What's New / Errata

PA Civil Practice Handbook 2022 Supplement

PA Civil Practice Handbook:

 

The 2022 Supplement to this title erroneously reads “2022 Supplement For Use With the 2021 Edition.”  It should read “2022 Supplement For Use With the 2022 Edition.”

NEW AND AMENDED DOMESTIC RELATIONS STATUTES AND RULES

New and Amended Domestic Relations

Statutes and Rules

DOMESTIC RELATIONS STATUTES

23 Pa.C.S. § 5329.  Consideration of criminal conviction.

(a)  Offenses.--Where a party seeks any form of custody, the court shall consider whether that party or member of that party's household has been convicted of or has pleaded guilty or no contest to any of the offenses in this section or an offense in another jurisdiction substantially equivalent to any of the offenses in this section. The court shall consider such conduct and determine that the party does not pose a threat of harm to the child before making any order of custody to that party when considering the following offenses:

 

18 Pa.C.S. Ch. 25 (relating to criminal homicide).

18 Pa.C.S. § 2702 (relating to aggravated assault).

18 Pa.C.S. § 2706 (relating to terroristic threats).

18 Pa.C.S. § 2709.1 (relating to stalking).

18 Pa.C.S. § 2718 (relating to strangulation).

18 Pa.C.S. § 2901 (relating to kidnapping).

18 Pa.C.S. § 2902 (relating to unlawful restraint).

18 Pa.C.S. § 2903 (relating to false imprisonment).

18 Pa.C.S. § 2910 (relating to luring a child into a motor vehicle or structure).

18 Pa.C.S. Ch. 30 (relating to human trafficking).

18 Pa.C.S. § 3121 (relating to rape).

18 Pa.C.S. § 3122.1 (relating to statutory sexual assault).

18 Pa.C.S. § 3123 (relating to involuntary deviate sexual intercourse).

18 Pa.C.S. § 3124.1 (relating to sexual assault).

18 Pa.C.S. § 3125 (relating to aggravated indecent assault).

18 Pa.C.S. § 3126 (relating to indecent assault).

18 Pa.C.S. § 3127 (relating to indecent exposure).

18 Pa.C.S. § 3129 (relating to sexual intercourse with animal).

18 Pa.C.S. § 3130 (relating to conduct relating to sex offenders).

18 Pa.C.S. § 3301 (relating to arson and related offenses).

18 Pa.C.S. § 4302 (relating to incest).

18 Pa.C.S. § 4303 (relating to concealing death of child).

18 Pa.C.S. § 4304 (relating to endangering welfare of children).

18 Pa.C.S. § 4305 (relating to dealing in infant children).

18 Pa.C.S. § 5902(b) or (b.1) (relating to prostitution and related offenses).

18 Pa.C.S. § 5903(c) or (d) (relating to obscene and other sexual materials and performances).

18 Pa.C.S. § 6301 (relating to corruption of minors).

18 Pa.C.S. § 6312 (relating to sexual abuse of children).

18 Pa.C.S. § 6318 (relating to unlawful contact with minor).

18 Pa.C.S. § 6320 (relating to sexual exploitation of children).

Section 6114 (relating to contempt for violation of order or agreement).

The former 75 Pa.C.S. § 3731 (relating to driving under influence of alcohol or controlled substance).

75 Pa.C.S. Ch. 38 (relating to driving after imbibing alcohol or utilizing drugs).

Section 13(a)(1) of the act of April 14, 1972 (P.L.233, No.64), known as The Controlled Substance, Drug, Device and Cosmetic Act, to the extent that it prohibits the manufacture, sale or delivery, holding, offering for sale or possession of any controlled substance or other drug or device.

 

(b)  Parent convicted of murder.--No court shall award custody, partial custody or supervised physical custody to a parent who has been convicted of murder under 18 Pa.C.S. § 2502(a) (relating to murder) of the other parent of the child who is the subject of the order unless the child is of suitable age and consents to the order.

 

(b.1)  Parent convicted of certain sexual offenses.--

(1)  Notwithstanding any provision of this chapter to the contrary and subject to paragraph (2), if a parent who is a victim of any of the offenses set forth in this paragraph objects, no court shall award any type of custody set forth in section 5323 (relating to award of custody) to the other parent of a child conceived as a result of any of the following offenses for which the other parent has been convicted:

18 Pa.C.S. § 3121.

18 Pa.C.S. § 3122.1.

18 Pa.C.S. § 3124.1, where the offense involved sexual intercourse.

18 Pa.C.S. § 3124.2 (relating to institutional sexual assault), where the offense involved sexual intercourse.

18 Pa.C.S. § 4302.

(2)  A court may award any type of custody set forth in section 5323 to a parent who has been convicted of an offense under paragraph (1) if:

(i)  the parent who is a victim had an opportunity to address the court;

(ii)  the child is of suitable age and consents to the custody order; and

(iii)  the court determines the award is in the best interest of the child.

(3)  Paternity of the child shall be established by voluntary acknowledgment of paternity or blood, genetic or other paternity testing acceptable to the court. The cost of the testing shall be borne by the parent who was convicted of the offense.

 

(c)  Initial evaluation.--At the initial in-person contact with the court, the judge, conference officer or other appointed individual shall perform an initial evaluation to determine whether the party or household member who committed an offense under subsection (a) poses a threat to the child and whether counseling is necessary. The initial evaluation shall not be conducted by a mental health professional. After the initial evaluation, the court may order further evaluation or counseling by a mental health professional if the court determines it is necessary.

 

(d)  Counseling.--

(1)  Where the court determines under subsection (c) that counseling is necessary, it shall appoint a qualified professional specializing in treatment relating to the particular offense to provide counseling to the offending individual.

(2)  Counseling may include a program of treatment or individual therapy designed to rehabilitate the offending individual which addresses, but is not limited to, issues regarding physical and sexual abuse, the psychology of the offender and the effects of the offense on the victim.

 

(e)  Subsequent evaluation.--

(1)  At any time during or subsequent to the counseling under subsection (d), the court may require another evaluation to determine whether further counseling is necessary.

(2)  If the court awards custody to a party who committed an offense under subsection (a) or who shares a household with an individual who committed an offense under subsection (a), the court may require subsequent evaluations on the rehabilitation of the offending individual and the well-being of the child subsequent to the order. If, upon review of a subsequent evaluation, the court determines that the offending individual poses a threat of physical, emotional or psychological harm to the child, the court may schedule a hearing to modify the custody order.

 

(f)  Costs.--The court may order a party to pay all or part of the costs of the counseling and evaluations under this section.

 

(Apr. 12, 2012, P.L.241, No.32, eff. 60 days; Oct. 1, 2015, P.L.172, No.40, eff. 60 days; May 4, 2018, P.L.112, No.21, eff. 60 days; June 5, 2020, P.L.246, No.32, eff. 60 days; June 30, 2021, P.L.197, No.38, eff. 60 days)

2021 Amendment.  Act 38 amended subsec. (a).

2015 Amendment.  Act 40 added subsec. (b.1). Section 3 of Act 40 provided that subsec. (b.1) shall apply to any action regarding custody of a child under Chapter 43 or 53 that is filed on or after the effective date of section 3.

2012 Amendment.  Act 32 amended subsec. (c).

Cross References.  Section 5329 is referred to in section 5330 of this title; section 1904 of Title 42 (Judiciary and Judicial Procedure).

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23 Pa.C.S. § 6365.  Services for prevention, investigation and treatment of child abuse.

 

(a)  Instruction and education.--Each county agency shall make available among its services for the prevention and treatment of child abuse instruction and education for parenthood and parenting skills, protective and preventive social counseling, outreach and counseling services to prevent newborn abandonment, emergency caretaker services, emergency shelter care, emergency medical services and the establishment of self-help groups organized for the prevention and treatment of child abuse, part-day services, out-of-home placement services, therapeutic activities for child and family directed at alleviating conditions that present a risk to the safety and well-being of a child and any other services required by department regulations.

 

(b)  Multidisciplinary review team.--The county agency shall make available among its services a multidisciplinary review team for the prevention, investigation and treatment of child abuse and shall convene the multidisciplinary review team at any time, but not less than annually:

(1)  To review substantiated cases of child abuse, including responses by the county agency and other agencies providing services to the child.

(2)  Where appropriate to assist in the development of a family service plan for the child.

 

(c)  Multidisciplinary investigative team.--A multidisciplinary investigative team shall be used to coordinate child abuse investigations between county agencies and law enforcement. The county agency and the district attorney shall develop a protocol for the convening of multidisciplinary investigative teams for any case of child abuse by a perpetrator involving crimes against children which are set forth in section 6340(a)(9) and (10) (relating to release of information in confidential reports). The county multidisciplinary investigative team protocol shall include standards and procedures to be used in receiving and referring reports and coordinating investigations of reported cases of child abuse and a system for sharing the information obtained as a result of any interview. The protocol shall include any other standards and procedures to avoid duplication of fact-finding efforts and interviews to minimize the trauma to the child. The district attorney shall convene the multidisciplinary investigative team in accordance with the protocol. The multidisciplinary investigative team shall consist of those individuals and agencies responsible for investigating the abuse or for providing services to the child and shall at a minimum include a health care provider, county caseworker and law enforcement official.

 

(d)  Child fatality or near fatality review team and written report.--

(1)  A child fatality or near fatality review team shall be convened by a county agency in accordance with a protocol developed by the county agency, the department and the district attorney in a case when a child dies or nearly dies as a result of child abuse as to which there is an indicated report or when the county agency has not made a status determination within 30 days. The team may convene after a county agency makes a determination of an indicated report and shall convene no later than 31 days from the receipt of the oral report to the department of the suspected child abuse. A county agency in the county where the abuse occurred and in any county where the child resided within the 16 months preceding the fatality or near fatality shall convene a child fatality or near fatality review team. A team shall consist of at least six individuals who are broadly representative of the county where the team is established and who have expertise in prevention and treatment of child abuse. With consideration given to the circumstances of each case and availability of individuals to serve as members, the team may consist of the following individuals:

(i)  A staff person from the county agency.

(ii)  A member of the advisory committee of the county agency.

(iii)  A health care professional.

(iv)  A representative of a local school, educational program or child care or early childhood development program.

(v)  A representative of law enforcement or the district attorney.

(vi)  An attorney-at-law trained in legal representation of children or an individual trained under 42 Pa.C.S. § 6342 (relating to court-appointed special advocates).

(vii)  A mental health professional.

(viii)  A representative of a children's advocacy center that provides services to children in the county. The individual under this subparagraph must not be an employee of the county agency.

(ix)  The county coroner or forensic pathologist.

(x)  A representative of a local domestic violence program.

(xi)  A representative of a local drug and alcohol program.

(xii)  An individual representing parents.

(xiii)  Any individual whom the county agency or child fatality or near fatality review team determines is necessary to assist the team in performing its duties.

(2)  Members of the team shall be responsible for all of the following:

(i)  Maintaining confidentiality of information under sections 6339 (relating to confidentiality of reports) and 6340.

(ii)  Providing and discussing relevant case-specific information.

(iii)  Attending and participating in all meetings and activities as required.

(iv)  Assisting in the development of the report under paragraph (4)(v).

(3)  The county agency, in accordance with the protocol and in consultation with the team, shall appoint an individual who is not an employee of the county agency to serve as chairperson.

(4)  The team shall perform the following:

(i)  Review the circumstances of the child's fatality or near fatality resulting from suspected or substantiated child abuse.

(ii)  Review the delivery of services to the abused child and the child's family provided by the county agency and review services provided to the perpetrator by the county agency in each county where the child and family resided within the 16 months preceding the fatality or near fatality and the services provided to the child, the child's family and the perpetrator by other public and private community agencies or professionals. This subparagraph includes law enforcement, mental health services, programs for young children and children with special needs, drug and alcohol programs, local schools and health care providers.

(iii)  Review relevant court records and documents related to the abused child and the child's family.

(iv)  Review the county agency's compliance with statutes and regulations and with relevant policies and procedures of the county agency.

(v)  Within 90 days of convening, submit a final written report on the child fatality or near fatality to the department and designated county officials under section 6340(a)(11). Within 30 days after submission of the report to the department, the report shall be made available, upon request, to other individuals to whom confidential reports may be released, as specified by section 6340. The report shall be made available to the public, but identifying information shall be removed from the contents of the report except for disclosure of: the identity of a deceased child; if the child was in the custody of a public or private agency, the identity of the agency; the identity of the public or private agency under contract with a county agency to provide services to the child and the child's family in the child's home prior to the child's death or near fatality; and the identity of any county agency that convened a child fatality or near fatality review team in respect to the child. The report shall not be released to the public if the district attorney certifies that release of the report may compromise a pending criminal investigation or proceeding. Certification by the district attorney shall stay the release of the report for a period of 60 days, at which time the report shall be released unless a new certification is made by the district attorney. The report shall include:

(A)  Deficiencies and strengths in:

(I)  compliance with statutes and regulations; and

(II)  services to children and families.

(B)  Recommendations for changes at the State and local levels on:

(I)  reducing the likelihood of future child fatalities and near fatalities directly related to child abuse and neglect;

(II)  monitoring and inspection of county agencies; and

(III)  collaboration of community agencies and service providers to prevent child abuse and neglect.

 

(d.1)  Release by county agency.--Prior to completing its child fatality or near fatality report, the investigating county agency may release the following information to the public concerning a child who died or nearly died as a result of suspected or substantiated child abuse:

(1)  The identity of the child, only in the case of a child's fatality.

(2)  If the child was in the custody of a public or private agency, the identity of the agency.

(3)  The identity of the public or private agency under contract with a county agency to provide services to the child and the child's family in the child's home prior to the child's death or near fatality.

(4)  A description of services provided under paragraph (3).

 

(e)  Response by department.--Within 45 days of receipt of a report of a child fatality or near fatality under subsection (d), the department shall review the findings and recommendations of the report and provide a written response to the county agency and the child fatality review team or near fatality review team. The department's response to the report of the child fatality or near fatality review team shall be made available, upon request, to other individuals to whom confidential reports may be released, as specified by section 6340. The department's response shall be made available to the public, but identifying information shall be removed from the contents of the response, except for disclosure of: the identity of a deceased child; if the child was in the custody of a public or private agency, the identity of the agency; the identity of the public or private agency under contract with a county agency to provide services to the child and the child's family in the child's home prior to the child's death or near fatality; and the identity of any county agency that convened a child fatality or near fatality review team in respect to the child. The response shall not be released to the public if the district attorney certifies that release of the response may compromise a pending criminal investigation or proceeding. Certification by the district attorney shall stay the release of the report for a period of 60 days, at which time the report shall be released unless a new certification is made by the district attorney.

 

(f)  Construction.--The provisions of this section shall be construed to assist in the improvement of services designed to identify and prevent child abuse and to facilitate cooperation with law enforcement agencies for the purposes set forth in this section, consistent with 18 Pa.C.S. § 9106(f.1) (relating to information in central repository or automated systems). The provisions shall not be construed to impede or interfere with criminal prosecutions of persons who have committed child abuse.

 

(Dec. 16, 1994, P.L.1292, No.151, eff. July 1, 1996; Dec. 15, 1998, P.L.963, No.127, eff. Mar. 1, 1999; Dec. 9, 2002, P.L.1549, No.201, eff. 60 days; July 3, 2008, P.L.276, No.33, eff. 180 days; Dec. 18, 2013, P.L.1235, No.123, eff. 90 days; May 14, 2014, P.L.645, No.44, eff. Dec. 31, 2014; June 30, 2021, P.L.206, No.42, eff. 60 days)

2021 Amendment.  Act 42 amended subsec. (f).

2014 Amendment.  Act 44 added subsec. (d.1).

2013 Amendment.  Act 123 amended subsecs. (b) and (c).

2008 Amendment.  Act 33 added subsecs. (d), (e) and (f).

2002 Amendment.  Act 201 amended subsec. (a).

Cross References.  Section 6365 is referred to in sections 6334.1, 6340, 6343.1, 6368, 6509 of this title; section 9106 of Title 18 (Crimes and Offenses).

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23 Pa.C.S. § 6388.  Task Force on Child Pornography.

 

(a)  Establishment.--The Task Force on Child Pornography is established.

 

(b)  Purpose.--The purpose of the task force is to conduct a review to ascertain any inadequacies relating to the offense of child pornography in 18 Pa.C.S. § 6312 (relating to sexual abuse of children).

 

(c)  Composition.--The task force shall consist of the following members, who shall be appointed within 25 days after the effective date of this section:

(1)  The secretary or a designee.

(2)  The Attorney General or a designee.

(3)  The Commissioner of Pennsylvania State Police or a designee.

(4)  The Chairman of the Pennsylvania Commission on Crime and Delinquency or a designee.

(5)  The Executive Director of the Pennsylvania Commission on Sentencing or a designee.

(6)  Two members of the Senate, one appointed by the President pro tempore of the Senate and one appointed by the Minority Leader of the Senate.

(7)  Two members of the House of Representatives, one appointed by the Speaker of the House of Representatives and one appointed by the Minority Leader of the House of Representatives.

(8)  The Victim Advocate from the Office of Victim Advocate or a designee from that office.

(9)  The President of the Pennsylvania District Attorneys Association or a designee.

(10)  The Director of the Pennsylvania Coalition Against Rape or a designee.

(11)  One member of the Pennsylvania Sexual Offenders Assessment Board. If possible, the member shall be a member of the Association for the Treatment of Sexual Abusers.

(12)  One member of the Pennsylvania Internet Crimes Against Children (ICAC) Task Force.

(13)  The director of a rape crisis center located in this Commonwealth or a designee, appointed by the Governor.

(14)  One representative of a children's advocacy center that assists in the investigation, prosecution and treatment of child sexual and physical abuse cases, appointed by the Governor.

(15)  Two medical professionals that specialize in the field of child sexual abuse, one of whom shall be appointed by the President pro tempore of the Senate and one of whom shall be appointed by the Speaker of the House of Representatives.

(16)  One member of the public, appointed by the President pro tempore of the Senate.

(17)  One member of the public, appointed by the Speaker of the House of Representatives.

 

(d)  Chairperson.--The Governor shall select the chairperson of the task force.

 

(e)  Member requirements.--

(1)  The appointed members of the task force under subsection (c)(16) and (17) must be individuals who have experience in investigations or prosecutions of child pornography or sexual abuse of children, have experience in the treatment of victims of child pornography or sexual abuse of children, have experience in the prevention of child pornography or sexual abuse of children or are victims of child pornography or sexual abuse of children.

(2)  The appointment of members must reflect the geographic diversity of this Commonwealth.

 

(f)  Meetings and expenses.--The task force shall conduct its business as follows:

(1)  The task force shall meet at least four times but may hold additional meetings as determined by the chairperson of the task force.

(2)  The chairperson of the task force shall schedule a meeting upon written request of eight members of the task force.

(3)  The first meeting of the task force shall be convened within 45 days of the effective date of this section.

(4)  The task force shall hold public hearings as necessary to obtain the information required to conduct its review.

(5)  Action of the task force shall be authorized or ratified by majority vote of the members of the task force.

(6)  The Pennsylvania Commission on Crime and Delinquency and the Joint State Government Commission shall cooperate to provide administrative or other assistance to the task force.

(7)  The members of the task force shall not receive compensation but shall be reimbursed for reasonable and necessary expenses incurred in the service of the task force.

 

(g)  Powers.--The task force shall have the following powers:

(1)  To recommend any improvements relating to the investigation and prosecution of child pornography as defined in 18 Pa.C.S. § 6312.

(2)  To recommend any necessary changes in State statutes and practices, policies and procedures relating to the recognition or prosecution of child pornography as defined in 18 Pa.C.S. § 6312.

 

(h)  Report.--

(1)  Within one year of the first meeting of the task force, the task force shall submit a report with its recommendations to the following:

(i)  The Governor.

(ii)  The President pro tempore of the Senate.

(iii)  The Speaker of the House of Representatives.

(iv)  The chairperson and minority chairperson of the Judiciary Committee of the Senate.

(v)  The chairperson and minority chairperson of the Judiciary Committee of the House of Representatives.

(2)  The report under this subsection must be adopted at a public meeting of the task force.

(3)  The report under this subsection shall be a public record under the act of February 14, 2008 (P.L.6, No.3), known as the Right-to-Know Law.

 

(i)  Expiration.--The task force shall expire upon the submission of the report under subsection (h).

 

(j)  Definition.--As used in this section, the term "task force" means the Task Force on Child Pornography established in this section.

 

(June 30, 2021, P.L.249, No.53, eff. 60 days)

2021 Amendment.  Act 53 added section 6388.

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18 Pa.C.S. § 6312.  Sexual abuse of children.

 

(a)  Definition.--(Deleted by amendment).

 

(b)  Photographing, videotaping, depicting on computer or filming sexual acts.--

(1)  Any person who causes or knowingly permits a child under the age of 18 years to engage in a prohibited sexual act or in the simulation of such act commits an offense if such person knows, has reason to know or intends that such act may be photographed, videotaped, depicted on computer or filmed.

(2)  Any person who knowingly photographs, videotapes, depicts on computer or films a child under the age of 18 years engaging in a prohibited sexual act or in the simulation of such an act commits an offense.

 

(c)  Dissemination of photographs, videotapes, computer depictions and films.--Any person who knowingly sells, distributes, delivers, disseminates, transfers, displays or exhibits to others, or who possesses for the purpose of sale, distribution, delivery, dissemination, transfer, display or exhibition to others, any book, magazine, pamphlet, slide, photograph, film, videotape, computer depiction or other material depicting a child under the age of 18 years engaging in a prohibited sexual act or in the simulation of such act commits an offense.

 

(d)  Child pornography.--Any person who intentionally views or knowingly possesses or controls any book, magazine, pamphlet, slide, photograph, film, videotape, computer depiction or other material depicting a child under the age of 18 years engaging in a prohibited sexual act or in the simulation of such act commits an offense.

 

(d.1)  Grading.--The offenses shall be graded as follows:

(1)  Except as provided in paragraph (3), an offense under subsection (b) is a felony of the second degree.

(2)  (i)  Except as provided in paragraph (3), a first offense under subsection (c) or (d) is a felony of the third degree.

(ii)  A second or subsequent offense under subsection (c) or (d) is a felony of the second degree.

(3)  When a person commits an offense graded under paragraph (1) or (2)(i), the grading of the offense shall be one grade higher than the grade specified in paragraph (1) or (2)(i) if:

(i)  indecent contact with the child as defined in section 3101 (relating to definitions) is depicted; or

(ii)  the child depicted is under 10 years of age or prepubescent.

 

(e)  Evidence of age.--In the event a person involved in a prohibited sexual act is alleged to be a child under the age of 18 years, competent expert testimony shall be sufficient to establish the age of said person.

 

(e.1)  Mistake as to age.--Under subsection (b) only, it is no defense that the defendant did not know the age of the child. Neither a misrepresentation of age by the child nor a bona fide belief that the person is over the specified age shall be a defense.

 

(f)  Exceptions.--This section does not apply to any of the following:

(1)  Any material that is viewed, possessed, controlled, brought or caused to be brought into this Commonwealth, or presented, for a bona fide educational, scientific, governmental or judicial purpose.

(2)  Conduct prohibited under section 6321 (relating to transmission of sexually explicit images by minor), unless the conduct is specifically excluded by section 6321(d).

(3)  An individual under 18 years of age who knowingly views, photographs, videotapes, depicts on a computer or films or possesses or intentionally views a visual depiction as defined in section 6321 of himself alone in a state of nudity as defined in section 6321.

 

(f.1)  Criminal action.--

(1)  A district attorney shall have the authority to investigate and to institute criminal proceedings for any violation of this section.

(2)  In addition to the authority conferred upon the Attorney General by the act of October 15, 1980 (P.L.950, No.164), known as the Commonwealth Attorneys Act, the Attorney General shall have the authority to investigate and to institute criminal proceedings for any violation of this section or any series of violations of this section involving more than one county of this Commonwealth or involving any county of this Commonwealth and another state. No person charged with a violation of this section by the Attorney General shall have standing to challenge the authority of the Attorney General to investigate or prosecute the case, and, if any such challenge is made, the challenge shall be dismissed and no relief shall be available in the courts of this Commonwealth to the person making the challenge.

 

(g)  Definitions.--As used in this section, the following words and phrases shall have the meanings given to them in this subsection:

"Intentionally views."  The deliberate, purposeful, voluntary viewing of material depicting a child under 18 years of age engaging in a prohibited sexual act or in the simulation of such act. The term shall not include the accidental or inadvertent viewing of such material.

"Prohibited sexual act."  Sexual intercourse as defined in section 3101 (relating to definitions), masturbation, sadism, masochism, bestiality, fellatio, cunnilingus, lewd exhibition of the genitals or nudity if such nudity is depicted for the purpose of sexual stimulation or gratification of any person who might view such depiction.

