have certified to the Domestic Relations Procedural Rules Committee that their support proceedings are conducted in accordance with the rule specified below.

Adams 1910.11
Allegheny 1910.12
Armstrong 1910.12
Beaver 1910.11
Bedford 1910.11
Berks 1910.12
Blair 1910.11
Bradford 1910.12
Bucks 1910.11
Butler 1910.11
Cambria 1910.12
Cameron 1910.11
Carbon 1910.12
Centre 1910.11
Chester 1910.12
Clarion 1910.12
Clearfield 1910.11
Clinton 1910.11
Columbia 1910.12
Crawford 1910.11
Cumberland 1910.11
Dauphin 1910.11
Delaware 1910.11
Elk 1910.12
Erie 1910.11
Fayette 1910.11
Forest 1910.12
Franklin 1910.11
Fulton 1910.11
Greene 1910.11
Huntingdon 1910.11
Indiana 1910.12
Jefferson 1910.11
Juniata 1910.11
Lackawanna 1910.12
Lancaster 1910.11
Lawrence 1910.11
Lebanon 1910.12
Lehigh 1910.11
Luzerne 1910.12
Lycoming 1910.12
McKean 1910.12
Mercer 1910.11
Mifflin 1910.11
Monroe 1910.12
Montgomery 1910.11
Montour 1910.12
Northampton 1910.11
Northumberland 1910.11
Perry 1910.11
Philadelphia 1910.12
Pike 1910.11
Potter 1910.11
Schuylkill 1910.12
Snyder 1910.11
Somerset 1910.12
Sullivan 1910.11
Susquehanna 1910.12
Tioga 1910.12
Union 1910.11
Venango 1910.12
Warren 1910.12
Washington 1910.12
Wayne 1910.11
Westmoreland 1910.12
Wyoming 1910.11
York 1910.11

Explanatory Comment--1995

*      *      *      *      *

   Individual counties may, by local rule, permit interstate actions to proceed directly to a hearing officer or judge without a conference.

   [New subdivision] Subdivision (b) [is] was added in response to requests from appellate court judges who find that it is often difficult to determine the rule with which actual support procedure is intended to comply. If a county wishes at any time to change its support procedure, the president or administrative judge has only to file a new certification with the staff of the [domestic relations] Domestic Relations Procedural Rules [committee] Committee, indicating the rule according to which support matters will henceforth proceed.

   [Pursuant to Rule 1910.10, the following counties have certified to the Domestic Relations Committee that their support proceedings are conducted in accordance with the rule specified below.

Adams 1910.11

*      *      *      *      *

York 1910.11]

Rule 1910.13-2.  Form of Request for Bench Warrant and Supporting Affidavit. Form of Bench Warrant.

*      *      *      *      *

   Official Note: Standards for setting bail are set forth in Rule of Criminal Procedure [4004] 525.

Rule 1910.16-2.  Support Guidelines. Calculation of Net Income.

*      *      *      *      *

   (f)  Dependency Tax Exemption. In order to maximize the total income available to the parties and children, the court may, as justice and fairness require, award the federal child dependency tax exemption to the non-custodial parent, or to either parent in cases of equally shared custody, and order the other party to execute the waiver required by the Internal Revenue Code, 26 U.S.C.A. § 152(e). The tax consequences resulting from an award of the child dependency exemption must be considered in calculating each party's income available for support.

Rule 1910.16-4.  Support Guidelines. Calculation of Support Obligation, Formula.

   (a)  The following formula shall be used to calculate the obligor's share of the basic guideline child support,

*      *      *      *      *


With Dependent Children

12.Obligor's Monthly Net Income (line 4)______
13. Less Obligor's support, alimony pendente lite or alimony obligations, if any, to children or former spouses who are not part of this action (See Rule 1910.16-2(c)(2))    (         )
14. Less Obligee's Monthly Net Income (Line 4)    (         )
15. Difference ______
16. Less Obligor's Total Child Support Obligation (line 11)    (         )
17. Difference ______
18. Multiply by 30%    x         .30

Without Dependent Children

20.Obligor's Monthly Net Income (line 4) ______
21.Less Obligor's support, alimony pendente lite or alimony obligations, if any, to children or former spouses who are not part of this action (See Rule 1910.16-2(c)(2))    (         )
22.Less Obligee's Monthly Net Income (Line 4)    (         )
23. Difference ______
24.Multiply by 40%    x         .40

*      *      *      *      *

   (c)  Substantial or Shared Physical Custody.

   (1)  * * *

   Example. Where obligor and obligee have monthly net incomes of $5,000 and $2,300 respectively, their combined child support obligation is $1,784 for two children. Using the income shares formula in Part I, obligor's share of this obligation is 68%, or [$1,222] $1,213. If the children spend 40% of their time with the obligor, the formula in Part II applies to reduce his or her percentage share of the combined support obligation to 58%, or $1,034. If the children spend 45% of their time with the obligor, his or her percentage share of the combined obligation is reduced to 53%, or $945. If the children spend equal time with both parents, the obligor's percentage share is reduced to 48%, or $856.

*      *      *      *      *

Rule 1910.16-6.  Support Guidelines. Adjustments to the Basic Support Obligation.

*      *      *      *      *

   (c)  Unreimbursed Medical Expenses. Unreimbursed medical expenses of the obligee or the children shall be allocated between the parties in proportion to their respective net incomes and obligor's share added to his or her basic support obligation.

*      *      *      *      *

   (4)  Annual expenses pursuant to this subdivision (c), shall be calculated on a calendar year basis. In the year in which the initial support order is entered, the $250 threshold shall be pro-rated.

*      *      *      *      *

Rule 1910.16-7.  Support Guidelines. Awards of Child Support When There are Multiple Families.

   [(1)]  (a)  * * *

   [(2)]  (b)  * * *

   [(3)]  (c)  * * *

*      *      *      *      *


   This new Rule replaces former Rule 1910.16-5(n) relating to the calculation of child support obligations in the context of multiple families. It has been rewritten for clarity and to update the examples used to illustrate the method for calculating these obligations. Awards of spousal support in this context are now addressed in Rule 1910.16-2(c)(2).

   In determining whether the total support obligations exceed 50% of the obligor's net income to warrant a proportionate reduction of the child support orders, subdivision [(3)](c) has been added to clarify that the total consists only of the basic amounts of child support, as derived from the income shares formula in Rule 1910.16-4, and does not include additional expenses that may be added to these basic amounts under Rule 1910.16-6. . . .

   Subdivision [(3)](c) also emphasizes that the initial amounts which are calculated for purposes of determining whether a proportional reduction is warranted are only presumptively correct amounts of child support. . . .

*      *      *      *      *


Rule 1915.3.  Commencement of Action. Complaint. Order.

*      *      *      *      *

   (d)  If the mother of the child is not married and the child has no legal or presumptive father, then a putative father initiating an action for custody, partial custody or visitation must file a claim of paternity pursuant to 23 Pa.C.S. § 5103 and attach a copy to the complaint in the custody action.

[Explanatory Comment--1994

   A system of office conferences or pretrial conferences is not required by these rules. Business of the Court Rule 212 governing pretrial conferences is sufficient to permit a local court to require the holding of a conference when it is practical and feasible.]


   If a putative father is uncertain of paternity, the correct procedure is to commence a civil action for paternity pursuant to the procedures set forth at Rule 1930.6.

[Pa.B. Doc. No. 01-2044. Filed for public inspection November 16, 2001, 9:00 a.m.]

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