PART I. GENERAL
[ 231 PA. CODE CH. 1910 ]
Amendment of Rules 1910.11 and 1910.12 of the Rules of Civil Procedure; No. 555 Civil Procedural Rules Doc.
[42 Pa.B. 379]
[Saturday, January 21, 2012]
And Now, this 23rd day of December, 2011, upon the recommendation of the Domestic Relations Procedural Rules Committee; the proposal having been published for public comment in the Pennsylvania Bulletin, 41 Pa.Bull. 3527 (July 2, 2011) and West's Pennsylvania Reporter, 21 A.3d No. 3, Ct.R-3-5 (August 5, 2011):
It Is Ordered pursuant to Article V, Section 10 of the Constitution of Pennsylvania that Rule 1910.16-2 and Rule 1910.16-4 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 January 31, 2012.
TITLE 231. RULES OF CIVIL PROCEDURE
PART I. GENERAL
CHAPTER 1910. ACTIONS FOR SUPPORT
Rule 1910.11. Office Conference. Subsequent Proceedings. Order.
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(d)(1) The conference officer [may] shall make a recommendation to the parties of an amount of support [which is] calculated in accordance with the guidelines.
(2) If an agreement for support is reached at the conference, the officer shall prepare a written order substantially in the form set forth in Rule 1910.27(e) and in conformity with the agreement for signature by the parties and submission to the court together with the officer's recommendation for approval or disapproval. The court may enter the order in accordance with the agreement without hearing the parties.
(3) In all cases in which one or both parties are unrepresented, the parties must provide income information to the domestic relations section so that a guidelines calculation can be performed.
(4) In cases in which both parties are represented by counsel, the parties shall not be obligated to provide income information and the domestic relations section shall not be required to perform a guidelines calculation if the parties have reached an agreement about the amount of support and the amount of contribution to additional expenses.
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The rule has been amended to require that income information be provided in all cases, unless both parties are represented in reaching an agreement, so that a guidelines calculation can be performed. The guidelines create a rebuttable presumption that the amount calculated pursuant to them is the correct amount, so there should be a calculation in every case. If parties agree to receive or to pay an order other than the guideline amount, they should know what that amount is so that they can enter an agreement knowingly. If both parties are represented by counsel, it is assumed that their entry into the agreement for an amount other than a guidelines amount is knowing as it is counsels' responsibility to advise the parties. In addition, part of the mandatory quadrennial review of the support guidelines mandates a study of the number of cases in which the support amount ordered varies from the amount that would result from a guidelines calculation. Federal regulations presume that if a large percentage of cases vary from the guideline amount, then the guidelines are not uniform statewide.
Rule 1910.12. Office Conference. Hearing. Record. Exceptions. Order.
(a) There shall be an office conference as provided by Rule 1910.11(a) through (d). The provisions of Rule 1910.11(d)(2) regarding income information apply in cases proceeding pursuant to Rule 1910.12.
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[Pa.B. Doc. No. 12-78. Filed for public inspection January 20, 2012, 9:00 a.m.]
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