 

(Oct. 26, 1977, P.L.212, No.62, eff. 60 days; Dec. 19, 1988, P.L.1275, No.158, eff. 60 days; Mar. 31, 1995, 1st Sp.Sess., P.L.985, No.10, eff. 60 days; Nov. 20, 2002, P.L.1104, No.134, eff. 60 days; July 14, 2009, P.L.63, No.15, eff. 60 days; Oct. 7, 2010, P.L.482, No.69, eff. 60 days; Oct. 25, 2012, P.L.1623, No.198, eff. 60 days; Dec. 18, 2013, P.L.1163, No.105, eff. Jan. 1, 2014; June 30, 2021, P.L.249, No.53, eff. 60 days)

2021 Amendment.  Act 53 amended subsec. (d.1)

2013 Amendment.  Act 105 amended subsecs. (b), (c) and (d) and added subsec. (d.1).

2012 Amendment.  Act 198 amended subsec. (f).

2010 Amendment.  Act 69 added subsec. (f.1).

2009 Amendment.  Act 15 amended subsecs. (d) hdg. and (1) and (f), added subsec. (g) and deleted subsec. (a).

Cross References.  Section 6312 is referred to in sections 3051, 3104, 3131, 5743.1, 6318, 6321, 7621, 7626, 7627 of this title; section 3304 of Title 5 (Athletics and Sports); section 2106 of Title 20 (Decedents, Estates and Fiduciaries); sections 5329, 6303, 6344, 6388, 6702 of Title 23 (Domestic Relations); sections 5552, 5920, 5985.1, 5993, 62A03, 6302, 9718.1, 9720.5, 9730.3, 9799.14, 9799.55 of Title 42 (Judiciary and Judicial Procedure); section 3113 of Title 63 (Professions and Occupations (State Licensed)).

 

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Domestic Relations Court Rules

PROTECTION FROM ABUSE

Rule 1901.  Definitions

   As used in this chapter:

   Act—Protection From Abuse Act No. 206 approved December 19, 1990, 23 Pa.C.S. § 6101 et seq.

   Action—A proceeding for protection from abuse defined in § 6102 of the Act.

   Court—The court of common pleas.

   Emergency Order—An order entered by a hearing officer, who is a person meeting the definition set forth at 23 Pa.C.S. § 6102.

   Fees—Any costs associated with the filing, issuance, registration, service or appeal of a Protection From Abuse matter, including any foreign protection order.

Temporary Order—An ex parte order entered by the court pursuant to 23 Pa.C.S. § 6107.

 

Adopted March 9, 1997, effective April 10, 1977; Amended October 19, 2021, effective January 1. 2022.

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Rule 1901.3.  Commencement of Action.

   (a)  Except as provided in subdivision (b), a plaintiff shall commence an action by presenting to the court or filing with the prothonotary a petition setting forth the alleged abuse by the defendant. The petition shall be substantially in the form set forth in Pa.R.C.P. No. 1905(b) and shall have as its first page the Notice of Hearing and Order set forth in Pa.R.C.P. No. 1905(a).

   (b)  An action may be commenced by filing with the prothonotary a certified copy of an emergency order entered pursuant to 23 Pa.C.S. § 6110, including orders issued by a hearing officer.

   (c)  Any fees associated with this action shall not be charged to the plaintiff.

   (d)  The hearing officer shall follow the procedures set forth in the Pennsylvania Rules of Civil Procedure Governing Actions and Proceedings Before Magisterial District Judges for emergency relief under the Protection From Abuse Act.

Note: See Pa.R.C.P. No. 1930.1(b). This rule may require attorneys or unrepresented parties to file confidential documents and documents containing confidential information that are subject to the Case Records Public Access Policy of the Unified Judicial System of Pennsylvania.

Adopted March 9, 1977, effective April 10, 1977. Amended March 30, 1994, effective July 1, 1994. Renumbered from          Rule 1902 and amended March 9, 1998, effective July 1, 1998. Amended May 2, 2006, effective May 9, 2006;        Jan. 5, 2018, effective Jan. 6, 2018; June 1, 2018, effective on July 1, 2018; October 19. 2021, effective January 1,                2022.

 

________________________________

 

SUPPORT

 

Rule 1910.1. Scope. Definitions

(a) Except as provided by subdivision (b), the rules of this chapter govern all civil actions or proceedings brought in the court of common pleas to enforce a duty of support, or an obligation to pay alimony pendente lite. 

Note: A duty of support is imposed by the following statutes: 23 Pa.C.S.A. § 4321 and Section 3 of the Support Law of June 24, 1937, P.L. 2045, 62 P.S. § 1973 (repealed) now Act 43-2005, July 7, 2005, P.L. 196. The procedure under the rules of this chapter implements Chapter 43 of Part V of the Domestic Relations Code, Title 23 of the Consolidated Statutes, 23 Pa.C.S.A. § 4301 et seq., relating to support proceedings. The procedure under these rules provides an alternative to the intrastate and interstate procedures under Parts VIII and VIII-A of the Domestic Relations Code, 23 Pa.C.S.A §§ 7101 et seq. and 8101 et seq. For alimony and alimony pendente lite, see Sections 3701 and 3702 of the Divorce Code, 23 Pa.C.S.A §§ 3701, 3702.

 

Note: Long arm jurisdiction is available in support actions brought pursuant to these rules per 23 Pa.C.S.A. § 4342(c).

(b) The rules of this chapter shall not govern

 (1) an action or proceeding for support based upon a contract or agreement which provides that it may not be enforced by an action in accordance with these rules,

 (2) an application for a temporary order of support and other relief pursuant to the Protection from Abuse Act of December 19, 1990, P.L. 1240, No. 206, 23 Pa.C.S.A § 6101 et seq. or

 (3) an action for support of an indigent brought pursuant to Chapter 46 of the Domestic Relations Code, 23 Pa.C.S.A. § 4601 et seq.

 

Note: Where a contract or agreement provides that it cannot be enforced in accordance with the rules, actions upon a contract or agreement for support are to be heard by the court and not a conference officer or hearing officer under Rules 1910.11 or 1910.12. However, such actions should be expedited and given preference in court listings.

(c) As used in this chapter, unless the context of a rule indicates otherwise, the following terms shall have the following meanings:

 

“Conference officer,” the person who conducts an office conference pursuant to Rule 1910.11.

 

“Hearing officer,” the person who conducts a hearing on the record and makes recommendations to the court pursuant to Rule 1910.12.

 

“Overdue support,” the amount of delinquent support equal to or greater than one month’s support obligation which accrues after entry or modification of a support order as the result of obligor’s nonpayment of that order.

 

“Past due support,” the amount of support which accrues prior to entry or modification of a support order as the result of retroactivity of that order. When nonpayment of the order causes overdue support to accrue, any and all amounts of past due support owing under the order shall convert immediately to overdue support and remain as such until paid in full.

 

“Suspend,” eliminate the effect of a support order for a period of time.

 

“Terminate,” end not only the support order, but the support obligation as well.

 

“Trier-of-fact,” the judge, hearing officer, or conference officer who makes factual determinations.

 

“Vacate,” declare a particular support order null and void, as if it were never entered.

 

Adopted April 23, 1981, effective July 22, 1981. Amended Nov. 7, 1988, effective Jan. 1, 1989; March 30, 1994, effective July 1, 1994; April 15, 1994, effective July 1, 1994; Dec. 8, 1994, effective July 1, 1995; May 31, 2000, effective July 1, 2000; Jan. 22, 2007, imd. effective; Aug. 17, 2021, effective Jan. 1, 2022.

 

EXPLANATORY COMMENT--MARCH 30, 1994

 

Nothing in this rule should be interpreted to eliminate the distinctions between spousal support and alimony pendente lite which are established by case law.

 

Alimony pendente lite must be distinguished from permanent alimony for purposes of this rule. The rule applies only to alimony pendente lite. The procedure for obtaining permanent alimony is governed by Section 3702 of the Divorce Code, 23 Pa.C.S.A. § 3702, and Rules of Civil Procedure 1920.1 et seq. Agreements for alimony approved by the court in connection with actions for divorce under Section 3701 of the Divorce Code are deemed to be court orders enforceable under Section 3703 of the Code.

 

Section 3105(a) of the Divorce Code provides that all agreements relating to matters under the code, whether or not merged or incorporated into the decree, are to be treated as orders for purposes of enforcement unless the agreement provides otherwise. Subdivision (b)(1) is amended to conform to the statute.

 

There is considerable diversity in the terminology used throughout the rules, and in the various counties, to describe the individuals who conduct conferences and hearings pursuant to the support rules. The addition of subdivision (c) to the rule standardizes terminology and eliminates the confusion which results from individual counties using inconsistent terms to refer to persons performing the same function. All references in the rules to conference or hearing officers have been amended to conform to the terminology set forth in subdivision (c).

EXPLANATORY COMMENT--APRIL 15, 1994

 

In an effort to further standardize the terminology used in support matters, the additional terms are defined.

 

EXPLANATORY COMMENT--2000

 

Act 1998-127 technically amended Act 1997-58 to define and differentiate between past due and overdue support to clarify that only overdue support constitutes a lien by operation of law against the obligor’s real or personal property. 23 Pa.C.S.A. § 4302 now defines overdue support as “support which is delinquent under a payment schedule established by the court.” Past due support is defined as “support included in an order of support which has not been paid.”

 

The definitions of past due and overdue support in this rule do not substantively change the legislative definitions. They merely elaborate on them in terms which are more familiar and helpful to the bench and bar. Specifically, past due support consists of the purely retroactive arrearages which accumulate between the date of the filing of the complaint or petition for modification and the date of the hearing and entry of the initial or modified support order. Overdue support refers to the delinquent arrearages which accrue after entry of the order due to the obligor’s failure to pay support pursuant to the order.

 

These definitions are important for determining the remedies available for collecting support arrearages. Pursuant to 23 Pa.C.S.A. § 4352(d), only overdue support (delinquent arrearages) constitutes a lien by operation of law against the obligor’s property. Conversely, past due support (retroactive arrears) does not operate as a lien against this property as long as the obligor remains current on the support order.

 

Rule 1910.20 extends this legislative distinction between overdue and past due support to the following remedies available to collect support: (1) consumer agency reporting under 23 Pa.C.S.A. § 4303; (2) suspension of licenses under 23 Pa.C.S.A. § 4355; and (3) the full range of new collection remedies under 23 Pa.C.S.A. § 4305(b)(10). Accordingly, these remedies are available only to collect overdue support. They are not available to collect past due support as long as the obligor remains current on the order. If, however, the obligor subsequently defaults on the support order, Rule 1910.20(c) provides that any past due support still owing under the order immediately becomes overdue support subject to the full range of collection remedies. It remains overdue support until collected in full.

 

Pursuant to Rule 1910.20(c), all overdue support, including past due support which has converted to overdue support, remains subject to Act 58 remedies until paid in full. Any repayment plan subsequently agreed to by the parties, or ordered by the court pursuant to a contempt proceeding (including any arrearage component), does not preclude the use of these remedies for collecting overdue support more quickly, whenever feasible.

 

In cases involving past due support only, the obligee is not entirely without remedy in the event that additional income or assets of the obligor are discovered after the hearing which would enable collection of past due support more quickly. In these cases, identification of those income sources or assets provides a basis for modification pursuant to Rule 1910.19. Modification includes increasing the rate of repayment on past due support and, if appropriate, ordering that the past due support be paid in full. In these cases, the obligee may also petition the court for special relief pursuant to Rule 1910.26 to have the income or assets frozen and seized pending the petition for modification in order to secure payment of past due support.

 

EXPLANATORY COMMENT--2007

 

Act 43-2005, July 7, 2005, P.L. 196, repealed the Act of June 24, 1937 (P.L. 2045, No. 397), known as The Support Law and added Chapter 46 to the Domestic Relations Code, 23 Pa.C.S.A. § 4601 et seq. Section 4 of Act 43-2005 states that the addition of Chapter 46 is a continuation of the Act of June 24, 1937 (P.L. 2045, No. 397). Chapter 46 addresses the responsibility of certain family members to maintain indigent relatives, whether or not the indigent person is a public charge. New subdivision (b)(3) clarifies that the support rules and guidelines do not apply to actions brought under Chapter 46 of the Domestic Relations Code. 

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Rule 1910.11.  Office Conference. Subsequent  Proceedings. Order.

   (a)  Office Conference

(1)  A conference officer shall conduct the office conference.

(2)  A lawyer serving as a conference officer employed by, or under contract with, a judicial district or appointed by the court shall not practice family law before a conference officer, hearing officer,  or judge of the same judicial district.

Note: Conference officers preside at office conferences under Pa.R.C.P. No. 1910.11. Hearing officers preside at hearings under Pa.R.C.P. No. 1910.12. The appointment of a hearing officer to hear actions in divorce or for annulment of marriage is authorized by Pa.R.C.P. No. 1920.51.

   (b)  If a party fails to appear at the conference as directed by the court, the conference may proceed.

   (c)  At the conference, the parties shall provide to the conference officer the following documents:

  •  the most recently filed individual federal income tax returns, including all schedules, W-2s, and 1099s;
  •  the partnership or business tax returns with all schedules, including K-1, if the party is self-employed or a principal in a partnership or business entity;
  •  pay stubs for the preceding six months;
  •  verification of child care expenses;
  •  child support, spousal support, alimony pendente lite, or alimony orders or agreements for other children or former spouses;
  •  proof of available medical coverage; and
  •  an Income Statement and, if necessary, an Expense Statement on the forms provided in Pa.R.C.P. No. 1910.27(c) and completed as set forth in subdivisions (c)(1) and (2).

Note: See Pa.R.C.P. No. 1930.1(b). To the extent this rule applies to actions not governed by other legal authority regarding confidentiality of information and documents in support actions or that attorneys or unrepresented parties file support-related confidential information and documents in non-support actions (e.g., divorce, custody), the Case Records Public Access Policy of the Unified Judicial System of Pennsylvania shall apply.

(1)  The parties shall provide the conference officer with a completed:

(i)  Income Statement as set forth in Pa.R.C.P. No. 1910.27(c)(1) in all support cases, including high-income cases under Pa.R.C.P. No. 1910.16-3.1; and

(ii)  Expense Statement as set forth in Pa.R.C.P. No. 1910.27(c)(2)(A), if a party:

(A)  claims that unusual needs and unusual fixed expenses may warrant a deviation from the guideline support amount pursuant to Pa.R.C.P. No. 1910.16-5; or

(B)  seeks expense apportionment pursuant to Pa.R.C.P. No. 1910.16-6.

(2)  For high-income support cases as set forth in Pa.R.C.P. No. 1910.16-3.1, the

   (d)  Conference Officer Recommendation.

(1)  The conference officer shall calculate and recommend a guideline support amount to the parties.

(2)  If the parties agree on a support amount at the conference, the conference officer shall:

(i)  prepare a written order consistent with the parties’ agreement and substantially in the form set forth in Pa.R.C.P. No. 1910.27(e), which the parties shall sign; and

(ii)  submit to the court the written order along with the conference officer’s recommendation for approval or disapproval.

(iii)  The court may enter the order in accordance with the agreement without hearing from 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.

   (e)  At the conclusion of the conference or not later than 10 days after the conference, the conference officer shall prepare a conference summary and furnish copies to the court and to both parties. The conference summary shall state:

(1)  the facts upon which the parties agree;

(2)  the contentions of the parties with respect to facts upon which they disagree; and

(3)  the conference officer’s recommendation; if any, of

(i)  the amount of support and by and for whom the support shall be paid; and

(ii)  the effective date of any order.

   (f)  If an agreement for support is not reached at the conference, the court, without hearing the parties, shall enter an interim order calculated in accordance with the guidelines and substantially in the form set forth in Rule 1910.27(e). Each party shall be provided, either in person at the time of the conference or by mail, with a copy of the interim order and written notice that any party may, within twenty days after the date of receipt or the date of the mailing of the interim order, whichever occurs first, file a written demand with the domestic relations section for a hearing before the court.

   (g)  A demand for a hearing before the court shall not stay the interim order entered under subdivision (f) unless the court so directs.

   (h)  If no party demands a hearing before the court within the twenty day period, the interim order shall constitute a final order.

(i)  If a demand is filed, there shall be a hearing de novo before the court. The domestic relations section shall schedule the hearing and give notice to the parties. The court shall hear the case and enter a final order substantially in the form set forth in Rule 1910.27(e) within sixty days from the date of the written demand for hearing.

   (j)(1)  Promptly after receipt of the notice of the scheduled hearing, a party may move the court for a separate listing where:

(i)  there are complex questions of law, fact or both; or

(ii)  the hearing will be protracted; or

(iii)  the orderly administration of justice requires that the hearing be listed separately.

(2)  If the motion for separate listing is granted, discovery shall be available in accordance with Rule 4001 et seq.

Note: The rule relating to discovery in domestic relations matters generally is Rule 1930.5.

   (k) No motion for post-trial relief may be filed to the final order of support.

    Adopted April 23, 1981, effective July 22, 1981. Amended October 19, 1983, effective January 1, 1984. November 7, 1988, effective January 1, 1989; September 29, 1989, effective October 15, 1989; March 30, 1994, effective July 1, 1994; December 2, 1994, effective March 1, 1995; September 8, 1995, effective January 1, 1996; May 5, 1997, effective July 1, 1997; May 31, 2000, effective July 1, 2000; August 8, 2006, immediately effective; November 8, 2006, effective February 6, 2007; October 30, 2007, immediately effective; January 12, 2010, effective May 12, 2010; August 26, 2011, effective November 1, 2011; December 23, 2011, effective January 31, 2012; July 2, 2014, effective August 1, 2014; March 4, 2015, effective April 3, 2015; January 5, 2018, effective January 6, 2018; June 1, 2018, effective July 1, 2018; December 28, 2018, effective January 1, 2019; October 19, 2021, effective January 1, 2022.

Explanatory Comment—1994

The domestic relations office conference provided by Rule 1910.11 constitutes the heart of the support procedure. There are two primary advantages to the inclusion of a conference. First, in many cases the parties will agree upon an amount of support and a final order will be prepared, to be entered by the court, thus dispensing with a judicial hearing. Second, those cases which do go to hearing can proceed more quickly because the necessary factual information has already been gathered by the conference officer.

   Subdivision (a)(2)  prohibits certain officers of the court from practicing family law before fellow officers of the same court. These officers are the conference officer who is an attorney (Rule 1910.11), the hearing officer (Rule 1910.12), and the standing or permanent master who is employed by the court (Rule 1920.51). The amendments are not intended to apply to the attorney who is appointed occasionally to act as a master in a divorce action.

   Subdivision (e)(3)  makes clear that even if the parties agree on an amount of support, the conference officer is still empowered to recommend to the court that the agreement be disapproved. This provision is intended to protect the destitute spouse who might out of desperation agree to an amount of support that is unreasonably low or which would in effect bargain away the rights of the children. The officer’s disapproval of the agreement serves to prevent an inadequate order being entered unwittingly by the court.

   The provision for an interim order in subdivision (f) serves two purposes. First, it ensures that the obligee will receive needed support for the period during which the judicial determination is sought. Second, it eliminates the motive of delay in seeking a judicial determination.

   Because the guidelines are income driven, the trier of fact has little need for the expense information required in the Income and Expense Statement. Therefore in guideline cases, the rule no longer requires that expense information be provided. If a party feels that there are expenses so extraordinary that they merit consideration by the trier of fact, that party is free to provide the information. In cases decided according to Melzer v. Witsberger, 505 Pa. 462, 480 A.2d 991 (1984), living expenses are properly considered, and therefore must be presented on the Income and Expense Statement.

Explanatory Comment—1995

Rule 1910.11(e) is amended to eliminate the need for a party to request a copy of the conference summary.

   Because the court is required to enter a guideline order on the basis of the conference officer’s recommendation, there is no need for (g)(2), which provided for a hearing before the court where an order was not entered within five days of the conference. It is eliminated accordingly.

   Pursuant to subdivision (g), support payments are due and owing under the interim order which continues in effect until the court enters a final order after the hearing de novo. The provision for an interim order serves two purposes. First, it ensures that the obligee will receive needed support for the period during which the judicial determination is sought. Second, it eliminates the motive of delay in seeking a judicial determination. Therefore, the plaintiff and the dependent children are not prejudiced by allowing the court sixty days, rather than the original forty-five, in which to enter its final order.

Explanatory Comment—2006

The time for filing a written demand for a hearing before the court has been expanded from ten to twenty days. The purpose of this amendment is to provide ample opportunity for litigants and counsel to receive notice of the entry of the order, to assure Commonwealth-wide consistency in calculation of time for filing and to conform to applicable general civil procedural rules.

   The amendments reflect the separated Income Statement and Expense Statements in Rule 1910.27(c).

Explanatory Comment—2010

When the parties’ combined net income exceeds $ 30,000 per month, calculation of child support, spousal support and alimony pendente lite shall be pursuant to Rule 1910.16-3.1. Rule 1910.16-2(e) has been amended to eliminate the application of Melzer v. Witsberger, 505 Pa. 462, 480 A.2d 991 (1984), in high income child support cases.

Explanatory Comment—2011

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.

 

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Rule 1910.12. Office Conference. Hearing. Record. Exceptions. Order

   (a)  Office Conference.

There shall be an office conference as provided by Pa.R.C.P. No. 1910.11(a) through (d). The provisions of Rule 1910.11(d)(3) and (4) regarding income information apply in cases proceeding pursuant to Pa.R.C.P. No. 1910.12.

   (b)  Conference Conclusion.

            (1)  At the conclusion of a conference attended by both parties, if an agreement for support has not been reached, and the conference and hearing are not scheduled on the same day, the court, without hearing the parties, shall enter an interim order calculated in accordance with the guidelines and substantially in the form set forth in Pa.R.C.P. No. 1910.27(e), and the parties shall be given notice of the date, time and place of a hearing. A record hearing shall be conducted by a hearing officer who must be a lawyer.

      (2)  If either party, having been properly served, fails to attend the conference, the court may enter an interim order calculated in accordance with the guidelines and substantially in the form set forth in Pa.R.C.P. No. 1910.27(e). Within 20 days after the date of receipt or the date of mailing of the interim order, whichever occurs first, either party may demand a hearing before a hearing officer. If no hearing is requested, the order shall become final.

      (3)  Any lawyer serving as a hearing officer employed by, or under contract with, a judicial district or appointed by the court shall not practice family law before a conference officer, hearing officer, or judge of the same judicial district.

Note: Conference officers preside at office conferences under Pa.R.C.P. No.1910.11. Hearing officers preside at hearings under Pa.R.C.P. No.1910.12. The appointment of masters to hear actions in divorce or for annulment of marriage is authorized by Pa.R.C.P. No.1920.51.

   (c)  Separate Listing.

            (1)  Except as provided in subdivision (c)(2), promptly after the conference’s conclusion, a party may move the court for a separate listing of the hearing if:

(i)  there are complex questions of law, fact or both;

(ii)  the hearing will be protracted; or

(iii)  the orderly administration of justice requires that the hearing be listed separately.

      (2)  When the conference and hearing are scheduled on the same day, all requests for separate listing shall be presented to the court at least seven days prior to the scheduled court date.

      (3)  If the motion for separate listing is granted, discovery shall be available in accordance with Pa.R.C.P. No. 4001 et seq.

Note: The rule relating to discovery in domestic relations matters generally is Pa.R.C.P. No. 1930.5.

   (d)  The hearing officer shall receive evidence, hear argument and, not later than 20 days after the close of the record, file with the court a report containing a recommendation with respect to the entry of an order of support. The report may be in narrative form stating the reasons for the recommendation and shall include a proposed order substantially in the form set forth in Rule 1910.27(e) stating:

(1)  the amount of support calculated in accordance with the guidelines;

(2)  by and for whom it shall be paid; and

(3)  the effective date of the order.

   (e)  The court, without hearing the parties, shall enter an interim order consistent with the proposed order of the hearing officer. Each party shall be provided, either in person at the time of the hearing or by mail, with a copy of the interim order and written notice that any party may, within twenty days after the date of receipt or the date of mailing of the order, whichever occurs first, file with the domestic relations section written exceptions to the report of the hearing officer and interim order.

Note: Objections to the entry of an interim order consistent with the proposed order may be addressed pursuant to Rule 1910.26.

   (f)  Within twenty days after the date of receipt or the date of mailing of the report by the hearing officer, whichever occurs first, any party may file exceptions to the report or any part thereof, to rulings on objections to evidence, to statements or findings of facts, to conclusions of law, or to any other matters occurring during the hearing. Each exception shall set forth a separate objection precisely and without discussion. Matters not covered by exceptions are deemed waived unless, prior to entry of the final order, leave is granted to file exceptions raising those matters. If exceptions are filed, any other party may file exceptions within twenty days of the date of service of the original exceptions.

