New Child Support Guidelines Enacted in 2022
Beginning January 1, 2022, new policies changing Pennsylvania child and spousal support guidelines went into effect. These changes may significantly affect parents who pay or receive child support.
Pennsylvania child support guidelines are required to be reviewed at least once every four years. Following the review in 2021, current support guidelines were changed in a variety of ways.
The new child and spousal support guidelines edited confusing or outdated language and formatting to make the guidelines clearer to read and understand. The new support guidelines also increase the amount of support required from parents paying child support.
Child Support Payment Calculation Changes
Generally, the basic child support amount awarded is determined by combining the parents’ monthly net incomes from any source, not including public assistance or Supplemental Security Income (SSI), according to 23 Pa.C.S. § 4302.
Depending on the monthly combined net incomes, parents could see differing changes to child support payments due to different income levels. Some changes include:
Monthly Combined Income of Both Parents – Percentage Change per Child / Children
- $4,000 to $10,000 per month – 10 percent increase for one child and >15 percent change for multiple children.
- $10,000 to $15,000 per month – 15 percent increase for one child and 23 percent increase for multiple children.
- $20,300 to $22,600 per month – 22 percent increase for one child and 24 percent increase for multiple children.
- $30,000 and above per month – More than 25 percent increase for one child and reduced amounts for multiple children.
Earning Capacity Updates
The earning capacity section has been updated and detailed further in the new child support guidelines. Some of the changes include:
- Rejecting adjustments of child support payments due to normal or temporary earning fluctuations.
- Acknowledging the need to decrease child support payments if the paying parent has an employment situation outside of their control, such as an illness, layoff, or termination.
- Rejecting a decreased child support payment if the paying parent willfully decreased his or her income to affect his or her payment obligation. If the courts feel the paying parent has willfully chosen not to find appropriate employment, they may impute an earning capacity on that parent. This is limited to the earning capacity of one, full-time position, though.
Modification Requests Required to Increase to Previous Child Support Payment Amounts
Despite the new policies implementation on January 1, 2022, prior rulings will not automatically be granted increases. Modification requests must be filed by parents to secure new orders from the Court.
Modification requests must show grounds for filing, as well as noting the change in guidelines.
Other instances where the Court may consider child support payment adjustments may be due to changes in insurance, childcare costs, and loss or gain of income.
To obtain modifications to your existing child support payments, using an experienced divorce lawyer like Janice Yaw, Jason Lepley or Allison Grady at Lepley, Engelman, Yaw & Wilk, LLC is important. They can help you submit your filing correctly and promptly. Filing as soon as possible is encouraged to obtain the greatest possible benefit because modifications may only be granted as of the date the request is filed with the Court.
Experienced Divorce Attorneys Achieve Positive Results for Clients
At Lepley, Engelman, Yaw and Wilk, LLC, our divorce attorneys recognize the many challenges that come along with a divorce. Though each case is different, our divorce attorneys in Pennsylvania have the experience and insight to help you achieve the best outcome. Our talented team will put our expertise to work for you and your child(ren).
Contact us today to discuss your case and how to best obtain modifications to your existing child support.
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“23 Pa.C.S. § 4302, defines the” In re Order Amending Rules 1910.1, No. 720, (Pa. Aug. 17, 2021)