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231 Pa. Code Rule 1910.16-5. Support Guidelines. Deviation.

Rule 1910.16-5. Support Guidelines. Deviation.

 (a)  Deviation.

   (1)  The trier-of-fact may deviate from the basic child support, spousal support, or alimony pendente lite obligation.

   (2)  If the trier-of-fact determines a deviation is appropriate based on the factors in subdivision (b), the trier-of-fact shall specify on the record or in writing:

     (i)   the calculated basic child support, spousal support, or alimony pendente lite obligation;

     (ii)   the reason for the deviation;

     (iii)   the findings of fact justifying the deviation;

     (iv)   the deviation amount; and

     (v)   in a spousal support or an alimony pendente lite action, the obligation’s duration.

   Official Note

   The deviation applies to the support obligation amount or duration, and not to the party’s monthly net income.

 (b)  Factors. In deciding whether to deviate from the basic child support, spousal support, or alimony pendente lite obligation, the trier-of-fact shall consider:

   (1)  unusual needs and unusual fixed obligations;

   (2)  a party’s other support obligations;

   (3)  other household income;

   (4)  the child’s age;

   (5)  the parties’ relative assets and liabilities;

   (6)  medical expenses not covered by insurance;

   (7)  the parties’ and the child’s standard of living;

   (8)  in a spousal support or alimony pendente lite case, the duration of the marriage from the date of marriage to the date of final separation; and

   (9)  other relevant and appropriate factors, including the child’s best interest.

Explanatory Comment—2005

   Rule 1910.16-5 sets forth the factors for deviation from the presumptive amount of support. Subdivision (c) and subsection (b)(8) permit the court to consider the length of the marriage in determining the amount and duration of a spousal support or alimony pendente lite award. The primary purpose of these provisions is to prevent the unfairness that arises in a short-term marriage when the obligor is required to pay support over a substantially longer period of time than the parties were married and there is little or no opportunity for credit for these payments at the time of equitable distribution.

Explanatory Comment—2010

   The provisions of subdivision (c), which provided that the court must consider the duration of the parties’ marriage in determining the duration of an award of spousal support or alimony pendente lite, were moved to new Rule 1910.16-1(c)(2). The duration of the marriage, from the date of marriage to the date of final separation, remains a factor to consider in determining whether or not deviation from the amount of the award is warranted.


   The provisions of this Rule 1910.16-5 adopted September 6, 1989, effective September 30, 1989, 19 Pa.B. 4151; amended January 27, 1993, effective immediately, 23 Pa.B. 701; amended November 4, 1993, effective January 1, 1994, 23 Pa.B. 5527; amended July 15, 1994, effective September 1, 1994, 24 Pa.B. 3802; amended August 3, 1995, effective January 1, 1996, 25 Pa.B. 3338; amended December 7, 1998, effective April 1, 1999, 28 Pa.B. 6162; amended September 24, 2003, effective immediately, 33 Pa.B. 5075; amended September 27, 2005, effective 4 months from the date of this order, 35 Pa.B. 5643; amended January 12, 2010, effective May 12, 2010, 40 Pa.B. 586; amended August 17, 2021, effective January 1, 2022, 51 Pa.B. 5539. Immediately preceding text appears at serial pages (395636) to (395637).

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