   (g)  If no exceptions are filed within the twenty-day period, the interim order shall constitute a final order.

   (h)  If exceptions are filed, the interim order shall continue in effect. The court shall hear argument on the exceptions and enter an appropriate final order substantially in the form set forth in Rule 1910.27(e) within sixty days from the date of the filing of exceptions to the interim order. No motion for post-trial relief may be filed to the final order.

    Adopted April 23, 1981, effective July 22, 1981. Amended Oct. 19, 1983, effective Jan. 1, 1984; March 23, 1987, effective July 1, 1987; Nov. 7, 1988, effective Jan. 1, 1989; Sept. 29, 1989, effective Oct. 15, 1989; March 30, 1994, effective July 1, 1994; Sept. 8, 1995, effective Jan. 1, 1996; May 5, 1997, effective July 1, 1997; May 31, 2000, effective July 1, 2000; Aug. 8, 2006, imd. effective; Aug. 26, 2011, effective Nov. 1, 2011; Dec. 23, 2011, effective Jan. 31, 2012; July 2, 2014, effective August 1, 2014; March 4, 2015, effective April 3, 2015; October 19, 2021, effective January 1, 2022.

Explanatory Comment—1995

   Language is added to subdivision (b) to acknowledge that the conference and hearing can be held the same day, and to provide for the immediate entry of an interim order in judicial districts where the hearing occurs at a later date. New subdivision (b)(2) permits entry of a guideline order after a conference which the defendant, though properly served, fails to attend. New subdivision (c)(2) is intended to prevent delays in the hearing of complex cases by requiring that requests for separate listing be made at least seven days in advance where the conference and hearing are scheduled on the same day.

   In addition, the phrase “record hearing” in subdivision (a) replaces the reference to a “stenographic record” in recognition of the variety of means available to create a reliable record of support proceedings.

   Amended subdivision (e) allows an interim order to be entered and served on the parties at the conclusion of the hearing, rather than after the expiration of the exceptions period as was true under the old rule. In addition, the amended subdivision requires that the interim order include language advising the parties of their right to file exceptions within ten days of the date of the order.

   Support payments are due and owing under the interim order which continues in effect until the court enters a final order after considering the parties’ exceptions. Therefore, extension of the deadline for entering the final order by fifteen days does not prejudice the persons dependent upon payment of the support.

Explanatory Comment—2006

   The time for filing exceptions has been expanded from ten to twenty days. The purpose of this amendment is to provide ample opportunity for litigants and counsel to receive notice of the entry of the order, to assure Commonwealth-wide consistency in calculation of time for filing and to conform to applicable general civil procedural rules.

Annotation

 

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Rule 1910.16-1. Support Obligation. Support Guidelines

(a) Applicability of the Support Guidelines.

(1) Except as provided in subdivision (a)(3), the support guidelines determine a spouse’s or parent’s support obligation based on the parties’ combined monthly net income, as defined in Pa.R.C.P. No. 1910.16-2, and the number of persons being supported.

(2) If a person caring for or having custody of a minor child, who does not have a duty of support to the minor child, initiates a child support action as provided in Pa.R.C.P. No. 1910.3:

(i) the complaint shall name the parents as defendants;

 

(ii) in determining the basic child support obligation, the monthly net income for the individual initiating the action shall not be considered in the support calculation by the trier-of-fact;

 

(iii) the parents’ monthly net incomes shall be combined to determine the basic child support obligation, which shall be apportioned based on the parents’ respective monthly net incomes consistent with Pa.R.C.P. No. 1910.16-4. The parents shall pay the obligee their proportionate share of the basic child support obligation as a separate obligor; and

 

(iv) as with other support actions, the trier-of-fact may adjust or deviate the basic child support, spousal support, or alimony pendente lite obligation consistent with the support guidelines based on the evidence presented by the parties.

 

Example 1. The parents have one child, who is in the custody of the maternal grandmother. Maternal grandmother initiates a support action against the parents. Mother’s monthly net income is $3,000 and Father’s monthly net income is $2,000 for a combined monthly net income of $5,000. For purposes of the child support calculation, maternal grandmother’s income is irrelevant and not part of the calculation. The basic child support obligation for one child at a combined monthly net income of $5,000 is $993 per month. Mother’s percentage share of the combined monthly net income is 60% ($3,000/$5,000) and Father’s percentage share of the combined monthly net income is 40% ($2,000/$5,000). Mother’s preliminary monthly share of the child support obligation is $596 ($993 x 60%) and Father’s preliminary monthly share of the child support obligation is $397 ($993 x 40%). Maternal grandmother is the obligee with Mother and Father as separate obligors owing $596 and $397, respectively, to the maternal grandmother. 

(3) In an action in which the plaintiff is a public body or private agency pursuant to Pa.R.C.P. No. 1910.3, the basic child support obligation shall be calculated under the guidelines based upon the parent’s monthly net income with the public or private entity’s monthly net income as zero. In such cases, each parent shall be treated as a separate obligor, and the parent’s obligation will be based upon the parent’s monthly net income without regard to the other parent’s monthly net income.

(i) The basic child support obligation owed to a child not in placement shall be deducted from each parent’s monthly net income before calculating support for the child in placement, including the direct support the support guidelines assume the custodial parent will provide.

 

Example 2. The parents have three children and do not live in the same household. Mother has primary custody of two children and monthly net income of $2,500 per month. Father’s monthly net income is $4,000. The parties’ third child is in foster care placement. Pursuant to the schedule in Pa.R.C.P. No. 1910.16-3, the basic child support obligation for the two children with Mother is $1,733. As Father’s income is 62% of the parties’ combined monthly net income, Father’s basic child support obligation to Mother is $1,074 per month. The guidelines assume that Mother will provide $659 per month in direct expenditures to the two children. The agency/obligee brings an action against each parent for the support of the child in placement. Father/obligor’s monthly net income will be $2,926 for purposes of this calculation ($4,000 less $1,074 in support for the children with Mother). As the agency/obligee’s income is zero, Father’s support for the child in placement will be 100% of the basic child support obligation for one child at the $2,926 income level, or $674 per month. Mother/obligor’s net income will be $1,841 for purposes of this calculation ($2,500 less $659 in direct support to the children in Mother’s custody. Mother’s support obligation will be 100% of the basic child support obligation for one child at that income level, or $423 per month.

 

Example 3. The parents have two children in placement. Father owes child support of $500 per month for two children of a former marriage. At the same income levels as in Example 2, Father’s monthly net income for determining his obligation to the children in placement would be $3,500 ($4,000 less $500 support for two children of prior marriage). Father’s obligation to the agency would be $1,205 per month (100% of the basic child support obligation for two children at the $3,500 per month income level). Mother’s monthly net income would not be diminished as she owes no other child support. Mother would owe $877 for the children in placement (100% of the basic child support obligation for two children at the $2,500 income level).

(ii) If the parents reside in the same household, each parent’s respective basic child support obligation to a child that remains in the household and is not in placement shall be calculated according to the guidelines, with the parent having the higher income as the obligor, and the calculated basic child support obligation shall be deducted from the parents’ monthly net incomes for purposes of calculating support for a child in placement.

 

Example 4. The parents have four children, two of whom are in placement. Mother’s monthly net income is $4,000 and Father’s is $3,000. The basic child support obligation for the two children in the home is $1,841, according to the schedule in Pa.R.C.P. No. 1910.16-3. As Mother’s monthly net income is 57% of the parties’ combined monthly net income, her share would be $1,049, and Father’s 43% share would be $792. Mother’s monthly net income for purposes of calculating support for the two children in placement would be $2,951 ($4,000 less $1,049). She would pay 100% of the basic child support obligation at that income level, or $1,026, for the children in placement. Father’s monthly net income would be $2,208 ($3,000 less $792), and his obligation to the children in placement would be $772.

 

(iii) If the basic child support obligation exceeds the placement’s cost, the trier-of-fact shall: 

(A) deviate the basic child support obligation downward; and 

(B) apply the parent’s percentage of the combined monthly net income to the reduced basic child support obligation. 

(4) The support of a spouse or child is a priority obligation so that a party is expected to meet this obligation by adjusting the party’s other expenditures. 

(b) Support Obligation. The support obligation (child support, spousal support, or alimony pendente lite) awarded pursuant to the Pa.R.C.P. Nos. 1910.11 and 1910.12 procedures shall be determined in accordance with the support guidelines, which consist of the guidelines expressed as the basic child support schedule in Pa.R.C.P. No. 1910.16-3, the Pa.R.C.P. No. 1910.16-4 formulas, and the operation of the support guidelines as set forth in these rules. 

(c) Spousal Support and Alimony Pendente Lite.

(1) Spousal support and alimony pendente lite orders shall not be in effect simultaneously. 

(2) In determining a spousal support or alimony pendente lite obligation’s duration, the trier-of-fact shall consider the marriage’s duration, i.e., the date of marriage to the date of final separation. 

(d) Rebuttable Presumption. If the trier-of-fact determines that a party has a duty to pay support, there is a rebuttable presumption that the guideline-calculated support obligation is the correct support obligation.

(1) The presumption is rebutted if the trier-of-fact concludes in a written finding or states on the record that the guideline support obligation is unjust or inappropriate. 

(2) The trier-of-fact shall consider the child’s and parties’ special needs and obligations, and apply the Pa.R.C.P. No. 1910.16-5 deviation factors, as appropriate.

(e) Support Guidelines Review. The support guidelines shall be reviewed at least every four years to ensure that their application determines the appropriate support obligation. 

 

Adopted Sept. 6, 1989, effective Sept. 30, 1989. Amended Jan. 27, 1993, imd. effective; Dec. 8, 1998, effective April 1, 1999; Oct. 27, 2000, imd. effective; Aug. 20, 2003, imd. effective; Sept. 27, 2005, effective in 4 months [Jan. 27, 2006]; Jan. 12, 2010, effective May 12, 2010; April 9, 2013, effective Aug. 9, 2013; Feb. 10, 2017, effective May 1, 2017; Aug. 3, 2017, effective Oct. 1, 2017; Dec. 28, 2018, effective Jan. 1, 2019; Aug. 17, 2021, effective Jan. 1, 2022.

 

EXPLANATORY COMMENT--2003

 

New subdivision (2) is intended to clarify in particular the calculation of child support when a child is in a foster care or institutional placement and not in the custody of either parent. 

EXPLANATORY COMMENT--2010

 

Introduction. Pennsylvania law requires that child and spousal support be awarded pursuant to a statewide guideline. 23 Pa.C.S. § 4322(a). That statute further provides that the guideline shall be “established by general rule by the Supreme Court, so that persons similarly situated shall be treated similarly.” Id. 

 

Pursuant to federal law, The Family Support Act of 1988 (P.L. 100-485, 102 Stat. 2343 (1988), all states are required to have statewide child support guidelines. Federal regulations, 45 C.F.R. § 302.56, further require that the guidelines be reviewed at least once every four years and that such reviews include an assessment of the most recent economic data on child-rearing costs and a review of data from case files to assure that deviations from the guidelines are limited. The Pennsylvania statute also requires a review of the support guidelines every four years. 23 Pa.C.S.A. § 4322(a)

 

The Domestic Relations Procedural Rules Committee of the Supreme Court of Pennsylvania began the mandated review process in 2007. The committee was assisted in its work by Jane Venohr, Ph.D., an economist with the Center for Policy Research, under contract between the Pennsylvania Department of Public Welfare and Policy Studies, Inc. As a result of the review, the committee recommended to the Supreme Court several amendments to the statewide guidelines. 

 

  1. Income Shares Model. Pennsylvania’s child support guidelines are based upon the Income Shares Model. That model was developed under the Child Support Guidelines Project funded by the U.S. Office of Child Support Enforcement and administered by the National Center for State Courts. The Guidelines Project Advisory Group recommended the Income Shares Model for state guidelines. At present, 37 states use the Income Shares Model as a basis for their child support guidelines. 

 

The Income Shares Model is based upon the concept that the child of separated, divorced or never-married parents should receive the same proportion of parental income that she or he would have received if the parents lived together. A number of authoritative economic studies provide estimates of the average amount of household expenditures for children in intact households. These studies show that the proportion of household spending devoted to children is directly related to the level of household income and to the number of the children. The basic support amounts reflected in the schedule in Rule 1910.16-3 represent average marginal expenditures on children for food, housing, transportation, clothing and other miscellaneous items that are needed by children and provided by their parents, including the first $250 of unreimbursed medical expenses incurred annually per child. 

 

  1. Economic Measures. The support schedule in Rule 1910.16-3 is based upon child-rearing expenditures measured by David M. Betson, Ph.D., Professor of Economics, University of Notre Dame. Dr. Betson’s measurements were developed for the U.S. Department of Health and Human Services for the explicit purpose of assisting states with the development and revision of child support guidelines. Dr. Betson’s research also was used in developing the prior schedule, effective in January 2006. Dr. Betson updates his estimates using data from the Consumer Expenditure Survey conducted by the U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics. In the current schedule, those figures were converted to 2008 price levels using the Consumer Price Index. 

 

  1. Source of Data. The estimates used to develop the schedule are based upon national data. The specific sources of the data are the periodic Consumer Expenditure Surveys. Those national surveys are used because they are the most detailed available source of data on household expenditures. The depth and quality of this information is simply not available at the state level and would be prohibitively costly to gather. 

 

The U.S. Department of Agriculture’s Center for Nutrition Policy and Promotion (“CNPP”) also develops economic estimates for the major categories of child-rearing expenditures. Although the committee reviewed these estimates, it is aware of only one state that relies upon the CNPP estimates as a basis for its child support schedule, and even that state makes certain adjustments. 

 

  1. Statutory Considerations. The Pennsylvania statute, 23 Pa.C.S.A. § 4322(a), provides: 

 

Child and spousal support shall be awarded pursuant to a Statewide guideline as established by general rule by the Supreme Court, so that persons similarly situated shall be treated similarly. The guideline shall be based upon the reasonable needs of the child or spouse seeking support and the ability of the obligor to provide support. In determining the reasonable needs of the child or spouse seeking support and the ability of the obligor to provide support, the guideline shall place primary emphasis on the net incomes and earning capacities of the parties, with allowable deviations for unusual needs, extraordinary expenses and other factors, such as the parties’ assets, as warrant special attention. The guideline so developed shall be reviewed at least once every four years. 

 

  1. Reasonable Needs and Reasonable Ability to Provide Support. The guidelines make financial support of a child a primary obligation and assume that parties with similar net incomes will have similar reasonable and necessary expenses. After the basic needs of the parents have been met, the child’s needs shall receive priority. The guidelines assume that if the obligor’s net income is at the poverty level, he or she is barely able to provide for his or her own basic needs. In those cases, therefore, the entry of a minimal order may be appropriate after considering the party’s living expenses. In some cases, it may not be appropriate to enter a support order at all. In most cases, however, a party’s living expenses are not relevant in determining his or her support obligation. Rather, as the statute requires, the obligation is based upon the reasonable needs of a dependent spouse or child and the reasonable ability of the obligor to pay. 

 

  1. Net Income. The guidelines use the net incomes of the parties. Each parent is required to contribute to a share of the child’s reasonable needs in proportion to that parent’s share of the combined net income. The custodial parent makes these contributions through direct expenditures for food, shelter, clothing, transportation and other reasonable needs. The non-custodial parent makes contributions through periodic support payments to the custodial parent. Rule 1910.16-2(d) has been amended to clarify the provisions relating to income and earning capacity. 

 

  1. Allowable Deviations. The guidelines are designed to treat similarly situated parents, spouses and children in the same manner. However, when there are unavoidable differences, deviations must be made from the guidelines. Failure to deviate from these guidelines by considering a party’s actual expenditures where there are special needs and special circumstances constitutes a misapplication of the guidelines. 

 

  1. Child Support Schedule. The child support schedule in Rule 1910.16-3 has been amended to reflect updated economic data, as required by federal and state law, to ensure that children continue to receive adequate levels of support. The support amounts in the schedule have been expanded to apply to a combined net monthly income of $30,000 and remain statistically valid. The economic data support the revised schedule. 

 

  1. Self-Support Reserve (“SSR”). The amended schedule also incorporates an increase in the “Self-Support Reserve” or “SSR” from $748 per month to $867 per month, the 2008 federal poverty level for one person. Formerly designated as the “Computed Allowance Minimum” or “CAM,” the Self-Support Reserve, as it is termed in most other states’ guidelines, is intended to assure that low-income obligors retain sufficient income to meet their own basic needs, as well as to maintain the incentive to continue employment. The SSR is built into the schedule in Rule 1910.16-3 and adjusts the basic support obligation to prevent the obligor’s net income from falling below $867 per month. Because the schedule in Rule 1910.16-3 applies to child support only, Rule 1910.16-2(e)(1)(B) provides for a similar adjustment in spousal support and alimony pendente lite cases to assure that the obligor retains a minimum of $867 per month. 

 

  1. Shared Custody. In creating the new schedule, the amounts of basic child support were first increased to reflect updated economic data, including 2008 price levels. Next, the amounts of basic child support were adjusted to incorporate into the schedule the assumption that the children spend 30% of the time with the obligor and that the obligor makes direct expenditures on their behalf during that time. That does not mean that the entire schedule was reduced by 30%. Only those variable expenditures, such as food and entertainment, that fluctuate based upon parenting time were adjusted. 

 

The calculation in Rule 1910.16-4(c) reduces an obligor’s support obligation further if the obligor spends significantly more time with the children. The revised schedule assumes that the obligor has 30% parenting time. The obligor will receive an additional 10% reduction in the amount of support owed at 40% parenting time, increasing incrementally to a 20% reduction at 50% parenting time. This method may still result in a support obligation even if custody of the children is equally shared. In those cases, the rule provides for a maximum obligation which may reduce the obligation so that the obligee does not receive a larger portion of the parties’ combined income than the obligor. 

 

  1. Child Care Expenses. Rule 1910.16-6(a) was amended in 2006 to provide that child care expenses incurred by both parties shall be apportioned between the parties in recognition of the fact that a non-custodial parent also may incur such expenses during his or her custodial periods with the children. 

 

  1. Spousal Support and Alimony Pendente Lite. Subdivision (c) has been amended to require the court to consider the duration of the marriage in determining the duration of a spousal support or alimony pendente lite award. The language was moved from Rule 1910.16-5 which deals with deviation. The primary purpose of this provision 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. 

 

  1. Other Amendments. All of the examples in the guidelines have been updated to reflect the changes to the basic child support schedule. Prior explanatory comments have been deleted or revised and incorporated into new comments. 

EXPLANATORY COMMENT--2013

 

The schedule of basic child support has been updated to reflect newer economic data. The schedule was prepared by Jane Venohr, Ph.D., the economist who assisted in the last guideline review using the same methodology. It includes an increase in the Self-Support Reserve to $931 per month, the 2012 federal poverty level for one person.

 

EXPLANATORY COMMENT--2017

 

Pursuant to Pa.R.C.P. No. 1910.3(a), a person having custody of a child or caring for a child may initiate a support action against the child’s parent(s). Previously, this rule only addressed when a public body or private agency had custody of a child but was silent with regard to an individual third party, e.g., grandparent, seeking support. The rule has been amended by adding a new subdivision (a)(2) and renumbering the previous (a)(2) to (a)(3). In addition, an example illustrating the new (a)(2) calculation has been included. 

 

Subdivision (a)(2) excludes the income of the third party/obligee, as that person does not have a duty of support to the child; instead, the rule uses the combined monthly net income of the parents to determine the basic child support amount, which is then apportioned between the parents consistent with their respective percentage of the combined monthly net income in the same manner as a parent vs. parent support action. However, under this rule, each parent would be a separate obligor, would pay the obligee their proportionate share under a separate support order, and would be subject to separate enforcement proceedings. Under (a)(2), the exclusion of the third party’s income is consistent with Pa.R.C.P. No. 1910.16-2(b)(2)(ii) as that rule relates to an action for support by a third party against a surviving parent in which the child receives a Social Security derivative benefit due to the death of the other parent. 

 

In accordance with Pa.R.C.P. No. 1910.16-6(c), payment of the first $250 of unreimbursed medical expenses per year per child is applicable to third party/obligees in support actions governed by (a)(2). The first $250 of unreimbursed medical expenses is built into the Basic Child Support Schedule.

 

__________________________

 

 

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

 

Generally, the basic child support, spousal support, or alimony pendente lite obligation is based on the parties’ monthly net incomes.

 

(a) Monthly Gross Income. Monthly gross income is ordinarily based on at least a six-month average of a party’s income. The support law, 23 Pa.C.S. § 4302, defines the term “income” and includes income from any source. The statute lists many types of income including, but not limited to:

 

 

(1) wages, salaries, bonuses, fees, and commissions;

 

 

(2) net income from business or dealings in property;

 

 

(3) interest, rents, royalties, and dividends;

 

 

(4) pensions and all forms of retirement;

 

 

(5) income from an interest in an estate or trust;

 

 

(6) Social Security disability benefits, Social Security retirement benefits, temporary and permanent disability benefits, workers’ compensation, and unemployment compensation;

 

 

(7) alimony if, in the trier-of-fact’s discretion, inclusion of part or all of it is appropriate; and

 

 

Note: In determining the appropriateness of including alimony in gross income, the trier-of-fact shall consider whether the party receiving the alimony must include the amount received as gross income when filing federal income taxes. If the alimony is not includable in the party’s gross income for federal income tax purposes, the trier-of-fact may include in the party’s monthly net income the alimony received, as appropriate. See Pa.R.C.P. No. 1910.16-2(c)(2)(ii).

 

 

Since the reasons for ordering payment of alimony vary, the appropriateness of including it in the recipient’s gross income must also vary. For example, if the obligor is paying $1,000 per month in alimony for the express purpose of financing the obligee’s college education, it would be inappropriate to consider that alimony as income from which the obligee could provide child support. However, if alimony is intended to finance the obligee’s general living expenses, inclusion of the alimony as income is appropriate.

 

 

(8) other entitlements to money or lump sum awards, without regard to source, including:

 

 

(i) lottery winnings;

 

 

(ii) income tax refunds;

 

 

(iii) insurance compensation or settlements;

 

 

(iv) awards and verdicts; and

 

 

(v) payments due to and collectible by an individual regardless of source.

 

 

Note: The trier-of-fact determines the most appropriate method for imputing lump-sum awards as income for purposes of establishing or modifying the party’s support obligation. These awards may be annualized or averaged over a shorter or longer period depending on the case’s circumstances. The trier-of-fact may require all or part of the lump sum award escrowed to secure the support obligation during that period.

 

 

The trier-of-fact shall not include income tax refunds in a party’s income, if the trier-of-fact factored in the tax refund when calculating the party’s actual tax obligation and monthly net income.

 

 

(b) Treatment of Public Assistance, SSI Benefits, Social Security Payments to a Child Due to a Parent’s Death, Disability or Retirement and Foster Care Payments.

 

 

(1) Public Assistance and SSI Benefits. Neither public assistance nor Supplemental Security Income (SSI) benefits shall be included as income for determining support.

 

 

(2) Child’s Social Security Derivative Benefits.

 

 

(i) If a child is receiving Social Security derivative benefits due to a parent’s retirement or disability:

 

 

(A) The trier-of-fact shall determine the basic child support obligation as follows:

 

 

(I) add the child’s benefit to the monthly net income of the party who receives the child’s benefit;

 

 

(II) calculate the parties’ combined monthly net income, including the child’s benefit;

 

 

(III) determine the basic child support obligation set forth in the Pa.R.C.P. No. 1910.16-3 schedule; and

 

 

(IV) apportion the basic child support obligation between the parties based on the party’s percentage of the combined monthly net income.

 

 

(B) If the obligee receives the child’s benefit, the trier-of-fact shall deduct the child’s benefit from the basic child support obligation of the party whose retirement or disability created the child’s benefit.

 

 

(C) If the obligor receives the child’s benefit, the trier-of-fact shall not deduct the child’s benefit from the obligor’s basic child support obligation, even if the obligor’s retirement or disability created the child’s benefit. To illustrate for the parties the impact of the obligor receiving the benefit instead of the obligee, the trier-of-fact shall provide the parties with two calculations theoretically assigning the benefit to each household.

 

 

(D) The trier-of-fact shall allocate the expenses in Pa.R.C.P. No. 1910.16-6(a)-(e) based on the parties’ monthly net incomes without considering the child’s benefit.

 

 

(E) In equally shared custody cases, the party with the higher monthly net income, excluding the child’s benefit, is the obligor.

 

 

(ii) If a child is receiving Social Security derivative benefits due to a parent’s death, the trier-of-fact shall determine the surviving parent’s basic child support obligation as follows.

 

 

(A) The non-parent obligee’s monthly net income shall include only those funds the obligee is receiving on the child’s behalf, including the Social Security derivative benefit.

 

 

(B) If the surviving-parent obligor receives the Social Security derivative benefit, the benefit shall be added to the parent’s monthly net income to calculate child support.

 

 

(3) Foster Care Payments. If a party to a support action is a foster parent or is receiving payments from a public or private agency for the care of a child who is not the party’s biological or adoptive child, the trier-of-fact shall not include those payments in the party’s monthly net income for purposes of calculating child support for the foster parent’s or other caretaker’s biological or adoptive child.

 

 

Example 1. The obligor has monthly net income of $2,000. The obligee’s monthly net income is $1,500 and the obligee, as primary custodial parent of the parties’ two children, receives $700 per month in Social Security derivative benefits on behalf of the children as a result of the obligor’s disability. Add the children’s benefit to the obligee’s income, which now is $2,200 per month. At the parties’ combined monthly net income of $4,200, the basic child support obligation for two children is $1,372. As the obligor’s income is 48% of the parties’ combined monthly net income, the obligor’s preliminary share of the basic child support obligation is $659. However, because the obligor’s disability created the children’s Social Security derivative benefits that the obligee is receiving, the obligor’s obligation is reduced by the amount of the benefit, $700. As the support obligation cannot be less than zero, the obligor’s basic child support obligation is $0 per month. If it were the obligee’s disability that created the benefit, the obligor’s basic child support obligation would remain $659. If the obligor were receiving the children’s benefit as a result of the obligor’s retirement or disability, the obligor’s monthly net income would include the amount of the benefit and total $2,700, or 64% of the parties’ combined monthly net income. The obligor’s share of the basic child support obligation would then be $878 and would not be reduced by the amount of the children’s benefit because the obligor, not the obligee, is receiving the benefit. Therefore, the obligor’s basic child support obligation is less if the obligee is receiving the benefit created by the obligor.

 

 

Example 2. Two children live with Grandmother who receives $800 per month in Social Security death benefits for the children as a result of Father’s death. Grandmother also receives $500 per month from a trust established by Father for the benefit of the children. Grandmother is employed and earns $2,000 net per month. Grandmother seeks support from the children’s mother, who earns $2,000 net per month. For purposes of calculating Mother’s basic child support obligation, Grandmother’s income will be $1,300, the amount she receives on the children’s behalf in Social Security derivative benefits and the trust income. (If Mother were receiving the benefit on the children’s behalf, the benefit would be added to Mother’s monthly net income and would be $2,800. Grandmother’s monthly net income would be $500.) Therefore, Mother’s and Grandmother’s combined monthly net income totals $3,300. The basic child support obligation at the $3,300 monthly net income level for two children is $1,137. As Mother’s monthly net income of $2,000 is 61% of the parties’ combined monthly net income of $3,300, Mother’s basic child support obligation is $694. Since Mother’s retirement or disability did not generate the child’s derivative benefit, the benefit amount is not subtracted from Mother’s basic child support obligation, and Mother owes Grandmother $694. If Grandmother was not receiving the children’s derivative benefits or trust income, Grandmother’s monthly net income for purposes of calculating Mother’s basic child support obligation would be zero, and Mother would pay 100% of the basic child support obligation because Grandmother has no duty to support the children.

 

 

Note: Care must be taken to distinguish Social Security from Supplemental Security Income (SSI) benefits. Social Security benefits are income pursuant to subdivision (a) of this rule.

 

 

(c) Monthly Net Income.

 

 

(1) Unless these rules provide otherwise, the trier-of-fact shall deduct only the following items from monthly gross income to arrive at monthly net income:

 

 

(i) federal, state, and local income taxes;

 

 

(ii) unemployment compensation taxes and Local Services Taxes (LST);

 

 

(iii) F.I.C.A. payments (Social Security, Medicare and Self-Employment taxes) and non-voluntary retirement payments;

 

 

(iv) mandatory union dues; and

 

 

(v) alimony paid to the other party.

 

 

(2) In computing a spousal support or alimony pendente lite obligation, the trier-of-fact shall:

 

 

(i) deduct from the obligor’s monthly net income child support, spousal support, alimony pendente lite, or alimony amounts paid to children and former spouses, who are not part of this action; and

 

 

(ii) include in a party’s monthly net income alimony pendente lite or alimony received from a former spouse that was not included in the party’s gross income, as provided in subdivision (a).

 

 

Note: Since the reasons for ordering payment of alimony vary, the appropriateness of including it in the recipient’s monthly net income must also vary. For example, if the obligor is paying $1,000 per month in alimony for the express purpose of financing the obligee’s college education, it would be inappropriate to consider that alimony as income from which the obligee could provide child support. However, if alimony is intended to finance the obligee’s general living expenses, inclusion of the alimony as income is appropriate.

 

 

(d) Reduced Income or Fluctuating Earnings.

 

 

(1) Voluntary Income Reduction. The trier-of-fact shall not downwardly adjust a party’s net income if the trier-of-fact finds that:

 

 

(i) the party’s income reduction resulted from the party willfully attempting to favorably affect the party’s basic support obligation; or

 

 

(ii) the party voluntarily assumed a lower paying job, quit a job, left employment, changed occupations, changed employment status to pursue an education, or employment is terminated due to willful misconduct.

 

 

(2) Involuntary Income Reduction. Incarceration. Earnings Fluctuations.

 

 

(i) Involuntary Income Reduction. The trier-of-fact shall adjust a party’s monthly net income for substantial continuing involuntary decreases in income due to an employment situation over which the party has no control, including, but not limited to, illness, lay-off, termination, or job elimination.

 

 

(ii) Incarceration.

 

 

(A) Except as set forth in subdivision (d)(2)(ii)(B), the trier-of-fact shall:

 

 

(I) consider an incarcerated party’s income reduction as an involuntary income reduction as set forth in subdivision (d)(2)(i); and

 

 

(II) adjust the incarcerated party’s monthly net income accordingly.

 

 

(B) Exception.

 

 

(I) A party’s incarceration shall not constitute an involuntary income reduction when the incarceration is due to support enforcement purposes or a criminal offense in which the party’s dependent child or the obligee was the victim; and

 

 

(II) The trier-of-fact makes a written finding that downwardly adjusting the incarcerated party’s monthly net income would be unjust or inappropriate and, in a child support action, takes into consideration the child’s best interest.

 

 

(iii) Earnings Fluctuations. The trier-of-fact shall not adjust a party’s monthly net income due to normal or temporary earnings fluctuations.

 

 

(3) Seasonal Employees. Generally, the trier-of-fact shall base a seasonal employee’s monthly net income on a yearly average.

 

 

(4) Earning Capacity.

 

 

(i) When a party willfully fails to obtain or maintain appropriate employment, the trier-of-fact may impute to the party an income equal to the party’s earning capacity.

 

 

(A) Earning Capacity Limitation. The trier-of-fact:

 

 

(I) shall not impute to the party an earning capacity that exceeds the amount the party could earn from one full-time position; and

 

 

(II) shall determine a reasonable work regimen based upon the party’s relevant circumstances, including the jobs available within a particular occupation, working hours and conditions, and whether a party has exerted substantial good faith efforts to find employment.

 

 

(B) The trier-of-fact shall base the party’s earning capacity on the subdivision (d)(4)(ii) factors.

 

 

(C) After assessing a party’s earning capacity, the trier-of-fact shall state the reasons for the assessment in writing or on the record.

 

 

(D) When the trier-of-fact imputes an earning capacity to a party who would incur childcare expenses if the party were employed, the trier-of-fact shall consider reasonable childcare responsibilities and expenses.

 

 

(ii) Factors. In determining a party’s earning capacity, the trier-of-fact shall consider the party’s:

 

 

(A) child care responsibilities and expenses;

 

 

(B) assets;

 

 

(C) residence;

 

 

(D) employment and earnings history;

 

 

(E) job skills;

 

 

(F) educational attainment;

 

 

(G) literacy;

 

 

(H) age;

 

 

(I) health;

 

 

(J) criminal record and other employment barriers;

 

 

(K) record of seeking work;

 

 

(L) local job market, including the availability of employers who are willing to hire the party;

 

 

(M) local community prevailing earnings level; and

 

 

(N) other relevant factors.

 

 

Note: See 45 C.F.R. § 302.56(c)(1)(iii) regarding earning capacity factors.

 

 

(e) Net Income Affecting Application of the Support Guidelines.

 

 

(1) Low-Income Cases.

 

 

(i) Self-Support Reserve (SSR).

 

 

(A) The SSR is the minimum monthly net income reserved to the obligor to meet the obligor’s basic needs.

 

 

(B) The SSR amount is $ 1,063 per month.

 

 

(ii) Action for Child Support Only. When the obligor’s monthly net income and the number of children in the action intersect in the Basic Child Support Schedule’s shaded area as set forth in Pa.R.C.P. No. 1910.16-3, the trier-of-fact shall determine the obligor’s basic child support obligation utilizing the lesser of the two calculated amounts from the following methodologies.

 

 

(A) The initial calculation is determined by using the obligor’s monthly net income only, the schedule set forth in Pa.R.C.P. No. 1910.16-3, and the number of children.

 

 

(B) The second calculation is determined by using the parties’ combined monthly net income and the basic child support formula in Pa.R.C.P. No. 1910.16-4(a).

 

 

(C) If the obligor’s monthly net income is at or below the SSR, the trier-of-fact may award support only after consideration of the parties’ actual financial resources and living expenses.

 

 

Example 1: The parties have two children. The obligee has monthly net income of $2,500. The obligor has monthly net income of $1,500, which falls into the shaded area of the schedule for two children. The initial calculation is made using only the obligor’s monthly net income. The basic child support obligation for two children would be $397. The second calculation uses the parties’ combined monthly net income. The parties’ combined monthly net income is $4,000. The basic child support obligation for two children is $1,340. The obligor’s proportionate share of the parties’ combined monthly net income is 38% with a basic child support obligation of $509. The obligor’s basic child support obligation using only the obligor’s monthly net income is less than the calculated amount using the parties’ combined monthly net income. As a result, the trier-of-fact should award the lesser amount, and the obligor’s basic child support obligation is $397.

 

 

(iii) Action for Spousal Support/Alimony Pendente Lite Only.

 

 

(A) After calculating the spousal support or alimony pendente lite obligation as provided in Pa.R.C.P. No. 1910.16-4, the spousal support obligation shall not reduce the obligor’s monthly net income below the SSR.

 

 

(B) If the obligor’s monthly net income after subtracting the spousal support or alimony pendente lite obligation is less than the SSR, the trier-of-fact shall adjust the spousal support or alimony pendente lite obligation downward by an amount sufficient for the obligor to retain the SSR amount.

 

 

Example 2: The obligor has $1,200 monthly net income, and the obligee has $300 monthly net income. The formula in Pa.R.C.P. No. 1910.16-4(a)(1)(Part B) would result in a monthly spousal support obligation of $276 (($1,200 x 33% = $396) minus ($300 x 40% = $120) for a total of $276)). Since this amount leaves the obligor with only $924 per month, the trier-of-fact should adjust the support obligation so the obligor retains at least $1,063 per month. Therefore, the spousal support obligation is $137 per month ($1,200 - $1,063).

 

 

(iv) Action with Child Support and Spousal Support or Alimony Pendente Lite.

 

 

(A) The trier-of-fact shall calculate the spousal support or alimony pendente lite obligation as provided in Pa.R.C.P. No. 1910.16-4.

 

 

(B) The trier-of-fact shall subtract the calculated spousal support or alimony pendente lite obligation from the obligor’s monthly net income to determine the obligor’s adjusted monthly net income.

 

 

(C) When the obligor’s adjusted monthly net income and the number of children in the action intersect in the Basic Child Support Schedule’s shaded area as set forth in Pa.R.C.P. No. 1910.16-3, the trier-of-fact:

 

 

(I) shall not award spousal support or alimony pendente lite; and

 

 

(II) shall calculate child support as provided in subdivision (e)(1)(ii).

 

 

Example 3: Obligor and obligee have monthly net incomes of $2,000 and $165, respectively, and have two children. Calculating spousal support under subdivision (e)(1)(iv)(A) results in a spousal support obligation of $450 ($2,000 x 25% minus $165 x 30%). Obligor’s adjusted monthly net income ($2,000 minus $450) is $1,550. Obligor’s adjusted monthly net income of $1,550 with two children is in the shaded area of the Basic Child Support Schedule, and as a result, the trier-of-fact shall not award spousal support. Instead, the trier-of-fact should award child support only as provided in subdivision (e)(1)(ii).

 

 

(D) When the obligor’s monthly net income and the number of children in the action do not intersect in the Basic Child Support Schedule’s shaded area as set forth in Pa.R.C.P. No. 1910.16-3, the trier-of-fact shall calculate child support consistent with Pa.R.C.P. No. 1910.16-4.

 

 

(I) The combined spousal support or alimony pendente lite and basic child support obligations shall not reduce the obligor’s remaining monthly net income below the SSR.

 

 

(II) If the obligor’s monthly net income after subtracting the spousal support or alimony pendente lite and basic child support obligations is less than the SSR, the trier-of-fact shall adjust the support obligation downward by an amount sufficient for the obligor to retain the SSR amount.

 

 

(2) High-Income Cases. If the parties’ combined monthly net income exceeds $30,000, the trier-of-fact shall calculate child support, spousal support, or alimony pendente lite pursuant to Pa.R.C.P. No. 1910.16-3.1.

 

 

Note: See Hanrahan v. Bakker, 186 A.3d 958 (Pa. 2018).

 

 

(f) Child Tax Credit. In order to maximize the total income available to the parties and children, the trier-of-fact may award, as appropriate, the federal child tax credit to the non-custodial parent, or to either parent in cases of equally shared custody, and require the other party to execute the waiver required by the Internal Revenue Code, 26 U.S.C. § 152(e). The trier-of-fact shall consider the tax consequences associated with the federal child tax credit in calculating the party’s monthly net income available for support.

 

 

Adopted Dec. 8, 1998, effective April 1, 1999. Amended Oct. 27, 2000, imd. effective; Oct. 30, 2001, imd. effective; Nov. 9, 2004, imd. effective; Sept. 27, 2005, effective in 4 months [Jan. 27, 2006]; Jan. 5, 2010, imd. effective; Jan. 12, 2010, effective May 12, 2010; Aug. 26, 2011, effective Sept. 30, 2011; Nov. 5, 2012, effective Dec. 5, 2012; April 9, 2013, effective Aug. 9, 2013; April 29, 2015, effective July 1, 2015; Feb. 10, 2017, effective May 1, 2017; Feb. 9, 2018, effective April 1, 2018; Dec. 28, 2018, effective Jan. 1, 2019; Aug. 17, 2021, effective Jan. 1, 2022.

 

EXPLANATORY COMMENT--2010

 

Subdivision (a) addresses gross income for purposes of calculating the support obligation by reference to the statutory definition at 23 Pa.C.S. § 4322. Subdivision (b) provides for the treatment of public assistance, SSI benefits, Social Security derivative benefits, and foster care payments.

 

 

Subdivision (c) sets forth the exclusive list of the deductions that may be taken from gross income in arriving at a party’s net income. When the cost of health insurance premiums is treated as an additional expense subject to allocation between the parties under Pa.R.C.P. No. 1910.16-6, it is not deductible from gross income. However, part or all of the cost of health insurance premiums may be deducted from the obligor’s gross income pursuant to Pa.R.C.P. No. 1910.16-6(b) in cases in which the obligor is paying the premiums and the obligee has no income or minimal income. Subdivision (c) relates to spousal support or alimony pendente lite awards when there are multiple families. In these cases, a party’s monthly net income must be reduced to account for his or her child support obligations, as well as any pre-existing spousal support, alimony pendente lite or alimony obligations being paid to former spouses who are not the subject of the support action.

 

 

Subdivision (d) has been amended to clarify the distinction between voluntary and involuntary changes in income and the imputing of earning capacity. Statutory provisions at 23 Pa.C.S. § 4322, as well as case law, are clear that a support obligation is based upon the ability of a party to pay, and that the concept of an earning capacity is intended to reflect a realistic, rather than a theoretical, ability to pay support. Amendments to subdivision (d) are intended to clarify when imposition of an earning capacity is appropriate.

 

 

Subdivision (e) has been amended to reflect the updated schedule in Pa.R.C.P. No. 1910.16-3 and the increase in the Self-Support Reserve (“SSR”). The schedule now applies to all cases in which the parties’ combined monthly net income is $30,000 or less. The upper income limit of the prior schedule was only $20,000. The support amount at each income level of the schedule also has changed, so the examples in Pa.R.C.P. No. 1910.16-2 were revised to be consistent with the new support amounts.

 

 

The SSR is intended to assure that obligors with low incomes retain sufficient income to meet their basic needs and to maintain the incentive to continue employment. When the obligor’s monthly net income or earning capacity falls into the shaded area of the schedule, the basic child support obligation can be derived directly from the schedule in Pa.R.C.P. No. 1910.16-3. There is no need to use the formula in Pa.R.C.P. No. 1910.16-4 to calculate the obligor’s support obligation because the SSR keeps the amount of the obligation the same regardless of the obligee’s income. The obligee’s income may be a relevant factor, however, in determining whether to deviate from the basic guideline obligation pursuant to Pa.R.C.P. No. 1910.16-5 and in considering whether to require the obligor to contribute to any additional expenses under Pa.R.C.P. No. 1910.16-6.

 

 

Since the schedule in Pa.R.C.P. No. 1910.16-3 sets forth basic child support only, subdivision (e)(1)(ii) is necessary to reflect the operation of the SSR in spousal support and alimony pendente lite cases. It adjusts the basic guideline obligation, which would otherwise be calculated under the formula in Pa.R.C.P. No. 1910.16-4, so that the obligor’s income does not fall below the SSR amount in these cases.

 

 

Previously, the SSR required that the obligor retain at least $748 per month. The SSR now requires that the obligor retain income of at least $867 per month, an amount equal to the 2008 federal poverty level for one person. When the obligor’s monthly net income is less than $867, subdivision (e)(1)(iii) provides that the trier-of-fact must consider the parties’ actual living expenses before awarding support. The guidelines assume that at this income level the obligor is barely able to meet basic personal needs. In these cases, therefore, entry of a minimal order may be appropriate. In some cases, it may not be appropriate to order support at all.

 

 

The schedule at Pa.R.C.P. No. 1910.16-3 sets forth the presumptive amount of basic child support to be awarded. If the circumstances warrant, the trier-of-fact may deviate from that amount under Pa.R.C.P. No. 1910.16-5 and may also consider a party’s contribution to additional expenses, which are typically added to the basic amount of support under Pa.R.C.P. No. 1910.16-6. If, for example, the obligor earns only $900 per month but is living with his or her parents, or has remarried and is living with a fully-employed spouse, the trier-of-fact may consider an upward deviation under Pa.R.C.P. No. 1910.16-5(b)(3) or may order the party to contribute to the additional expenses under Pa.R.C.P. No. 1910.16-6. Consistent with the goals of the SSR, however, the trier-of-fact should ensure that the overall support obligation leaves the obligor with sufficient income to meet basic personal needs and to maintain the incentive to continue working so that support can be paid.

 

 

Subdivision (e) also has been amended to eliminate the application of Melzer v. Witsberger, 480 A.2d 991 (Pa. 1984), in high-income child support cases. In cases in which the parties’ combined net monthly income exceeds $30,000, child support will be calculated in accordance with the three-step process in Pa.R.C.P. No. 1910.16-3.1(a).

 

EXPLANATORY COMMENT--2013

 

The SSR has been increased to $931, the 2012 federal poverty level for one person. Subdivision (e) has been amended to require that when the obligor’s income falls into the shaded area of the basic child support schedule in Pa.R.C.P. No. 1910.16-3, two calculations must be performed. One calculation uses only the obligor’s income and the other is a regular calculation using both parties’ incomes, awarding the lower amount to the obligee. The two-step process is intended to address those cases in which the obligor has minimal income and the obligee’s income is substantially greater.

 

EXPLANATORY COMMENT--2015

 

The rule has been amended to provide that a party’s support obligation will be reduced by the child’s Social Security derivative benefit amount if that party’s retirement or disability created the benefit and the benefit is being paid to the household in which the child primarily resides or the obligee in cases of equally shared custody. In most cases, payment of the benefit to the obligee’s household will increase the resources available to the child and the parties. The rule is intended to encourage parties to direct that the child’s benefits be paid to the obligee.

 

EXPLANATORY COMMENT--2021

 

The Self-Support Reserve is determined by the Federal Poverty Guideline for one person converted to a monthly amount -- currently $1,063 -- for the year the Basic Child Support Schedule was derived.

 

 

Subdivision (e)(1) addresses low-income cases and has been completely rewritten and identifies the current monthly Self-Support Reserve (SSR) amount as $1,063. The SSR is the amount of the obligor’s monthly net income that is reserved to meet the obligor’s basic needs. Subdivisions (e)(1)(ii)-(iv) adjust the methodology for calculating support when the obligor’s monthly net income is at or near the SSR amount.

 

___________________

 

Rule 1910.16-3. Support Guidelines. Basic Child Support Schedule.

 

The following schedule represents the amounts spent on children of intact families by combined monthly net income and number of children.  Combined monthly net income is on the schedule’s vertical axis, and the number of children is on the schedule’s horizontal axis.  This schedule determines the basic child support obligation.  Unless these rules provide otherwise, the obligor’s basic child support obligation shall be computed using either the formula set forth in Pa.R.C.P. No. 1910.16-4(a)(1)(Part C) or (a)(2)(Part I).

 

 

 

 

                                                                  

Basic Child Support Schedule

 

Combined

Adjusted

Net

Income

 

One

Child

Two

Children

Three Children

Four Children

Five Children

Six Children

                                                                  

1100

 

33

33

34

34

34

35

1150

 

78

79

80

81

81

82

1200

 

123

124

126

127

128

130

1250

 

168

170

172

174

175

177

1300

 

213

215

218

220

222

225

1350

 

258

261

264

267

269

272

1400

 

303

306

310

313

316

320

1450

 

334

352

356

360

363

367

1500

 

346

397

402

406

410

415

1550

 

357

443

448

453

457

462

1600

 

369

488

494

499

504

510

1650

 

380

534

540

546

551

557

1700

 

392

579

586

592

598

605

1750

 

403

614

         632

639

645

652

1800

 

415

632

         678

685

692

700

1850

 

426

649

         724

732

739

747

1900

 

438

667

         770

778

786

795

1950

 

449

684

         816

825

833

842

2000

 

461

702

         848

         871

880

890

2050

 

472

719

         869

         918

927

937

2100

 

484

737

         891

         964

974

985

2150

 

495

754

         912

       1011

1021

1032

2200

 

507

772

         933

       1042

1068

1080

2250

 

518

789

         954

       1066

1115

1127

2300

 

530

807

         976

       1090

1162

1175

2350

 

541

825

         997

       1113

1209

1222

2400

 

553

842

       1018

       1137

1251

1270

2450

  

565

860

       1039

       1161

1277

1317

2500

 

576

877

       1060

       1184

1303

       1365

2550

 

588

895

       1082

       1208

1329

       1412

2600

 

599

912

       1103

       1232

1355

1460

2650

 

611

930

       1124

       1255

1381

1501

2700

  

622

947

       1145

       1279

1407

1530

2750

 

634

965

       1166

       1303

1433

1558

2800

 

645

980

       1184

       1322

1455

1581

2850

 

657

995

       1201

       1342

1476

1604

 

                                                                  

Basic Child Support Schedule

 

Combined

Adjusted

Net

Income

 

One

Child

Two

Children

Three Children

Four Children

Five Children

Six Children

                                                                  

2900

 

668

1010

1219

       1361

1497

1628

2950

 

680

1026

1236

       1381

1519

1651

3000

 

691

1041

1253

       1400

1540

1674

3050

 

703

1056

1271

       1420

1562

1697

3100

 

714

1071

1288

       1439

1583

1721

3150

 

726

1086

1306

       1458

1604

1744

3200

 

737

1103

1325

       1479

1627

1769

3250

 

747

1120

1345

       1502

1652

1796

3300

 

758

1137

1365

       1524

1677

1823

3350

 

768

1154

1385

       1547

1702

1850

3400

 

778

1171

1405

       1569

1726

1876

3450

 

789

1188

1425

       1592

1751

1903

3500

 

799

1205

1445

       1614

1776

1930

3550

 

810

1222

1465

       1637

1800

1957

3600

 

820

1238

1485

       1659

1825

1983

3650

 

828

1251

1500

       1676

1843

2003

3700

 

837

1264

1515

       1692

1862

2023

3750

 

845

1276

1530

       1709

1880

2044

3800

 

854

1289

1545

       1726

1898

2064

3850

  

862

1302

1560

       1743

1917

2084

3900

 

871

1314

1575

       1759

1935

2104

3950

 

879

1327

1590

       1776

1954

2124

4000

 

888

1340

1605

       1793

1972

2144

4050

 

894

1349

1616

       1805

1986

2159

4100

 

900

1357

1625

       1815

1996

2170

4150

 

905

1364

1633

       1824

2007

2181

4200

 

910

1372

1642

       1834

2017

2193

4250

 

915

1379

1650

       1843

2028

2204

4300

 

920

1387

1659

       1853

2038

2215

4350

 

926

1394

1667

       1862

2048

2227

4400

 

931

1402

1676

       1872

2059

2238

4450

 

936

1409

1684

       1881

2069

2249

4500

 

941

1414

1688

       1886

2074

2255

4550

 

945

1420

1692

       1890

2079

2260

4600

 

950

1425

1697

       1895

2085

2266

4650

 

955

1431

1701

       1900

2090

2272

 

                                                                  

Basic Child Support Schedule

 

Combined

Adjusted

Net

Income

 

One

Child

Two

Children

Three Children

Four Children

Five Children

Six Children

                                                                  

4700

 

960

1436

1706

       1905

2096

2278

4750

 

964

1441

1710

       1910

2101

2284

4800

 

969

1447

1714

       1915

2107

2290

4850

 

974

1452

1719

       1920

2112

2296

4900

 

980

1461

1730

       1933

2126

2311

4950

 

986

1473

1745

       1949

2144

2330

5000

 

993

1484

1759

       1965

2162

2350

5050

 

999

1495

1774

       1982

2180

2370

5100

 

1006

1506

1789

       1998

2198

2389

5150

 

1012

1517

1803

       2014

2216

2409

5200

 

1019

1528

1818

       2031

2234

2428

5250

 

1026

1539

1833

       2047

2252

2448

5300

 

1032

1549

1845

       2061

2267

2464

5350

 

1036

1553

1849

       2065

2272

2469

5400

 

1040

1558

1853

       2069

2276

2474

5450

 

1044

1562

1856

       2073

2281

2479

5500

 

1048

1567

1860

       2078

2285

2484

5550

 

1052

1571

1864

       2082

2290

2489

5600

 

1056

1576

1867

       2086

2294

2494

5650

 

1060

1581

1871

       2090

2299

2499

5700

 

1064

1585

1875

       2094

2304

2504

5750

 

1069

1592

1881

       2101

2312

2513

5800

  

1074

1599

1889

       2110

2321

2523

5850

 

1080

1606

1896

       2118

2330

2532

5900

 

1085

1614

1903

       2126

2339

2542

5950

 

1091

1621

1911

       2134

2348

2552

6000

 

1097

1628

1918

       2143

2357

2562

6050

 

1102

1636

1926

       2151

2366

2572

6100

 

1108

1643

1933

       2159

2375

2582

6150

 

1114

1651

1942

       2169

2386

2594

6200

 

1122

1663

1955

       2184

2402

2611

6250

 

1131

1675

1968

       2198

2418

2628

6300

 

1139

1686

1981

       2212

2434

2645

6350

 

1147

1698

1993

       2227

2449

2662

6400

 

1155

1709

2006

       2241

2465

2680

6450

 

1164

1721

2019

       2255

2481

2697

 

                                                                  

Basic Child Support Schedule

 

Combined

Adjusted

Net

Income

 

One

Child

Two

Children

Three Children

Four Children

Five Children

Six Children

                                                                  

6500

 

1172

1733

2032

       2270

2497

2714

6550

 

1180

1744

2045

       2284

2512

2731

6600

 

1188

1756

2058

       2298

2528

2748

6650

 

1197

1767

2070

       2313

2544

2765

6700

 

1205

1779

2083

       2327

2560

2783

6750

 

1213

1791

2096

       2341

2576

2800

6800

 

1220

1801

2109

       2356

2591

2817

6850

 

1226

1811

2122

       2370

2607

2834

6900

 

1232

1821

2135

       2385

2623

2851

6950

 

1238

1831

2148

       2399

2639

2869

7000

 

1244

1841

2161

       2414

2655

2886

7050

 

1250

1851

2174

       2428

2671

2903

7100

 

1256

1861

2187

       2443

2687

2921

7150

 

1262

1871

2200

       2457

2703

2938

7200

 

1268

1881

2213

       2472

2719

2955

7250

 

1274

1891

2226

       2486

2735

2972

7300

 

1281

1901

2239

       2500

2750

2990

7350

 

1287

1911

2251

       2515

2766

3007

7400

 

1293

1921

2264

       2529

2782

3024

7450

 

1297

1928

2272

       2538

2792

3035

7500

 

1302

1934

2279

       2546

2801

3044

7550

 

1307

1941

2287

       2554

2809

3054

7600

 

1312

1947

2294

       2562

2818

3064

7650

 

1316

1954

2301

       2570

2827

3073

7700

 

1321

1960

2308

       2578

2836

3083

7750

 

1326

1967

2315

       2586

2845

3092

7800

 

1330

1973

2322

       2594

2854

3102

7850

 

1335

1980

2330

       2602

2862

3111

7900

 

1340

1987

2337

       2610

2871

3121

7950

 

1345

1993

2344

       2618

2880

3131

8000

 

1349

2000

2351

       2626

2889

3140

8050

 

1354

2006

2359

       2635

2898

3150

8100

 

1360

2015

2367

       2644

2908

3161

8150

 

1366

2023

2375

       2653

2918

3172

8200

 

1372

2031

2384

       2662

2929

3183

8250

 

1379

2039

2392

       2672

2939

3194

 

                                                                  

Basic Child Support Schedule

 

Combined

Adjusted

Net

Income

 

One

Child

Two

Children

Three Children

Four Children

Five Children

Six Children

                                                                  

8300

 

1385

2047

2400

       2681

2949

3206

8350

 

1391

2055

2408

       2690

2959

3217

8400

 

1397

2063

2417

       2699

2969

3228

8450

 

1403

2071

2425

       2709

2980

3239

8500

 

1409

2079

2433

       2718

2990

3250

8550

 

1415

2087

2442

       2727

3000

3261

8600

 

1421

2095

2450

       2737

3010

3272

8650

 

1427

2103

2458

       2746

3020

3283

8700

 

1433

2111

2466

       2755

3031

3294

8750

 

1439

2119

2475

       2764

3041

3305

8800

 

1445

2127

2483

       2774

3051

3316

8850

 

1451

2135

2491

       2783

3061

3327

8900

 

1457

2143

2499

       2791

3070

3337

8950

 

1461

2147

2503

       2796

3076

3343

9000

 

1465

2152

2508

       2801

3082

3350

9050

 

1468

2157

2513

       2807

3087

3356

9100

 

1472

2162

2517

       2812

3093

3362

9150

 

1476

2167

2522

       2817

3099

3368

9200

 

1480

2172

2526

       2822

3104

3374

9250

 

1484

2177

2531

       2827

3110

3381

9300

 

1488

2181

2536

       2832

3116

3387

9350

 

1492

2186

2540

       2838

3121

3393

9400

 

1495

2191

2545

       2843

3127

3399

9450

 

1499

2196

2550

       2848

3133

3405

9500

 

1503

2201

2554

       2853

3138

3412

9550

 

1507

2206

2559

       2858

3144

3418

9600

 

1511

2210

2564

       2864

3150

3424

9650

 

1515

2215

2568

       2869

3156

3430

9700

 

1519

2220

2573

       2874

3161

3436

9750

 

1524

2227

2580

       2882

3170

3446

9800

 

1531

2238

2593

       2896

3186

3463

9850

 

1538

2248

2605

       2910

3201

3479

9900

 

1545

2259

2618

       2924

3216

3496

9950

 

1552

2269

2630

       2938

3231

3513

10000

 

1559

2280

2642

       2952

3247

3529

10050

 

1566

2290

2655

       2966

3262

3546

 

                                                                  

Basic Child Support Schedule

 

Combined

Adjusted

Net

Income

 

One

Child

Two

Children

Three Children

Four Children

Five Children

Six Children

                                                                  

10100

 

1573

2301

2667

       2979

3277

3562

10150

 

1581

2312

2680

       2993

3293

3579

10200

 

1588

2322

2692

       3007

3308

3596

10250

 

1595

2333

2705

       3021

3323

3612

10300

 

1602

2343

2717

       3035

3339

3629

10350

 

1609

2354

2730

       3049

3354

3646

10400

 

1616

2365

2742

       3063

3369

3662

10450

 

1623

2375

2754

       3077

3384

3679

10500

 

1631

2386

2767

       3091

3400

3695

10550

 

1638

2396

2779

       3105

3415

3712

10600

 

1645

2407

2792

       3118

3430

3729

10650

 

1652

2417

2804

       3132

3446

3745

10700

 

1659

2428

2817

       3146

3461

3762

10750

 

1666

2439

2829

       3160

3476

3779

10800

 

1673

2449

2842

       3174

3491

3795

10850

 

1680

2460

2854

       3188

3507

3812

10900

 

1688

2470

2867

       3202

3522

3828

10950

 

1695

2481

2879

       3216

3537

3845

11000

 

1702

2491

2891

       3230

3553

3862

11050

 

1708

2499

2899

       3239

3562

3872

11100

 

1713

2507

2907

       3247

3572

3883

11150

 

1719

2514

2915

       3256

3581

3893

11200

 

1725

2522

2922

       3264

3591

3903

11250

 

1730

2529

2930

       3273

3600

3913

11300

 

1736

2537

2938

       3282

3610

3924

11350

 

1742

2544

2946

       3290

3619

3934

11400

 

1747

2552

2953

       3299

3629

3944

11450

 

1753

2559

2961

       3307

3638

3955

11500

 

1759

2567

2969

       3316

3648

3965

11550

 

1764

2574

2976

       3325

3657

3975

11600

 

1770

2582

2984

       3333

3667

3986

11650

 

1776

2589

2992

       3342

3676

3996

11700

 

1782

2597

3000

       3350

3686

4006

11750

 

1787

2604

3007

       3359

3695

4016

11800

 

1793

2612

3015

       3368

3704

4027

11850

 

1799

2619

3023

       3376

3714

4037

 

                                                                  

Basic Child Support Schedule

 

Combined

Adjusted

Net

Income

 

One

Child

Two

Children

Three Children

Four Children

Five Children

Six Children

                                                                  

11900

 

1804

2627

3030

       3385

3723

4047

11950

 

1810

2634

3038

       3394

3733

4058

12000

 

1816

2642

3046

       3402

3742

4068

12050

 

1821

2649

3053

       3411

3752

4078

12100

 

1827

2657

3061

       3419

3761

4089

12150

 

1833

2664

3069

       3428

3771

4099

12200

 

1838

2672

3077

       3437

3780

4109

12250

 

1844

2679

3084

       3445

3790

4119

12300

 

1850

2687

3092

       3454

3799

4130

12350

 

1855

2695

3100

       3462

3809

4140

12400

 

1861

2702

3107

       3471

3818

4150

12450

 

1867

2710

3115

       3480

3828

4161

12500

 

1873

2717

3123

       3488

3837

4171

12550

 

1878

2725

3131

       3497

3847

4181

12600

 

1884

2732

3138

       3505

3856

4191

12650

 

1890

2740

3146

       3514

3865

4202

12700

 

1895

2747

3154

       3523

3875

4213

12750

 

1900

2756

3166

       3536

3890

4228

12800

 

1905

2764

3177

       3549

3904

4244

12850

 

1910

2773

3189

       3562

3918

4259

12900

 

1915

2782

3200

       3575

3932

4274

12950

 

1920

2790

3212

       3588

3947

4290

13000

 

1925

2799

3224

       3601

3961

4305

13050

 

1930

2807

3235

       3614

3975

4321

13100

 

1935

2816

3247

       3627

3989

4336

13150

  

1940

2825

3258

       3640

4004

4352

13200

 

1945

2833

3270

       3652

4018

4367

13250

 

1950

2842

3281

       3665

4032

4383

13300

 

1955

2850

3293

       3678

4046

4398

13350

 

1960

2859

3305

       3691

4060

4414

13400

 

1965

2868

3316

       3704

4075

4429

13450

 

1970

2876

3328

       3717

4089

4445

13500

 

1975

2885

3339

       3730

4103

4460

13550

 

1980

2893

3351

       3743

4117

4476

13600

 

1985

2902

3363

       3756

4132

4491

13650

 

1990

2910

3374

       3769

4146

4506

 

                                                                  

Basic Child Support Schedule

 

Combined

Adjusted

Net

Income

 

One

Child

Two

Children

Three Children

Four Children

Five Children

Six Children

                                                                  

13700

 

1995

2919

3386

       3782

4160

4522

13750

 

2000

2928

3397

       3795

4174

4537

13800

 

2005

2936

3409

       3808

4188

4553

13850

 

2010

2945

3420

       3821

4203

4568

13900

 

2015

2953

3432

       3834

4217

4584

13950

 

2020

2962

3444

       3847

4231

4599

14000

 

2025

2971

3455

       3859

4245

4615

14050

 

2030

2979

3467

       3872

4260

4630

14100

 

2035

2988

3478

       3885

4274

4646

14150

 

2040

2996

3490

       3898

4288

4661

14200

 

2045

3005

3502

       3911

4302

4677

14250

 

2050

3014

3513

       3924

4317

4692

14300

 

2055

3022

3525

       3937

4331

4708

14350

 

2060

3031

3536

       3950

4345

4723

14400

 

2065

3039

3548

       3963

4359

4738

14450

 

2070

3048

3559

       3976

4373

4754

14500

 

2075

3056

3571

       3989

4388

4769

14550

 

2080

3065

3583

       4002

4402

4785

14600

 

2085

3074

3594

       4015

4416

4800

14650

 

2090

3082

3606

       4028

4430

4816

14700

 

2095

3091

3617

       4041

4445

4831

14750

 

2100

3099

3629

       4053

4459

4847

14800

 

2105

3108

3640

       4066

4473

4862

14850

 

2110

3117

3652

       4079

4487

4878

14900

 

2115

3125

3664

       4092

4502

4893

14950

 

2120

3134

3675

       4105

4516

4909

15000

 

2125

3142

3687

       4118

4530

4924

15050

 

2130

3151

3698

       4131

4544

4940

15100

 

2135

3160

3710

       4144

4558

4955

15150

 

2140

3168

3722

       4157

4573

4970

15200

 

2145

3177

3733

       4170

4587

4986

15250

 

2150

3185

3744

       4182

4600

5000

15300

 

2155

3192

3752

       4191

4610

5011

15350

 

2161

3200

3760

       4200

4620

5022

15400

 

2166

3207

3769

       4210

4631

5034

15450

 

2171

3215

3777

       4219

4641

5045

 

                                                                  

Basic Child Support Schedule

 

Combined

Adjusted

Net

Income

 

One

Child

Two

Children

Three Children

Four Children

Five Children

Six Children

                                                                  

15500

 

2176

3222

3786

       4229

4651

5056

15550

 

2181

3229

3794

       4238

4662

5067

15600

 

2186

3237

3802

       4247

4672

5078

15650

 

2192

3244

3811

       4257

4682

5090

15700

 

2197

3252

3819

       4266

4693

5101

15750

 

2202

3259

3828

       4275

4703

5112

15800

 

2207

3266

3836

       4285

4713

5123

15850

 

2212

3274

3844

       4294

4724

5135

15900

 

2218

3281

3853

       4304

4734

5146

15950

 

2223

3289

3861

       4313

4744

5157

16000

 

2228

3296

3870

       4322

4754

5168

16050

 

2233

3304

3878

       4332

4765

5179

16100

 

2238

3311

3886

       4341

4775

5191

16150

 

2244

3318

3895

       4350

4785

5202

16200

 

2249

3326

3903

       4360

4796

5213

16250

 

2254

3333

3911

       4369

4806

5224

16300

 

2259

3341

3920

       4378

4816

5235

16350

 

2264

3348

3928

       4388

4827

5247

16400

 

2269

3355

3937

       4397

4837

5258

16450

 

2275

3363

3945

       4407

4847

5269

16500

 

2280

3370

3953

       4416

4858

5280

16550

 

2285

3378

3962

       4425

4868

5291

16600

 

2290

3385

3970

       4435

4878

5303

16650

 

2295

3393

3979

       4444

4888

5314

16700

 

2301

3400

3987

       4453

4899

5325

16750

 

2306

3407

3995

       4463

4909

5336

16800

 

2311

3415

4004

       4472

4919

5347

16850

 

2316

3422

4012

       4482

4930

5359

16900

 

2321

3430

4021

       4491

4940

5370

16950

 

2327

3437

4029

       4500

4950

5381

17000

 

2332

3445

4037

       4510

4961

5392

17050

 

2337

3452

4046

       4519

4971

5403

17100

 

2342

3459

4054

       4528

4981

5415

17150

 

2347

3467

4062

       4538

4992

5426

17200

 

2352

3474

4071

       4547

5002

5437

17250

 

2358

3482

4079

       4557

5012

5448

 

                                                                  

Basic Child Support Schedule

 

Combined

Adjusted

Net

Income

 

One

Child

Two

Children

Three Children

Four Children

Five Children

Six Children

                                                                  

17300

 

2363

3489

4088

       4566

5023

5459

17350

 

2368

3496

4096

       4575

5033

5471

17400

 

2373

3504

4104

       4585

5043

5482

17450

 

2378

3511

4113

       4594

5053

5493

17500

 

2384

3519

4121

       4603

5064

5504

17550

 

2389

3526

4130

       4613

5074

5515

17600

 

2394

3534

4138

       4622

5084

5527

17650

 

2399

3541

4146

       4632

5095

5538

17700

 

2404

3548

4155

       4641

5105

5549

17750

  

2410

3556

4163

       4650

5115

5560

17800

 

2415

3563

4172

       4660

5126

5572

17850

 

2420

3571

4180

       4669

5136

5583

17900

 

2425

3578

4188

       4678

5146

5594

17950

 

2430

3585

4197

       4688

5157

5605

18000

 

2435

3593

4205

       4697

5167

5616

18050

 

2441

3600

4214

       4706

5177

5628

18100

 

2446

3608

4222

       4716

5187

5639

18150

 

2451

3615

4230

       4725

5198

5650

18200

 

2456

3623

4239

       4735

5208

5661

18250

 

2461

3630

4247

       4744

5218

5672

18300

 

2467

3637

4255

       4753

5229

5684

18350

 

2472

3645

4264

       4763

5239

5695

18400

 

2477

3652

4272

       4772

5249

5706

18450

 

2482

3660

4281

       4781

5260

5717

18500

 

2487

3667

4289

       4791

5270

5728

18550

 

2493

3674

4297

       4800

5280

5740

18600

 

2498

3682

4306

       4810

5291

5751

18650

 

2503

3689

4314

       4819

5301

5762

18700

 

2508

3697

4323

       4828

5311

5773

18750

 

2513

3704

4331

       4838

5321

5784

18800

 

2519

3712

4339

       4847

5332

5796

18850

 

2524

3719

4348

       4856

5342

5807

18900

 

2529

3726

4356

       4866

5352

5818

18950

 

2534

3734

4365

       4875

5363

5829

19000

 

2539

3741

4373

       4885

5373

5840

19050

 

2544

3749

4381

       4894

5383

5852

 

                                                                  

Basic Child Support Schedule

 

Combined

Adjusted

Net

Income

 

One

Child

Two

Children

Three Children

Four Children

Five Children

Six Children

                                                                  

19100

 

2550

3756

4390

       4903

5394

5863

19150

 

2555

3763

4398

       4913

5404

5874

19200

 

2560

3771

4406

       4922

5414

5885

19250

 

2565

3778

4415

       4931

5425

5896

19300

 

2570

3786

4423

       4941

5435

5908

19350

 

2576

3793

4432

       4950

5445

5919

19400

 

2581

3801

4440

       4960

5455

5930

19450

 

2586

3808

4448

       4969

5466

5941

19500

 

2591

3815

4457

       4978

5476

5953

19550

 

2596

3823

4465

       4988

5486

5964

19600

 

2602

3830

4474

       4997

5497

5975

19650

 

2607

3838

4482

       5006

5507

5986

19700

 

2612

3845

4490

       5016

5517

5997

19750

 

2617

3852

4499

       5025

5528

6009

19800

 

2622

3860

4507

       5034

5538

6020

19850

 

2627

3867

4516

       5044

5548

6031

19900

 

2633

3875

4524

       5053

5559

6042

19950

 

2638

3882

4532

       5063

5569

6053

20000

 

2643

3890

4541

       5072

5579

6065

20050

 

2648

3897

4549

       5081

5589

6076

20100

 

2653

3904

4557

       5091

5600

6087

20150

 

2659

3912

4566

       5100

5610

6098

20200

 

2664

3919

4574

       5109

5620

6109

20250

 

2669

3927

4583

       5119

5631

6121

20300

 

2674

3934

4591

       5128

5641

6132

20350

 

2679

3941

4599

       5138

5651

6143

20400

 

2685

3949

4608

       5147

5662

6154

20450

 

2690

3956

4616

       5156

5672

6165

20500

 

2695

3964

4625

       5166

5682

6177

20550

 

2700

3971

4633

       5175

5693

6188

20600

 

2705

3979

4641

       5184

5703

6199

20650

 

2710

3986

4650

       5194

5713

6210

20700

 

2716

3993

4658

       5203

5723

6221

20750

 

2721

4001

4667

       5213

5734

6233

20800

 

2726

4008

4675

       5222

5744

6244

20850

 

2731

4016

4683

       5231

5754

6255

 

                                                                  

Basic Child Support Schedule

 

Combined

Adjusted

Net

Income

 

One

Child

Two

Children

Three Children

Four Children

Five Children

Six Children

                                                                  

20900

 

2736

4023

4692

       5241

5765

6266

20950

 

2742

4030

4700

       5250

5775

6277

21000

 

2747

4038

4709

       5259

5785

6289

21050

 

2752

4045

4717

       5269

5796

6300

21100

 

2757

4053

4725

       5278

5806

6311

21150

 

2762

4060

4734

       5288

5816

6322

21200

 

2768

4068

4742

       5297

5827

6333

21250

 

2773

4075

4750

       5306

5837

6345

21300

 

2778

4082

4759

       5316

5847

6356

21350

 

2783

4090

4767

       5325

5858

6367

21400

 

2788

4097

4776

       5334

5868

6378

21450

 

2793

4105

4784

       5344

5878

6390

21500

 

2799

4112

4792

       5353

5888

6401

21550

 

2804

4119

4801

       5362

5899

6412

21600

 

2809

4127

4809

       5372

5909

6423

21650

 

2814

4134

4818

       5381

5919

6434

21700

 

2819

4142

4826

       5391

5930

6446

21750

 

2825

4149

4834

       5400

5940

6457

21800

 

2830

4157

4843

       5409

5950

6468

21850

 

2835

4164

4851

       5419

5961

6479

21900

 

2840

4171

4860

       5428

5971

6490

21950

 

2845

4173

4862

       5430

5974

6493

22000

 

2850

4174

4862

       5431

5974

6494

22050

 

2854

4174

4863

       5432

5975

6495

22100

 

2859

4175

4863

       5432

5976

6495

22150

 

2864

4175

4864

       5433

5976

6496

22200

 

2869

4176

4864

       5434

5977

6497

22250

 

2873

4176

4865

       5434

5978

6498

22300

 

2878

4177

4866

       5435

5978

6498

22350

 

2883

4177

4866

       5435

5979

6499

22400

 

2888

4178

4867

       5436

5980

6500

22450

 

2892

4178

4867

       5437

5980

6501

22500

 

2897

4179

4868

       5437

5981

6501

22550

 

2902

4179

4868

       5438

5982

6502

22600

 

2907

4179

4869

       5439

5982

6503

22650

 

2911

4180

4869

       5439

5983

6504

 

                                                                  

Basic Child Support Schedule

 

Combined

Adjusted

Net

Income

 

One

Child

Two

Children

Three Children

Four Children

Five Children

Six Children

                                                                  

22700

 

2916

4180

4870

       5440

5984

6504

22750

 

2921

4181

4871

       5440

5984

6505

22800

 

2926

4181

4871

       5441

5985

6506

22850

 

2930

4182

4872

       5442

5986

6507

22900

 

2935

4182

4872

       5442

5986

6507

22950

 

2940

4183

4873

       5443

5987

6508

23000

 

2945

4183

4873

       5443

5988

6509

23050

 

2949

4184

4874

       5444

5989

6510

23100

 

2954

4184

4874

       5445

5989

6510

23150

 

2959

4185

4875

       5445

5990

6511

23200

 

2963

4185

4876

       5446

5991

6512

23250

 

2968

4186

4876

       5447

5991

6513

23300

 

2973

4186

4877

       5447

5992

6513

23350

 

2978

4187

4877

       5448

5993

6514

23400

 

2982

4187

4878

       5448

5993

6515

23450

 

2987

4188

4878

       5449

5994

6515

23500

 

2992

4188

4879

       5450

5995

6516

23550

 

2997

4189

4879

       5450

5995

6517

23600

 

3001

4189

4880

       5451

5996

6518

23650

 

3006

4189

4881

       5452

5997

6518

23700

 

3011

4190

4881

       5452

5997

6519

23750

 

3016

4190

4882

       5453

5998

6520

23800

 

3020

4191

4882

       5453

5999

6521

23850

 

3025

4191

4883

       5454

5999

6521

23900

 

3030

4192

4883

       5455

6000

6522

23950

 

3035

4192

4884

       5455

6001

6523

24000

 

3039

4193

4884

       5456

6002

6524

24050

 

3044

4193

4885

       5457

6002

6524

24100

 

3049

4194

4886

       5457

6003

6525

24150

 

3054

4194

4886

       5458

6004

6526

24200

 

3058

4195

4887

       5458

6004

6527

24250

 

3063

4195

4887

       5459

6005

6527

24300

 

3068

4196

4888

       5460

6006

6528

24350

 

3072

4196

4888

       5460

6006

6529

24400

 

3077

4197

4889

       5461

6007

6530

24450

 

3082

4197

4889

       5462

6008

6530

 

                                                                  

Basic Child Support Schedule

 

Combined

Adjusted

Net

Income

 

One

Child

Two

Children

Three Children

Four Children

Five Children

Six Children

                                                                  

24500

 

3087

4198

4890

       5462

6008

6531

24550

 

3091

4198

4891

       5463

6009

6532

24600

 

3096

4199

4891

       5463

6010

6533

24650

 

3101

4199

4892

       5464

6010

6533

24700

 

3106

4200

4892

       5465

6011

6534

24750

 

3110

4200

4893

       5465

6012

6535

24800

 

3115

4200

4893

       5466

6012

6536

24850

 

3120

4201

4894

       5466

6013

6536

24900

 

3125

4201

4894

       5467

6014

6537

24950

 

3129

4202

4895

       5468

6014

6538

25000

 

3134

4202

4896

       5468

6015

6538

25050

 

3139

4203

4896

       5469

6016

6539

25100

 

3144

4203

4897

       5470

6017

6540

25150

 

3148

4204

4897

       5470

6017

6541

25200

 

3153

4204

4898

       5471

6018

6541

25250

 

3158

4205

4898

       5471

6019

6542

25300

 

3162

4205

4899

       5472

6019

6543

25350

 

3167

4206

4899

       5473

6020

6544

25400

 

3172

4206

4900

       5473

6021

6544

25450

 

3177

4207

4901

       5474

6021

6545

25500

 

3181

4207

4901

       5475

6022

6546

25550

 

3186

4208

4902

       5475

6023

6547

25600

 

3191

4208

4902

       5476

6023

6547

25650

 

3196

4209

4903

       5476

6024

6548

25700

 

3200

4209

4903

       5477

6025

6549

25750

 

3205

4210

4904

       5478

6025

6550

25800

 

3210

4210

4904

       5478

6026

6550

25850

 

3215

4210

4905

       5479

6027

6551

25900

 

3219

4211

4906

       5480

6027

6552

25950

 

3224

4211

4906

       5480

6028

6553

26000

 

3229

4212

4907

       5481

6029

6553

26050

 

3234

4212

4907

       5481

6030

6554

26100

 

3238

4213

4908

       5482

6030

6555

26150

 

3243

4213

4908

       5483

6031

6556

26200

 

3248

4214

4909

       5483

6032

6556

26250

 

3253

4214

4909

       5484

6032

6557

 

                                                                  

Basic Child Support Schedule

 

Combined

Adjusted

Net

Income

 

One

Child

Two

Children

Three Children

Four Children

Five Children

Six Children

                                                                  

26300

 

3257

4215

4910

       5484

6033

6558

26350

 

3262

4215

4911

       5485

6034

6559

26400

 

3267

4216

4911

       5486

6034

6559

26450

 

3271

4216

4912

       5486

6035

6560

26500

 

3276

4217

4912

       5487

6036

6561

26550

 

3281

4217

4913

       5488

6036

6562

26600

 

3286

4218

4913

       5488

6037

6562

26650

 

3290

4218

4914

       5489

6038

6563

26700

 

3295

4219

4914

       5489

6038

6564

26750

 

3300

4219

4915

       5490

6039

6564

26800

 

3305

4220

4916

       5491

6040

6565

26850

 

3309

4220

4916

       5491

6040

6566

26900

 

3314

4221

4917

       5492

6041

6567

26950

 

3319

4221

4917

       5493

6042

6567

27000

 

3324

4221

4918

       5493

6042

6568

27050

 

3328

4222

4918

       5494

6043

6569

27100

 

3333

4222

4919

       5494

6044

6570

27150

 

3338

4223

4919

       5495

6045

6570

27200

 

3343

4223

4920

       5496

6045

6571

27250

 

3347

4224

4921

       5496

6046

6572

27300

 

3352

4224

4921

       5497

6047

6573

27350

 

3357

4225

4922

       5498

6047

6573

27400

 

3362

4225

4922

       5498

6048

6574

27450

 

3366

4226

4923

       5499

6049

6575

27500

 

3371

4226

4923

       5499

6049

6576

27550

 

3376

4227

4924

       5500

6050

6576

27600

 

3380

4227

4924

       5501

6051

6577

27650

 

3385

4228

4925

       5501

6051

6578

27700

 

3390

4228

4926

       5502

6052

6579

27750

 

3395

4229

4926

       5502

6053

6579

27800

 

3399

4229

4927

       5503

6053

6580

27850

 

3404

4230

4927

       5504

6054

6581

27900

 

3409

4230

4928

       5504

6055

6582

27950

 

3414

4231

4928

       5505

6055

6582

28000

 

3418

4231

4929

       5506

6056

6583

28050

 

3423

4231

4929

       5506

6057

6584

 

                                                                  

Basic Child Support Schedule

 

Combined

Adjusted

Net

Income

 

One

Child

Two

Children

Three Children

Four Children

Five Children

Six Children

                                                                  

28100

 

3428

4232

4930

       5507

6058

6585

28150

 

3433

4232

4931

       5507

6058

6585

28200

 

3437

4233

4931

       5508

6059

6586

28250

 

3442

4233

4932

       5509

6060

6587

28300

 

3447

4234

4932

       5509

6060

6587

28350

 

3452

4234

4933

       5510

6061

6588

28400

 

3456

4235

4933

       5511

6062

6589

28450

 

3461

4235

4934

       5511

6062

6590

28500

 

3466

4236

4934

       5512

6063

6590

28550

 

3471

4236

4935

       5512

6064

6591

28600

 

3475

4237

4936

       5513

6064

6592

28650

 

3480

4237

4936

       5514

6065

6593

28700

 

3485

4238

4937

       5514

6066

6593

28750

 

3489

4238

4937

       5515

6066

6594

28800

 

3494

4239

4938

       5516

6067

6595

28850

 

3499

4239

4938

       5516

6068

6596

28900

 

3504

4240

4939

       5517

6068

6596

28950

 

3508

4240

4939

       5517

6069

6597

29000

 

3513

4241

4940

       5518

6070

6598

29050

 

3518

4241

4941

       5519

6070

6599

29100

 

3523

4242

4941

       5519

6071

6599

29150

 

3527

4242

4942

       5520

6072

6600

29200

 

3532

4242

4942

       5520

6073

6601

29250

 

3537

4243

4943

       5521

6073

6602

29300

 

3542

4243

4943

       5522

6074

6602

29350

 

3546

4244

4944

       5522

6075

6603

29400

 

3551

4244

4944

       5523

6075

6604

29450

 

3556

4245

4945

       5524

6076

6605

29500

 

3561

4245

4946

       5524

6077

6605

29550

  

3565

4246

4946

       5525

6077

6606

29600

 

3570

4246

4947

       5525

6078

6607

29650

 

3575

4247

4947

       5526

6079

6608

29700

 

3580

4247

4948

       5527

6079

6608

29750

 

3584

4248

4948

       5527

6080

6609

29800

 

3589

4248

4949

       5528

6081

6610

29850

 

3594

4249

4949

       5529

6081

6611

                                                                  

Basic Child Support Schedule

 

Combined

Adjusted

Net

Income

 

One

Child

Two

Children

Three Children

Four Children

Five Children

Six Children

                                                                  

29900

 

3598

4249

4950

        5529

6082

6611

29950

 

3603

4250

4951

        5530

6083

6612

30000

 

3608

4250

4951

        5530

6083

6613

 

 Adopted September 6, 1989, effective September 30, 1989; amended October 25, 1989, effective October 25, 1989; amended January 27, 1993, effective immediately; amended July 15, 1994, effective September 1, 1994; amended December 7, 1998, effective April 1, 1999; amended October 27, 2000, effective immediately; amended September 27, 2005, effective in 4 months; amended January 12, 2010, effective May 12, 2010; amended April 9, 2013, effective August 9, 2013; amended February 10, 2017, effective May 1, 2017; amended December 28, 2018, effective January 1, 2019; amended August 17, 2021, effective January 1, 2022.

 

 

Explanatory Comment — 2021

 

Previously, the Basic Child Support Schedule incorporated a 30% child custody presumption, which created approximately a 5% decrease in the basic child support obligation across all combined monthly net incomes regardless of the actual custody schedule. The new Basic Child Support Schedule reflects the actual expenses of an intact family living in a single household at the various combined monthly net incomes and the number of children with no shared custody adjustment.

 

To the extent the parties share physical custody with the obligor having 40% or more of the annual overnights as set forth in Pa.R.C.P. No. 1910.16-4(c), the formula in Pa.R.C.P. No. 1910.16-4(a)(1)(Part D) or (a)(2)(Part II) should be used to calculate the appropriate shared custody adjustment.
_________________________

 

Rule 1910.16-3.1. Support Guidelines. High-Income Cases

(a) Child Support.

 

(1) Presumptive Minimum Basic Child Support Obligation.

(i) The presumptive minimum basic child support obligation is the support obligation that the trier-of-fact would have awarded if the parties’ combined monthly net income was $30,000.

(ii) When the parties’ combined monthly net income exceeds $30,000, the calculated support obligation shall not be less than the presumptive minimum basic child support obligation.

 

(2) High-Income Child Support Calculation. With the following three-step process, the trier-of-fact shall calculate the total child support obligation.

 

(i) Preliminary Analysis. Using the following formula, the trier-of-fact shall:

(A) calculate the basic child support obligation based on the parties’ combined monthly net income; and

 

(B) apportion the basic child support obligation based on the parties’ respective monthly net incomes.

 

 

One child:

 

 

$3,608 + 4.0% of combined monthly net income above $30,000.

 

 

 

 

Two children:

 

 

$4,250 + 4.0% of combined monthly net income above $30,000. 

 

 

 

 

 

Three children:

 

 

$4,951 + 4.7% of combined monthly net income above $30,000. 

 

 

 

 

 

Four children:

 

 

$5,530 + 5.3% of combined monthly net income above $30,000. 

 

 

 

 

 

Five children:

 

 

$6,083 + 5.8% of combined monthly net income above $30,000. 

 

 

 

 

 

Six children:

 

 

$6,613 + 6.3% of combined monthly net income above $30,000.

(ii) Substantial or Equally Shared Custody Adjustment. The trier-of-fact shall adjust the basic child support obligation calculated in subdivision (a)(2)(i) for substantial or equally shared custody as set forth in Pa.R.C.P. No. 1910.16-4(c)

(iii) Final Analysis--Reasonable Needs.

 

(A) In determining the total child support obligation, the trier-of-fact shall consider the child’s reasonable needs based on: 

(I) the deviation factors in Pa.R.C.P. No. 1910.16-5

(II) the additional expenses set forth in Pa.R.C.P. No. 1910.16-6; and 

(III) the parties’ expense statements required by Pa.R.C.P. No. 1910.11(c)(2) and Pa.R.C.P. No. 1910.27(c)(2)(B)

(B) Subject to the presumptive minimum basic child support obligation, the trier-of-fact may upwardly or downwardly adjust the support obligation calculated in subdivisions (a)(2)(i) and (ii) based on the child’s reasonable needs. 

(3) Final Order. As part of the final order, the trier-of-fact shall state on the record or in writing: 

(i) findings of fact; and 

(ii) the reasons for awarding the total child support obligation, including: 

(A) a discussion of the child’s reasonable needs; and 

(B) the adjustments or deviations made to the basic child support obligation. 

(b) Spousal Support or Alimony Pendente Lite. 

(1) Preliminary Analysis. When the parties’ combined monthly net income exceeds $30,000, the trier-of-fact shall apply the formula in either Pa.R.C.P. No. 1910.16-4(a)(1)(Part B) or (a)(2)(Part IV) in calculating spousal support or alimony pendente lite.

 

(2) Final Analysis. In determining the total spousal support or alimony pendente lite obligation, the trier-of-fact shall consider: 

(i) the deviation factors in Pa.R.C.P. No. 1910.16-5

(ii) the additional expenses set forth in Pa.R.C.P. No. 1910.16-6; and 

(iii) the parties’ expense statements required by Pa.R.C.P. No. 1910.11(c)(2) and Pa.R.C.P. No. 1910.27(c)(2)(B)

(3) Final Order. As part of the final order, the trier-of-fact shall state on the record or in writing: 

(i) findings of fact; and 

(ii) the reasons for awarding the final spousal support or alimony pendente lite obligation, including the adjustments or deviations made to the basic spousal support or alimony pendente lite obligation.

 

Adopted Jan. 12, 2010, effective May 12, 2010. Amended Aug. 26, 2011, effective Sept. 30, 2011; April 9, 2013, effective Aug. 9, 2013; Feb. 10, 2017, effective May 1, 2017; Dec. 28, 2018, effective Jan. 1, 2019; Aug. 17, 2021, effective Jan. 1, 2022.

 

EXPLANATORY COMMENT--2010

 

Pa.R.C.P. No. 1910.16-3.1 is intended to bring all child support cases under the guidelines and treat similarly situated parties similarly. Thus, high-income child support cases no longer will be decided pursuant to Melzer v. Witsberger, 480 A.2d 991 (Pa. 1984). Economic data support the basic child support schedule up to combined net incomes of $30,000 per month. Above that amount, economic data are not readily available. Thus, for cases in which the parties’ combined monthly net income is above $30,000, the formula first applies a fixed percentage to calculate the support amount. The formula is an extrapolation of the available economic data to high-income cases. Spousal support and alimony pendente lite awards in high-income cases are preliminarily calculated pursuant to the formulas in either Pa.R.C.P. No. 1910.16-4(a)(1)(Part B) or (2)(Part IV). However, in both high-income child support and spousal support and high-income child support and alimony pendente lite cases, the trier-of-fact is required to consider the factors in Pa.R.C.P. No. 1910.16-5 before entering a final order and to make findings of fact on the record or in writing. Pursuant to Pa.R.C.P. No. 1910.11(c)(2), in all high-income cases, the parties must submit an Income Statement and the Expense Statement at Pa.R.C.P. No. 1910.27(c)(2)(B) to enable the trier-of-fact to consider the factors in Pa.R.C.P. No. 1910.16-5.

 

EXPLANATORY COMMENT--2011

 

The rule has been amended to clarify that the provisions of Pa.R.C.P. No. 1910.16-4(c), regarding support adjustments if the obligor has substantial or shared custody, apply in high-income cases. Previously, when high-income cases were decided pursuant to Melzer v. Witsberger, 480 A.2d 991 (Pa. 1984), case law held that because the time and resources each parent provided to a child were factored into the Melzer formula, the substantial or shared parenting time reductions did not apply to cases decided pursuant to Melzer. See, e.g., Sirio v. Sirio, 951 A.2d 1188 (Pa. Super. 2008); Bulgarelli v. Bulgarelli, 934 A.2d 107 (Pa. Super. 2007). As Melzer no longer applies to calculate support in high-income cases, the prohibition against substantial or shared parenting time reductions in such cases is no longer applicable.

 

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

 

(a) The trier-of-fact shall use either the subdivision (1) or subdivision (2) formula to calculate the obligor’s share of basic child support, either from the schedule in Pa.R.C.P. No. 1910.16-3 or the formula in Pa.R.C.P. No. 1910.16-3.1(a), as well as spousal support and alimony pendente lite obligations. In high-income cases, the trier-of-fact shall use either the subdivision (1)(Part B) or subdivision (2)(Part IV) formula, as appropriate, as a preliminary analysis in the calculation of spousal support or alimony pendente lite obligations. 

 

(1) The formula in Parts A through E is for an order entered on or after January 1, 2019, or for a modification of an order entered before January 1, 2019 that includes spousal support or alimony pendente lite in which the amendments to the Internal Revenue Code made by Section 11051 of the Tax Cuts and Jobs Act of 2017 (Pub. L. No. 115-97) expressly apply. 

 

Note: Section 11051 of the Tax Cuts and Jobs Act of 2017 (Pub. L. No. 115-97) amended the Internal Revenue Code by repealing the alimony deduction -- the amount of spousal support, alimony pendente lite, and alimony paid or received -- from the payor’s gross income and the alimony inclusion into the payee’s gross income. 

 

See subdivision (2) for a modification of an order entered before January 1, 2019 that includes spousal support or alimony pendente lite in which the amendments to the Internal Revenue Code made by Tax Cuts and Jobs Act of 2017 (Pub. L. No. 115-97) do not apply to the modification. 

 

PART A. CALCULATION OF MONTHLY NET INCOME

 

 

 

 

 

 

OBLIGOR

 

 

 

 

OBLIGEE

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

1.

 

 

Total Gross Income per pay period

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

(See Pa.R.C.P. No. 1910.16-2(a))

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

2.

 

 

Deductions

 

 

( )

 

 

 

 

( )

 

 

 

 

(See Pa.R.C.P. No. 1910.16-2(c))

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

3.

 

 

Net Income

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

(line 1 minus line 2)

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

4.

 

 

Conversion to Monthly Net Income

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

(if pay period is other than monthly)

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

PART B. SPOUSAL SUPPORT OR ALIMONY PENDENTE LITE

 

 

 

 

 

 

Without Dependent Children

 

 

 

With Dependent Children 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

5.

 

 

Obligor’s Monthly Net Income

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

(line 4)

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

6.

 

 

Obligor’s child support, spousal support, alimony pendente lite or alimony obligations to children or former spouses who are not part of

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

this action, if any.

 

 

( )

 

 

 

 

( )

 

 

 

 

(See Pa.R.C.P. No. 1910.16-2(c)(2))

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

7.

 

 

Obligor’s Net Income available for spousal support or alimony pendente lite

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

(line 5 minus line 6)

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

8.

 

 

Obligor’s Net Income percentage for spousal support or alimony pendente lite

 

 

x 33%

 

 

 

 

x 25%

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

9.

 

 

Obligor’s proportionate share of spousal support or alimony pendente lite

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

(line 7 multiplied by line 8)

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

10.

 

 

Obligee’s Monthly Net Income

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

(line 4)

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

11.

 

 

Obligee’s Net Income percentage for spousal support or alimony pendente lite

 

 

x 40%

 

 

 

 

x 30%

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

12.

 

 

Obligee’s proportionate share of spousal support or alimony pendente lite

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

(line 10 multiplied by line 11)

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

13.

 

 

Preliminary Monthly Spousal Support or Alimony Pendente Lite Obligation

 

 

 

 

 

 

(line 9 minus line 12--if the result is less than zero, enter a zero on line 13)

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

14.

 

 

Adjustments for Part E Additional Expenses

 

 

 

 

 

 

(See Pa.R.C.P. No. 1910.16-6)

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

15.

 

 

Total Monthly Spousal Support or Alimony Pendente Lite Obligation

 

 

 

 

 

 

(line 13 plus or minus line 14, as appropriate)

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

PART C--BASIC CHILD SUPPORT

 

 

 

 

 

 

OBLIGOR

 

 

 

 

OBLIGEE

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

16.

 

 

Monthly Net Income

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

(line 4 and add the child’s monthly Social Security Disability or Retirement Derivative benefit amount, if any, to the Monthly Net Income of the party receiving the benefit pursuant to Pa.R.C.P. No. 1910.16-2(b)(2)(i) or (ii).

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

17.

 

 

Preliminary Monthly Spousal

 

 

( )

 

 

 

 

+

 

 

 

 

Support or Alimony Pendente Lite Obligation, if any.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

(line 13)

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

18.

 

 

Adjusted Monthly Net Income

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

(for obligor, line 16 minus line 17; for obligee, line 16 plus line 17)

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

19.

 

 

Combined Monthly Net Income

 

 

 

 

 

 

(obligor’s line 18 plus obligee’s line 18)

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

20.

 

 

Basic Child Support Obligation

 

 

 

 

 

 

(determined from child support schedule in Pa.R.C.P. No. 1910.16-3 based on the number of children and line 19)

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

21.

 

 

Net Income expressed as a

 

 

%

 

 

 

 

%

 

 

 

 

percentage of Combined Monthly Net Income (line 18 divided by line 19 and multiplied by 100)

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

22.

 

 

Preliminary Monthly Basic Child Support Obligation

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

(line 20 multiplied by line 21)

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

23.

 

 

Child’s Social Security Derivative Disability or Retirement Benefit. (if the benefits are paid to the obligee, enter the benefit amount on the line for the party whose retirement or disability created the child’s benefit pursuant to Pa.R.C.P. No. 1910.16-2(b))

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

24.

 

 

Adjusted Monthly Basic Child Support Obligation (line 22 minus line 23--if the result is less than zero, enter a zero on line 24)

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

PART D. SUBSTANTIAL OR SHARED PHYSICAL CUSTODY ADJUSTMENT, IF APPLICABLE (See subdivision (c))

 

 

 

25.

 

 

a.

 

 

Percentage of time obligor spends with the child (divide number of overnights with the obligor by 365 and multiply by 100)

 

 

%

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

b.

 

 

Subtract 30%

 

 

( 30%)

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

c.

 

 

Difference (line 25a minus line 25b)

 

 

%

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

d.

 

 

Obligor’s Adjusted Percentage Share of the

 

 

%

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Basic Child Support Obligation (line 21 minus line 25c)

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

e.

 

 

Obligor’s Preliminary Adjusted Basic Child Support Obligation (line 20 multiplied by line 25d)

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

f.

 

 

Further adjustment, if necessary under subdivision (c)(2)

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

g.

 

 

Obligor’s Adjusted Basic Child Support Obligation

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

PART E. ADDITIONAL EXPENSES (See Pa.R.C.P. No. 1910.16-6)

 

 

26.

 

 

a.

 

 

Obligor’s Share of Child Care Expenses

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

b.

 

 

Obligor’s Share of Health Insurance Premium (if the obligee is paying the premium)

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

c.

 

 

Obligee’s Share of the Health Insurance

 

 

( )

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Premium (if the obligor is paying the premium)

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

d.

 

 

Obligor’s Share of Unreimbursed Medical Expenses

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

e.

 

 

Other Additional Expenses

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

f.

 

 

Total Additional Expenses

(add lines 26a, b, d, and e, then subtract line 26c)

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

27.

 

 

Obligor’s Total Monthly Support Obligation

(line 24 or 25g plus line 26f, if applicable)

 

 

 

 

 

(2) The formula in Parts I through IV is for a modification of an order entered before January 1, 2019 that includes spousal support or alimony pendente lite.

 

 

Note: See subdivision (1) for an order entered on or after January 1, 2019, or for a modification of an order entered before January 1, 2019 that includes spousal support or alimony pendente lite in which the amendments to the Internal Revenue Code made by Tax Cuts and Jobs Act of 2017 (Pub. L. No. 115-97) expressly apply to the modification.

 

 

PART I. BASIC CHILD SUPPORT

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

OBLIGOR

 

 

 

 

OBLIGEE

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

1.

 

 

Total Gross Income Per Pay Period

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

(See Pa.R.C.P. No. 1910.16-2(a))

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

2.

 

 

Deductions

 

 

( )

 

 

 

 

( )

 

 

 

 

(See Pa.R.C.P. No. 1910.16-2(c))

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

3.

 

 

Net Income

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

(line 1 minus line 2)

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

4.

 

 

Conversion to Monthly Net Income (if pay period is other than monthly) Include the child’s monthly Social Security derivative benefit amount, if any, in the monthly net income of the party receiving the benefit pursuant to Pa.R.C.P. No. 1910.16-2(b)(2)(i) or (ii).

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

5.

 

 

Combined Monthly Net Income (obligor’s line 4 plus obligee’s line 4)

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

6.

 

 

Basic Child Support Obligation (determined from schedule at Pa.R.C.P. No. 1910.16-3 based on number of children and line 5)

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

7.

 

 

Net Income Expressed as a Percentage of Combined Monthly Net Income (divide line 4 by line 5 and multiply by 100)

 

 

%

 

 

 

 

%

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

8.

 

 

Preliminary Basic Child Support Obligation (multiply line 6 and 7)

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

9.

 

 

Child’s Social Security Derivative Disability or Retirement Benefit (if the benefits are paid to the obligee, enter the benefit amount on the line for the party whose retirement or disability created the child’s benefit)

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

10.

 

 

Adjusted Basic Child Support Obligation (line 8 minus line 9--if the result is less than zero, enter a zero on line 10)

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

PART II. SUBSTANTIAL OR SHARED PHYSICAL CUSTODY ADJUSTMENT, IF APPLICABLE (See subdivision (c))

 

 

 

11.

 

 

a.

 

 

Percentage of Time Obligor Spends with Children (divide number of overnights with the obligor by 365 and multiply by 100)

 

 

%

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

b.

 

 

Subtract 30%

 

 

( %)

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

c.

 

 

Obligor’s Adjusted Percentage Share of the Basic Child Support Obligation (subtract result of calculation in line 11b from line 7)

 

 

%

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

d.

 

 

Obligor’s Preliminary Adjusted Basic Child Support Obligation (multiply line 11c and line 6)

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

e.

 

 

Further adjustment, if necessary under subdivision (c)(2)

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

f.

 

 

Obligor’s Adjusted Basic Child Support Obligation

(Total of line 11d and line 11e)

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

PART III. ADDITIONAL EXPENSES (See Pa.R.C.P. No. 1910.16-6)

 

 

 

 

12.

 

a.

 

 

Obligor’s Share of Child Care Expenses

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

b.

 

 

Obligor’s Share of Health Insurance Premium (if the obligee is paying the premium)

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

c.

 

 

Obligee’s Share of the Health Insurance Premium (if the obligor is paying the premium)

 

 

( )

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

d.

 

 

Obligor’s Share of Unreimbursed Medical Expenses

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

e.

 

 

Other Additional Expenses

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

f.

 

 

Total Additional Expenses

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

(add lines 12a, b, d, and e, then subtract line 12c)

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

13.

 

 

Obligor’s Total Monthly Support Obligation

 

 

 

 

 

(add line 10 or 11f and line 12f, if applicable)

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

PART IV. SPOUSAL SUPPORT OR APL with dependent children

 

 

 

14.

 

 

Obligor’s Monthly Net Income (line 4)

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

15.

 

 

Obligor’s Support, Alimony Pendente Lite or Alimony Obligations, to Children or Former Spouses who are not part of this action, if any (See Pa.R.C.P. No. 1910.16-2(c)(2))

 

 

( )

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

16.

 

 

Obligee’s Monthly Net Income (line 4)

 

 

( )

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

17.

 

 

Difference

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

(line 14 minus lines 15 and 16)

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

18.

 

 

Obligor’s Total Monthly Child Support Obligation without Part II Substantial or Shared Custody Adjustment, if any (Obligor’s line 10 plus line 12f)

 

 

( )

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

19.

 

 

Difference

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

(line 17 minus line 18)

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

20.

 

 

Multiply by 30%

 

 

x 30%

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

21.

 

 

Monthly Spousal Support or Alimony Pendente Lite Obligation (line 19 multiplied by line 20)

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Without Dependent Children

 

 

 

22.

 

 

Obligor’s Monthly Net Income (line 4)

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

23.

 

 

Obligor’s Support, Alimony Pendente Lite or Alimony Obligations to Children or Former Spouses who are not part of this action, if any (Pa.R.C.P. No. 1910.16-2(c)(2))

 

 

( )

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

24.

 

 

Obligee’s Monthly Net Income (line 4)

 

 

( )

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

25.

 

 

Difference

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

(line 22 minus lines 23 and 24)

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

26.

 

 

Multiply by 40%

 

 

x 40%

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

27.

 

 

Preliminary Monthly Spousal Support or Alimony Pendente Lite Obligation

(line 25 multiplied by line 26)

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

28.

 

 

Adjustments for Other Expenses (See Pa.R.C.P. No. 1910.16-6)

(line 12f)

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

29.

 

 

Total Monthly Spousal Support or Alimony Pendente Lite Obligation

(line 27 plus or minus line 28, as appropriate)

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

(b) Order For More Than Six Children. When there are more than six children who are the subject of a single support order, the trier-of-fact shall: 

(1) calculate the basic child support obligations for six children and five children; 

(2) subtract the basic child support obligation for five children from the basic child support obligation for six children; 

(3) multiply the difference from subdivision (b)(2) by the number of children in excess of six; and 

(4) add the amount from subdivision (b)(3) to the basic child support obligation for six children as determined in subdivision (b)(1). 

(c) Substantial or Equally Shared Physical Custody. 

(1) Substantial Physical Custody. When a child spends 40% or more of the annual overnights with the obligor, a rebuttable presumption arises that the obligor is entitled to a reduction in the basic child support obligation to reflect the obligor’s increased direct spending on the child during the obligor’s custodial time. 

(i) This rebuttable presumption also applies in high income cases decided pursuant to Pa.R.C.P. No. 1910.16-3.1. 

(ii) Except as provided in subdivision (c)(2), the trier-of-fact shall calculate the adjustment pursuant to the formula set forth in subdivision (a)(1)(Part D) or (a)(2)(Part II). 

(2) Equally Shared Physical Custody. Without regard to which party initiated the support action, when a child spends an equal number of annual overnights with the parties: 

(i) The formula in subdivision (a)(1)(Part D) or (a)(2)(Part II) cannot be applied unless the obligor is the party with the higher monthly net income. 

(ii) The trier-of-fact shall not require the party with the lower monthly net income to pay basic child support to the party with the higher monthly net income. However, this subdivision shall not preclude the entry of an order requiring the party with less monthly net income to contribute to additional expenses pursuant to Pa.R.C.P. No. 1910.16-6.

 

   (iii) Based upon the evidence presented, the trier-of-fact may enter a support order against either party.

(iv) If the support calculation results in the obligee receiving a larger share of the parties’ combined monthly net income, the trier-of-fact:

 

(A) shall adjust the obligor’s basic child support obligation so that the combined monthly net income is allocated equally between the two parties; and

 

(B) shall not award spousal support or alimony pendente lite.

 

Example 1. If the obligor and the obligee have monthly net incomes of $5,000 and $2,300, respectively, the basic child support obligation is $1,901 for two children. Using the income shares formula in Part I, the obligor’s basic child support obligation is 68%, or $1,293. If the children spend 40% of the annual overnights with the obligor, the formula in Part D or Part II applies to reduce the obligor’s basic child support obligation to 58%, or $1,103. If the children spend 45% of the annual overnights with the obligor, the obligor’s basic child support obligation is reduced to 53%, or $1,008. If the children spend an equal number of the annual overnights with the obligor and obligee, the obligor’s basic child support obligation is reduced to 48%, or $912.

 

Example 2. Mother and Father have monthly net incomes of $3,000 and $2,700, respectively. Mother has filed for support for the parties’ two children with whom the parties share time equally. As the parties have equal custody and Mother has the higher monthly net income, Mother cannot be the obligee. Although Mother initiated the support action, she would be the obligor. Pursuant to the Basic Child Support Schedule in Pa.R.C.P. No. 1910.16-3, the basic child support obligation for two children at the parties’ combined monthly net income is $1,585 per month. Mother’s share is 53%, or $840. Application of the Part II or Part D formula results in a 20% reduction in support when the obligor has 50% custody of the children. Mother’s adjusted percentage share of the basic support obligation is 33% (53%--20% = 33%) and the preliminary adjusted basic child support obligation is $523 (33% of $1,585). However, as this amount would result in Father having a greater share of the parties’ combined monthly net income ($3,223 vs. $2,477), Mother’s basic child support obligation would be adjusted to $150 per month to allocate the parties’ combined monthly net income equally between the two parties and would be the presumptive basic child support obligation payable to Father under these circumstances.

 

Example 3. If the obligor and the obligee have monthly net incomes of $3,000 and $2,500, respectively, the basic child support obligation for two children is $1,567. The obligor’s share is 55%, or $862 ($1,567 x 55%). If the children spend equal time with the parties, the formula in Part II or Part D results in a basic child support obligation of $548 ($1,567 x 35%) payable to the obligee. Since this amount results in the obligee having monthly net income of $3,048 and the obligor having monthly net income of $2,452, the obligor’s basic child support obligation would be adjusted to $250 to equalize the combined monthly net income between the parties and would be the presumptive basic child support obligation payable to the obligee under these circumstances.

(d) Divided or Split Physical Custody. When Each Party Owes Child Support to the Other Party. Varied Partial or Shared Custodial Schedules.

(1) Divided or Split Physical Custody. When Each Party Owes Child Support to the Other Party. When calculating a basic child support obligation and each party owes child support to the other party as a result of the custodial arrangement, the trier-of-fact shall offset the parties’ respective basic child support obligations and award the net difference to the obligee as child support.

 

Example 1. If the parties have three children, one child resides with Mother and two children reside with Father, and the parties’ monthly net incomes are $4,000 and $2,000 respectively, Mother’s basic child support obligation is calculated using the schedule in Pa.R.C.P. No. 1910.16-3 for two children at the parties’ combined monthly net income of $6,000. The basic child support obligation is $1,628. As Mother’s income is 67% of the parties’ combined monthly net income, Mother’s basic child support obligation for the two children living with Father is $1,091. Father’s basic child support obligation is calculated using the schedule in Pa.R.C.P. No. 1910.16-3 for one child at the parties’ combined monthly net income of $6,000. The basic child support obligation is $1,097. Father’s basic child support obligation for the child living with Mother is $362. Subtracting $362 from $1,091 produces a basic child support obligation of $729 payable to Father as child support.

 

Example 2. If the parties have two children, one child resides with Mother and the parties equally share custody (50%--50%) of the other child, and the parties’ monthly net incomes are as set forth in Example 1. The basic child support obligation is calculated using the schedule in Pa.R.C.P. No. 1910.16-3 for the one child primarily residing with Mother at the parties’ combined monthly net income of $6,000, the basic child support obligation is $1,097. Father’s income is 33% of the parties’ combined monthly net income, and the basic child support obligation for the child living with Mother is $362. For Mother’s obligation for the child with the equally shared custody arrangement, using the schedule in Pa.R.C.P. No. 1910.16-3 for one child at the parties’ combined monthly net income of $6,000, the basic child support obligation is $1,097. Mother’s proportionate share of the combined monthly net incomes is 67%, but it is reduced to 47% after applying the shared parenting time adjustment for 50% custody under subdivision (c). Mother’s basic child support obligation for the shared custody child is $516 ($1,097 x 47%). As Mother’s obligation is greater than Father’s obligation, Father is the obligee and receives the net of the two obligations by subtracting $362 from $516, or $154. 

(2) Varied Partial or Shared Physical Custodial Schedule. 

(i) The trier-of-fact may reduce a party’s basic child support obligation when the parties have more than one child and each child spends either different amounts of: 

(A) partial or equally shared custodial time with the higher monthly net income party; or 

(B) partial custodial time with the lower monthly net income party. 

(ii) In determining whether a party is entitled to a reduction as provided in subdivision (d)(2)(i): 

(A) the trier-of-fact shall: 

(I) add the percentage of annual overnights each child spends with that party; and 

(II) divide by the number of children to determine the party’s average percentage of custodial time. 

(B) If the average percentage of custodial time is 40% or more: 

(I) subdivision (c) applies; and

(II) the trier-of-fact shall reduce the party’s basic child support obligation accordingly.

 

Example 1. The parties have two children and one child spends 50% of the annual overnights with Mother, who has the higher monthly net income, and the other child spends 20% of the annual overnights with Mother. Add those percentages together and divide by the number of children (50% plus 20% = 70% divided by 2 children = 35% average time with Mother). Pursuant to subdivision (d)(2)(ii)(B), Mother is not entitled to a reduction in the support order for substantial parenting time.

 

Example 2. The parties have three children. Two children spend 50% of the annual overnights with Mother, who has the higher monthly net income, and the third child spends 30% of the annual overnights with Mother. Add the percentages of custodial time for all three children together and divide by the number of children (50% plus 50% plus 30% = 130% divided by three children = 43.33% average percentage of time with Mother). Pursuant to subdivision (d)(2)(ii)(B), Mother is entitled to a reduction in the support order for substantial parenting time.

 

Example 3. The parties have three children, Mother has primary custody (60%--40%) of one child, Father has primary custody (60%--40%) of one child, and the parties share custody (50%--50%) of the third child. The parties’ monthly net incomes are $2,500 (Mother) and $2,000 (Father). As a result of the custodial arrangement, Father owes support for the child in the primary custody of Mother and Mother owes support for the child in the primary custody of Father and for the child shared equally between the parties. Father’s basic child support obligation is calculated using the schedule in Pa.R.C.P. No. 1910.16-3 for one child at the parties’ combined monthly net income of $4,500. The basic child support obligation is $941. Father’s proportionate share of the combined monthly net incomes is 44%, but is reduced to 34% after applying the shared parenting time adjustment for 40% custody under subdivision (c). Father’s basic child support obligation for this child is $320 ($941 x 34%). Mother’s basic child support obligation is calculated using the schedule in Pa.R.C.P. No. 1910.16-3 for two children at the parties’ combined monthly net income of $4,500. The basic child support obligation is $1,414. Mother has varying partial or shared custody of the two children (40% and 50%). Under subdivision (d)(2), the custodial time is averaged or in this case 45%. Mother’s proportionate share of the combined monthly net incomes is 56%, but it is reduced to 41% after applying the shared parenting time adjustment for 45% custody under subdivision (c). Mother’s basic child support obligation for these children is $580 ($1,414 x 41%). Offsetting the support obligations consistent with subdivision (d)(1), Mother’s obligation is greater than Father’s obligation, and Father is the obligee receiving the net of the two obligations by subtracting $320 from $580, or $260.

 

Note: In cases with more than one child and varied partial or shared custodial schedules, it is not appropriate to perform a separate calculation for each child and offset support amounts as that method does not consider the incremental increases in support for more than one child built into the schedule of basic child support. 

(3) Combined Child Support and Spousal Support or Alimony Pendente Lite. When Each Party Owes Child Support to the Other Party. 

(i) When one or more children reside with each party, the trier-of-fact shall offset the obligor’s combined spousal support or alimony pendente lite and basic child support obligations with the obligee’s basic child support obligation. 

(ii) The trier-of-fact shall award the net difference to the obligee as spousal support or alimony pendente lite and basic child support. 

(e) Support Obligations When Custodial Parent Owes Spousal Support. If a child is residing with the spouse (custodial parent) obligated to pay spousal support or alimony pendente lite and the other spouse (non-custodial parent) has a legal obligation to support the child, the guideline spousal support or alimony pendente lite obligation is determined by offsetting the non-custodial parent’s basic child support obligation and the custodial parent’s spousal support or alimony pendente lite obligation, and awarding the net difference either to the non-custodial parent as spousal support or alimony pendente lite or to the custodial parent as child support as the circumstances warrant. The calculation is a five-step process: 

(1) Calculate the custodial parent’s spousal support or alimony pendente lite obligation to the non-custodial parent based on the parties’ monthly net incomes using the “without dependent children” formula in either Pa.R.C.P. No. 1910.16-4(a)(1)(Part B) or (a)(2)(Part IV), as appropriate. 

(2) Recalculate the parties’ monthly net incomes by adjusting for the spousal support or alimony pendente lite payment paid or received in subdivision (e)(1). 

(3) Using the recomputed monthly net incomes from subdivision (e)(2), calculate the non-custodial parent’s basic child support obligation to the custodial parent. 

(4) The final support amount is the difference calculated in subdivision (e)(1) and (e)(3). 

(i) If the amount in subdivision (e)(1) is greater than the amount in subdivision (e)(3), the final amount is spousal support or alimony pendente lite payable to the non-custodial parent. 

(ii) If the amount in subdivision (e)(1) is less than the amount in subdivision (e)(3), the final amount is basic child support payable to the custodial parent. 

(5) If the proceeding is a modification of an order entered before January 1, 2019 that has federal tax consequences associated with spousal support or alimony pendente lite payments and the final order is spousal support or alimony pendente lite as in subdivision (e)(4)(i), the offset spousal support or alimony pendente lite amount is federally taxable, and the trier-of-fact may deviate the final order due to the tax effect, as appropriate.

 

Note: See Pa.R.C.P. No. 1910.19(h).

 

Adopted Dec. 8, 1998, effective April 1, 1999. Amended March 2, 2000, imd. effective; Oct. 27, 2000, imd. effective; June 5, 2001, imd. effective; Oct. 30, 2001, imd. effective; Sept. 24, 2002, imd. effective; Nov. 9, 2004, imd. effective; May 17, 2005, imd. effective; Sept. 27, 2005, effective in 4 months [Jan. 27, 2006]; Jan. 12, 2010, effective May 12, 2010; July 8, 2010, effective Sept. 6, 2010; Aug. 3, 2011, effective in 30 days [Sept. 2, 2011]; Aug. 26, 2011, effective Sept. 30, 2011; Jan. 31, 2012, effective Feb. 28, 2012; April 9, 2013, effective Aug. 9, 2013; July 2, 2014, effective August 1, 2014; Sept. 25, 2014, effective Oct. 25, 2014; April 29, 2015, effective July 1, 2015; Oct. 14, 2016, effective Jan. 1, 2017; Feb. 10, 2017, effective May 1, 2017; Feb. 9, 2018, effective April 1, 2018; July 30, 2018, effective Jan. 1, 2019; Dec. 28, 2018, effective Jan. 1, 2019; Aug. 17, 2021, effective Jan. 1, 2022. 

EXPLANATORY COMMENT—2005

 

Pa.R.C.P. No. 1910.16-4(a) sets forth the income shares formula used to establish the support obligation. Subdivision (b) provides the method for calculating support for seven or more children as the basic support schedule in Pa.R.C.P. No. 1910.16-3 sets forth the presumptive amount of support for up to six children. 

 

Subdivision (c) sets forth the method for calculating the presumptive amount of support in cases where the children spend 40% or more of their time during the year with the obligor. When there is equal time sharing, subdivision (2) reduces the support obligation further so that the obligor does not pay more than is necessary to equalize the parties’ combined monthly net income between the two households. Subdivision (3) expressly excludes SSR cases from the application of this rule. Since the SSR already reduces support to a minimal level, a further reduction should not be given for the amount of time spent with the children. 

 

Subdivision (d) relates to the calculation of support in divided or split custody cases. It retains the existing method for offsetting the parties’ respective support obligations when one or more of the children resides with each party. 

 

Subdivision (e) governs spousal support obligations when the custodial parent owes spousal support. It has not been amended, other than to update the example to be consistent with the new schedule at Pa.R.C.P. No. 1910.16-3

EXPLANATORY COMMENT--2010

 

The basic support schedule incorporates an assumption that the children spend 30% of the time with the obligor and that the obligor makes direct expenditures on their behalf during that time. Variable expenditures, such as food and entertainment, that fluctuate based upon parenting time were adjusted in the schedule to build in the assumption of 30% parenting time. Upward deviation should be considered in cases in which the obligor has little or no contact with the children. However, an upward deviation may not be appropriate if an obligor has infrequent overnight contact with the child, but provides meals and entertainment during daytime contact. Fluctuating expenditures should be considered rather than the extent of overnight time. A downward deviation may be appropriate when the obligor incurs substantial fluctuating expenditures during parenting time but has infrequent overnights with the children. 

 

The calculation in Pa.R.C.P. No. 1910.16-4(c) reduces an obligor’s support obligation further if the obligor spends significantly more time with the children. The obligor will receive an additional 10% reduction in the amount of support owed at 40% parenting time, increasing incrementally to a 20% reduction at 50% parenting time. This method still may result in a support obligation even if custody of the children is equally shared. In those cases, the rule provides for a maximum obligation so that the obligee does not receive a larger portion of the parties’ combined monthly net income than the obligor. 

________________________

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.

 

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. 

 

Adopted Dec. 8, 1998, effective April 1, 1999. Amended Sept. 24, 2003, imd. effective; Sept. 27, 2005, effective in 4 months [Jan. 27, 2006]; Jan. 12, 2010, effective May 12, 2010; Aug. 17, 2021, effective Jan. 1, 2022. 

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.

 

______________________________

 

Rule 1910.16-6. Support Guidelines. Basic Support Obligation Adjustments. Additional Expenses Allocation

The trier-of-fact may allocate between the parties the additional expenses in subdivisions (a)-(e). Even when a basic support order is inappropriate under the facts of the case, the trier-of-fact may allocate between the parties the additional expenses. 

 

Except for the subdivisions (b)(4) and (e) expenses, the trier-of-fact shall calculate the parties’ proportionate share of the additional expenses after adjusting the parties’ monthly net income by the spousal support or alimony pendente lite obligation received or paid, and dividing each party’s adjusted monthly net income by the parties’ combined monthly net income. However, the trier-of-fact shall not adjust the parties’ monthly net incomes when apportioning the expenses in child support only cases.

(a) Child care expenses.

(1) The trier-of-fact:

(i) shall allocate reasonable child care expenses paid by the parties, if necessary to maintain employment or appropriate education in pursuit of income.

(ii) may allocate reasonable child care expenses paid by the parties when the trier-of-fact imputes an earning capacity to a party as provided in Pa.R.C.P. No. 1910.16-2(d)(4)(i)(D).

 (2) The trier-of-fact may require that the obligor’s share be added to the basic child support obligation, paid directly to the service provider, or paid directly to the obligee.

 

(3) When a party is receiving a child care subsidy through the Department of Human Services, the expense allocated between the parties is the amount actually paid by the party receiving the subsidy.

(4) The party seeking allocation of child care expenses shall provide to the other party the expense’s documentation, such as a receipt or an invoice, promptly after receipt unless the service provider invoices the parties separately for the party’s proportionate share of the expense.

(5) The trier-of-fact shall have the discretion to not allocate expenses if documentation is not timely provided to the other party.

(6) Except as provided in subdivision (a)(7), the total child care expenses shall be reduced to reflect the federal child care tax credit available to the eligible party, regardless of whether the credit is actually claimed by that party, up to the maximum annual cost allowable under the Internal Revenue Code.

(7) If the eligible party is not qualified to receive the credit, the federal child care tax credit shall not be used to reduce the child care expenses subject to allocation between the parties. 

 

Example. Mother has primary custody of the parties’ two children and Father has partial custody. The parties’ respective monthly net incomes are $2,000 and $3,500. At the combined monthly net income of $5,500 for two children, the basic child support obligation is $1,567. As Father’s income represents 64% of the parties’ combined monthly net income, Father’s basic child support obligation is $1,003. Mother incurs monthly child care expenses of $400, and Father incurs $100 per month. The total child care expenses, $500, will be apportioned between the parties, with Father paying 64%, or $320. As Father is paying $100 for the children’s child care during in his partial custody, he would pay the remaining $220 to Mother for a total child support obligation of $1,223 ($1,003 + $220).

(b) Health Insurance Premium.

(1) The trier-of-fact shall allocate the health insurance premium paid by the parties, including the premium attributable to the party paying the premium, provided that a statutory duty of support is owed to the party or child covered by the health insurance.

(i) If the party paying the health insurance premium is the obligor, the obligee’s share is deducted from the obligor’s basic support obligation.

(ii) If the obligee is paying the health insurance premium, the obligor’s share is added to the obligor’s basic support obligation.

(iii) A health insurance premium allocated between the parties shall also include health insurance that is provided and paid by a third-party resident of a party’s household (e.g., step-parent) for a child who is the subject of the support order.

(2) The trier-of-fact shall not allocate an employer-paid premium or a premium paid for a party, person, or child to whom no statutory duty of support is owed.

(i) If the parties present evidence of the excluded premium’s actual amount -- the amount attributed to a party, person, or child not owed a statutory duty of support -- the trier-of-fact shall deduct the actual amount excluded from the total premium before allocating the health insurance premium between the parties.

 

 (ii) If the parties do not present evidence of the excluded premium’s actual amount, the trier-of-fact shall calculate the excluded amount as follows:

(A) determine the premium’s cost per person by dividing the total premium by the number of persons covered under the policy;

(B) multiply the cost per person by the number of persons who are not owed a statutory duty of support, or are not parties to, or the subject of, the support action; and

(C) the resulting amount is excluded from allocation. 

 

Example 1. If the parties are separated, but not divorced, and Husband pays $200 monthly for employer-provided health insurance for himself, Wife, the parties’ child, and two additional children from a previous marriage, the premium attributable to the additional two children, if not otherwise verifiable or known with reasonable ease and certainty, is calculated by dividing $200 by five persons and then multiplying the resulting amount of $40 per person by the two additional children, for a total of $80 to be excluded from allocation. Deduct this amount from the total premium to arrive at the premium to be allocated between the parties--$120. Since Husband is paying the premium, and spouses have a statutory duty to support one another pursuant to 23 Pa.C.S. § 4321, Wife’s percentage share of the $120 is deducted from Husband’s support obligation. If Wife had been providing the coverage, Husband’s percentage share would be added to his basic support obligation. 

 

Example 2. If the parties are divorced and Father pays $200 monthly for employer-provided health insurance for himself, the parties’ child, and two additional children from a previous marriage, the premium attributable to Father and the two additional children will not be allocated between the parties. Thus, using the same calculations in Example 1, the premium attributable to Father and the two other children is $150 ($200 premium divided among four covered persons equals $50 per person multiplied by three) and that amount is deducted from the total premium, leaving $50 ($200--$150 = $50) to be allocated between the parties. 

 

Example 3. The parties are divorced, and Mother is the obligee of a child support order. Father, the obligor, pays $200 monthly for employer-provided health insurance for himself and the parties’ child. Mother pays $400 per month for her employer-provided health insurance that covers only herself. The premium Father pays to cover the parties’ child, $100 ($200 premium divided between two covered persons, Father and the child), will be allocated between the parties in proportion to their respective monthly net incomes. The premium that covers Father will not be allocated because the parties are no longer married, and he is not owed a duty of support by Mother. The premium Mother pays to provide her own coverage will not be allocated because the parties are no longer married and she is not owed a duty of support by Father.

(3) Pursuant to 23 Pa.C.S. § 4326(a), in every support proceeding, the trier-of-fact shall ascertain a parent’s ability to provide medical support for the parties’ child and the support “order shall include a requirement for medical support to be provided by either or both parents, provided that such medical support is accessible to the children.”

(i) The obligor bears the initial responsibility of providing the child’s health care coverage if it is available at a reasonable cost.

(A) “Reasonable cost” to an obligor shall be defined as an amount that does not exceed 5% of the obligor’s monthly net income and, when added to the basic child support obligation plus additional expenses the obligor is ordered to pay, does not exceed 50% of the obligor’s monthly net income.

(B) If the obligee is providing the coverage, the “reasonable cost” of the obligor’s share shall be defined as an amount that does not exceed 5% of the obligor’s monthly net income and, when added to the basic child support obligation plus additional expenses the obligor is ordered to pay, does not exceed 50% of the obligor’s monthly net income.

(ii) Unless the child’s health care coverage is provided by the obligee or a third party, the court shall issue the National Medical Support Notice required by 23 Pa.C.S. § 4326(d.1) to the obligor’s employer in response to notification that the obligor is employed.

(A) The notice shall direct the employer to enroll the obligor’s child who is the subject of the support proceeding if the coverage is available at a reasonable cost to the obligor.

(B) However, the notice shall direct that enrollment shall not occur earlier than 25 days from the date of the National Medical Support Notice to allow the obligor time to object.

(C) Concurrent with the issuance of the National Medical Support Notice, the court shall provide notice to the obligor setting forth the process to object to the enrollment based upon unreasonable cost, mistake of fact, or availability of alternative health care coverage for the child.

(D) If there is more than one employer-provided health care coverage option, the obligor shall select the coverage, subject to the obligee’s right to seek a court order designating a different option.

(iii) Absent the availability of health care coverage to the obligor for the parties’ child at a reasonable cost, the court shall order the obligee to provide health care coverage for the child if it is available at a reasonable cost. “Reasonable cost” to the obligee shall be defined as an amount not to exceed 5% of the obligee’s monthly net income.

(iv) If health care coverage is not available to the parties at a reasonable cost, the court may order the the party having primary custody to apply for government-sponsored coverage, such as the Children’s Health Insurance Program (“CHIP”), with any co-premium or other cost apportioned between the parties in proportion to the parties’ respective monthly net incomes.

(v) Within 30 days after the entry of the support order, the party ordered to provide health care coverage shall provide written proof to the other party that medical insurance has been obtained, including insurance cards and all other materials set forth in the form order in Pa.R.C.P. No. 1910.27(e). There shall be a continuing obligation to provide the other party and the domestic relations section with proof of any changes in coverage.

(vi) The trier-of-fact shall give preference to health care coverage that is readily accessible to the child, as defined by geographic coverage area, access to local treatment providers, or other relevant factors. 

 

Note: The maximum amount of any attachment for child and medical support is set forth by the federal Consumer Credit Protection Act (15 U.S.C. §§ 1601 et seq.).

(4) If the obligor is paying for the health insurance, the obligee has no income or minimal income, and the obligor will bear 90% or more of the health insurance premium:

(i) the trier-of-fact may, as fairness requires, deduct part or all of the premium actually paid by the obligor to provide coverage for the other party or the child from the obligor’s gross income to determine monthly net income for support purposes.

 

 (ii) If such a deduction is taken from the obligor’s gross income, the premium allocation as set forth in subdivision (b)(1) shall not be applied. 

 

Note: Subdivision (b) does not apply to Medical Assistance. See 23 Pa.C.S. § 4326(l).

(c) Unreimbursed Medical Expenses. The trier-of-fact shall allocate the obligee’s or child’s unreimbursed medical expenses. However, the trier-of-fact shall not allocate unreimbursed medical expenses incurred by a party who is not owed a statutory duty of support by the other party. The trier-of-fact may require that the obligor’s expense share be included in the basic support obligation, paid directly to the health care provider, or paid directly to the obligee.

(1) Medical Expenses.

(i) For purposes of this subdivision, medical expenses are annual unreimbursed medical expenses in excess of $250 per person.

(ii) Medical expenses include insurance co-payments and deductibles and all expenses incurred for reasonably necessary medical services and supplies, including but not limited to surgical, dental and optical services, and orthodontia.

(iii) Medical expenses do not include cosmetic, chiropractic, psychiatric, psychological, or other services unless specifically directed in the order of court. 

 

Note: While cosmetic, chiropractic, psychiatric, psychological, or other expenses are not required to be apportioned between the parties, the trier-of-fact may apportion such expenses that it determines to be reasonable and appropriate under the circumstances.

(2) The trier-of-fact may impose an annual limitation when the burden on the obligor would otherwise be excessive.

(3) Annual expenses shall be calculated on a calendar year basis.

(i) In the year in which the initial support order is entered, or in any period in which support is being paid that is less than a full year, the $250 threshold shall be pro-rated.

(ii) The party seeking allocation for an unreimbursed medical expense shall provide to the other party the expense’s documentation, such as a receipt or an invoice, promptly upon receipt, but not later than March 31st of the year following the calendar year in which the final bill was received by the party seeking allocation.

(iii) For purposes of subsequent enforcement, unreimbursed medical bills need not be submitted to the domestic relations section prior to March 31st.

(iv) The trier-of-fact shall have the discretion to not allocate an expense if documentation is not timely provided to the other party.

(4) If the trier-of-fact determines that out-of-network medical expenses were not obtained due to medical emergency or other compelling factors, the trier-of-fact may decline to assess the expenses against the other party. 

 

Note: If the trier-of-fact determines that the obligee acted reasonably in obtaining services that were not specifically set forth in the order of support, payment for such services may be ordered retroactively.

(d) Private School Tuition or Summer Camp. Other Additional Expenses. Expenses outside the scope of typical child-rearing expenses, such as private school tuition, summer camp fees, and other additional expenses as set forth in subdivision (d)(2), have not been factored into the Basic Child Support Schedule.

(1) Private School Tuition or Summer Camp. If the trier-of-fact determines that private school or summer camp is reasonable under the parties’ circumstances, the trier-of-fact shall apportion the expense to the parties.

(2) Other Additional Expenses. The trier-of-fact shall apportion an additional expense to the parties, if the trier-of-fact determines that the expense:

(i) is related to the child’s educational, extra-curricular, or developmental activities; and

(ii) is reasonable under the parties’ circumstances.

(3) The trier-of-fact may require that a party’s proportionate share of a subdivision (d)(1) or (d)(2) expense is:

(i) included in or excluded from the basic child support obligation;

(ii) paid directly to the service provider; or

(iii) paid directly to the other party.

(4) Documentation.

(i) The party seeking allocation of an expense shall provide the other party with the expense’s documentation, such as a receipt or an invoice, promptly upon receipt, but not later than March 31st of the year following the calendar year in which the party incurred the expense, unless the service provider invoices the parties separately.

(ii) For subsequent enforcement purposes, a party does not need to submit the expense’s documentation to the domestic relations section before March 31.

(iii) The trier-of-fact shall have the discretion to not allocate an expense if documentation is not timely provided to the other party.

(e) Mortgage Payment. The support guidelines assume that the spouse occupying the marital residence will be solely responsible for the mortgage payment, real estate taxes, and homeowners’ insurance. Similarly, the trier-of-fact shall assume that the party occupying the marital residence will be paying the items listed unless the recommendation specifically provides otherwise.

(1) If the obligee is living in the marital residence and the mortgage payment exceeds 25% of the obligee’s monthly net income (including amounts of spousal support, alimony pendente lite, and child support), the trier-of-fact may require the obligor to assume up to 50% of the excess amount in the obligor’s support obligation.

(2) If the obligor is occupying the marital residence and the mortgage payment exceeds 25% of the obligor’s monthly net income (less any amount of spousal support, alimony pendente lite, and child support the obligor is paying), the trier-of-fact may downwardly adjust the obligor’s support obligation.

 (3) This rule shall not be applicable after a final resolution of the outstanding economic claims in the parties’ divorce action.

(4) For purposes of this subdivision, “mortgage” shall include a first mortgage, real estate taxes, and homeowners’ insurance and may include a subsequent mortgage, a home equity loan, and other marital obligations secured by the marital residence.

 

Adopted Dec. 8, 1998, effective April 1, 1999. Amended Oct. 27, 2000, imd. effective; June 5, 2001, imd. effective; Oct. 30, 2001, imd. effective; Oct. 31, 2002, imd. effective; July 30, 2003, imd. effective; Sept. 24, 2003, imd. effective; Nov. 9, 2004, imd. effective; May 17, 2005, imd. effective; Sept. 27, 2005, effective in 4 months [Jan. 27, 2006]; Oct. 17, 2006, imd. effective; Aug. 13, 2008, effective Oct. 12, 2008; Dec. 8, 2009, imd. effective; Jan. 12, 2010, effective May 12, 2010; July 8, 2010, effective Sept. 6, 2010; Aug. 26, 2011, effective Sept. 30, 2011; April 9, 2013, effective Aug. 9, 2013; May 14, 2014, effective June 13, 2014; March 12, 2015, effective April 11, 2015; Feb. 10, 2017, effective May 1, 2017; June 23, 2017, effective Oct. 1, 2017; Dec. 28, 2018, effective Jan. 1, 2019; Aug. 17, 2021, effective Jan. 1, 2022. 

EXPLANATORY COMMENT--2004

 

Subdivision (a), relating to the federal child care tax credit, has been amended to reflect recent amendments to the Internal Revenue Code, 26 U.S.C. § 21. By generally referencing the Tax Code, rather than incorporating current Code provisions in the rule, further amendments will be incorporated into the support calculation. 

EXPLANATORY COMMENT--2005

 

Pa.R.C.P. No. 1910.16-6 governs the treatment of additional expenses that warrant an adjustment to the basic support obligation. 

 

Subdivision (a) relates to child care expenses. Subdivision (a) has been amended to require that child care expenses incurred by either party are to be allocated between the parties in proportion to their respective net incomes. Subsection (a)(1), relating to the federal child care tax credit, was amended in 2004 to reflect recent amendments to the Internal Revenue Code. 26 U.S.C. § 21. By referring to the Tax Code in general, rather than incorporating current Code provisions in the rule, any further amendments will be incorporated into the support calculation. Since the tax credit may be taken only against taxes owed, it cannot be used when the eligible parent does not incur sufficient tax liability to fully realize the credit. For this reason, subsection (2) provides that no adjustment to the total child care expenses may be made if the eligible parent does not qualify to receive the credit. 

 

Subdivision (b) addresses health insurance premiums. The cost of the premiums is generally treated as an additional expense to be allocated between the parties in proportion to their net incomes. Subdivision (b)(1) of the rule permits allocation of the entire premium, including the portion of the premium covering the party carrying the insurance, when the insurance benefits the other party and/or the children. Subdivision (b)(2) clarifies that, in calculating the amount of the health care premium to be allocated between the parties, subdivision (b)(1) requires the inclusion of that portion of the health insurance premium covering the party who is paying the premium, so long as there is a statutory duty of support owed to that party, but not the portion of the premium attributable to non-parties and children who are not the subjects of the support order. Subdivision (b)(2) provides for proration of the premium when the health insurance covers other persons who are not subject to the support action or owed a statutory duty of support. Subdivision (b) also permits an alternative method for dealing with the cost of health insurance premiums in certain circumstances. While, in general, the cost of the premiums will be treated as an additional expense to be allocated between the parties in proportion to their net incomes, in cases in which the obligee has no income or minimal income, subsection (4) authorizes the trier-of-fact to reduce the obligor’s gross income for support purposes by some or all of the amount of the health insurance premiums. This is to avoid the result under a prior rule in which the entire cost of health insurance would have been borne by the obligor, with no resulting reduction in the amount of support he or she would otherwise be required to pay under the support guidelines. The goal of this provision is to encourage and facilitate the maintenance of health insurance coverage for dependents by giving the obligor a financial incentive to maintain health insurance coverage. 

 

Subdivision (c) deals with unreimbursed medical expenses. Since the first $250 of medical expenses per year per child is built into the basic guideline amount in the child support schedule, only medical expenses in excess of $250 per year per child are subject to allocation under this rule as an additional expense to be added to the basic support obligation. The same is true with respect to spousal support so that the obligee-spouse is expected to assume the first $250 per year of these expenses and may seek contribution under this rule only for unreimbursed expenses which exceed $250 per year. The definition of “medical expenses” includes insurance co-payments, deductibles and orthodontia and excludes chiropractic services.

 

Subdivision (d) governs apportionment of private school tuition, summer camp and other unusual needs not reflected in the basic guideline amounts of support. The rule presumes allocation in proportion to the parties’ net incomes consistent with the treatment of the other additional expenses. 

 

Subdivision (e) provides for the apportionment of mortgage expenses. It defines “mortgage” to include the real estate taxes and homeowners’ insurance. While real estate taxes and homeowners’ insurance must be included if the trier-of-fact applies the provisions of this subdivision, the inclusion of second mortgages, home equity loans and other obligations secured by the marital residence is within the trier-of-fact’s discretion based upon the circumstances of the case. 

EXPLANATORY COMMENT--2006

 

A new introductory sentence in Pa.R.C.P. No. 1910.16-6 clarifies that additional expenses contemplated in the rule may be allocated between the parties even if the parties’ respective incomes do not warrant an award of basic support. Thus, even if application of either formula Pa.R.C.P. No. 1910.16-4 results in a basic support obligation of zero, the trier-of-fact may enter a support order allocating between the parties any or all of the additional expenses addressed in this rule. 

 

The amendment of subdivision (e) recognizes that the obligor may be occupying the marital residence and that, in particular circumstances, justice and fairness may warrant an adjustment in his or her support obligation. 

EXPLANATORY COMMENT--2008

 

Federal and state statutes require clarification to subdivision (b) to ensure that all court orders for support address the children’s ongoing need for medical care. In those instances where the children’s health care needs are paid by the state’s medical assistance program, and eligibility for the Children’s Health Insurance Program (“CHIP”) is denied due to the minimal income of the custodial parent, the obligor remains required to enroll the parties’ children in health insurance that is, or may become, available that is reasonable in cost.

 

 

Government-sponsored health care plans represent a viable alternative to the often prohibitive cost of health insurance obtainable by a parent. Except for very low income children, every child is eligible for CHIP, for which the parent with primary physical custody must apply and which is based on that parent’s income. A custodial parent may apply for CHIP by telephone or on the Internet. While co-premiums or co-pays increase as the custodial parent’s income increases, such costs are generally modest and should be apportioned between the parties. Moreover, health care coverage obtained by the custodial parent generally yields more practical results, as the custodial parent resides in the geographic coverage area, enrollment cards are issued directly to the custodial parent, and claims may be submitted directly by the custodial parent. 

EXPLANATORY COMMENT--2010

 

Subdivision (e), relating to mortgages on the marital residence, has been amended to clarify that the rule cannot be applied after a final order of equitable distribution has been entered. To the extent that Isralsky v. Isralsky, 824 A.2d 1178 (Pa. Super. 2003), holds otherwise, it is superseded. At the time of resolution of the parties’ economic claims, the former marital residence will either have been awarded to one of the parties or otherwise addressed. 

EXPLANATORY COMMENT--2018

 

The amendments provide for an adjustment to the parties’ monthly net incomes prior to determining the percentage each party pays toward the expenses set forth in Pa.R.C.P. No. 1910.16-6. Previously, the Rules of Civil Procedure apportioned the enumerated expenses in Pa.R.C.P. No. 1910.16-6(a)-(d), with the exception of subdivision (c)(5), between the parties based on the parties’ respective monthly net incomes as calculated pursuant to Pa.R.C.P. No. 1910.16-2. This apportionment did not consider the amount of support paid by the obligor or received by the obligee. 

 

The amended rule adjusts the parties’ monthly net incomes, upward or downward, by the spousal support/APL amount paid or received by that party prior to apportioning the expenses. This methodology is not new to the Rules of Civil Procedure. In Pa.R.C.P. No. 1910.16-6(c)(5)(rescinded), the parties’ monthly net incomes in spousal support/APL-only cases were similarly adjusted prior to the apportionment of unreimbursed medical expenses. Likewise, Pa.R.C.P. No. 1910.16-6(e) considers the parties’ monthly net income after the receipt or payment of the support obligation for purposes of determining a mortgage deviation. As the new procedure adopts the methodology in former subdivision (c)(5), that subdivision has been rescinded as delineating the spousal support only circumstance is unnecessary. 

 

Lastly, the amendment consolidates Pa.R.C.P. No. 1910.16-6(b)(1), (2), and (2.1). 

_______________________________

 

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. 

 

Adopted Dec. 8, 1998, effective April 1, 1999. Amended Oct. 30, 2001, imd. effective; Oct. 31, 2002, imd. effective; Sept. 27, 2005, effective in 4 months [Jan. 27, 2006]; Aug. 13, 2008, effective Oct. 12, 2008; Jan. 12, 2010, effective May 12, 2010; April 9, 2013, effective Aug. 9, 2013; Sept. 25, 2014, effective Oct. 25, 2014; Feb. 10, 2017, effective May 1, 2017; Feb. 9, 2018, effective April 1, 2018; Aug. 17, 2021, effective Jan. 1, 2022. 

EXPLANATORY COMMENT--2005

 

Rule 1910.16-7 has been amended to reflect the updated schedule at Rule 1910.16-3 and the increase in the Self-Support Reserve (“SSR”), formerly the CAM, to $748 per month. This rule sets forth the calculation of child support obligations in the context of multiple families. Awards of spousal support in this context are 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 (c) clarifies 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. As the first example illustrates, no reduction should be given if the basic support obligations do not exceed 50% of the obligor’s net monthly income even though his or her contribution to additional expenses may result in an overall obligation exceeding this percentage of income. As the second example illustrates, however, in low income cases it may be necessary to adjust the child support obligations proportionally even though they do not exceed 50% of the obligor’s net income. This is consistent with the goals of the SSR to ensure that the obligor retains sufficient income to maintain the incentive to work so that he or she can support all of the children. 

 

Subdivision (c) also emphasizes that the initial amounts which are calculated for purposes of determining whether a proportional reduction is warranted are only presumptive amounts of child support. They are subject to upward or downward adjustment under Rules 1910.16-5 and 1910.16-6 relating to deviation and additional child-related expenses which are typically added to the basic obligation. This is intended only to emphasize that the establishment of appropriate support obligations for children of different families involves the same considerations as the establishment of a support obligation for a child or children of a single family. 

 

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. 

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 CUSTODY AND VISITATION

Rule 1915.4-2. Partial Custody. Office Conference. Hearing. Record. Exceptions. Order.

 (a)  Office Conference.

   (1)  The office conference shall be conducted by a conference officer.

   (2)  If the respondent fails to appear at the conference before the conference officer as directed by the court, the conference may proceed without the respondent.

   (3)  The conference officer may make a recommendation to the parties relating to partial custody or supervised physical custody of the child or children. If an agreement for partial custody or supervised physical custody is reached at the conference, the conference officer shall prepare a written order 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 an order in accordance with the agreement without hearing the parties.

   (4)  At the conclusion of the conference, if an agreement relating to partial custody or supervised physical custody has not been reached, the parties shall be given notice of the date, time and place of a hearing before a hearing officer, which may be the same day, but in no event shall be more than forty-five days from the date of the conference.

 (b)  Hearing.

   (1)  The hearing shall be conducted by a hearing officer who must be a lawyer, and a record shall be made of the testimony. A hearing officer who is a lawyer employed by, or under contract with, a judicial district or appointed by the court shall not practice family law before a conference officer, hearing officer, or judge of the same judicial district.

   (2)  The hearing officer shall receive evidence and hear argument. The hearing officer may recommend to the court that the parties and/or the subject child or children submit to examination and evaluation by experts pursuant to Rule 1915.8.

   (3)  Within ten days of the conclusion of the hearing, the hearing officer shall file with the court and serve upon all parties a report containing a recommendation with respect to the entry of an order of partial custody or supervised physical custody. The report may be in narrative form stating the reasons for the recommendation and shall include a proposed order, including a specific schedule for partial custody or supervised physical custody.

   (4)  Within twenty days after the date the hearing officer’s report is mailed or received by the parties, whichever occurs first, any party may file exceptions to the report or any part thereof, to rulings on objections to evidence, to statements or findings of fact, to conclusions of law, or to any other matters occurring during the hearing. Each exception shall set forth a separate objection precisely and without discussion. Matters not covered by exceptions are deemed waived unless, prior to entry of the final order, leave is granted to file exceptions raising those matters. If exceptions are filed, any other party may file exceptions within twenty days of the date of service of the original exceptions.

   (5)  If no exceptions are filed within the twenty-day period, the court shall review the report and, if approved, enter a final order.

   (6)  If exceptions are filed, the court shall hear argument on the exceptions within forty-five days of the date the last party files exceptions, and enter an appropriate final order within fifteen days of argument. No motion for Post-Trial Relief may be filed to the final order.

Explanatory Comment—2006

   The time for filing exceptions has been expanded from ten to twenty days. The purpose of this amendment is to provide ample opportunity for litigants and counsel to receive notice of the entry of the order, to assure commonwealth-wide consistency in calculation of time for filing and to conform to applicable general civil procedural rules.

Source

   The provisions of this Rule 1915.4-2 adopted July 15, 1994, effective January 1, 1995, 24 Pa.B. 3803; amended November 30, 2000, effective March 1, 2001, 30 Pa.B. 6423; amended August 8, 2006, effective immediately, 36 Pa.B. 4709; amended October 30, 2007, effective immediately, 37 Pa.B. 5974; amended August 1, 2013, effective September 3, 2013, 43 Pa.B. 4702; amended March 4, 2015, effective in 30 days on April 3, 2015, 45 Pa.B. 1354; amended October 19, 2021, effective January 1, 2022.

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Rule 1915.4-3. Non-Record Proceedings. Trials.

 (a)  Non-Record Proceedings. In judicial districts utilizing an initial non-record proceeding, i.e., office conference, if an agreement is not finalized by the conclusion of the proceeding, the conference officer shall promptly notify the court that the matter should be listed for trial. A lawyer employed by, or under contract with, a judicial district or appointed by the court to serve as a conference officer to preside over a non-record proceeding shall not practice family law before a conference officer, hearing officer, or judge of the same judicial district.

 (b) Trial. The trial before the court shall be de novo. The court shall hear the case and render a decision within the time periods set forth in Pa.R.C.P. No. 1915.4.

Explanatory Comment—2018

   The amendment to this rule, in conjunction with the amendment to Pa.R.C.P. No. 1915.1, standardizes terminology used in the custody process and identifies court personnel by title and in some cases qualifications. Of note, the term ‘‘mediator,’’ which had been included in the rule, has been omitted and is specifically defined in Pa.R.C.P. No. 1915.1.

   As in the support rules, custody conference officers preside over conferences and hearing officers preside over hearings. Regardless of the individual’s title, presiding over a conference or a hearing triggers the family law attorney practice preclusion in this rule and in Pa.R.C.P. No. 1915.4-2(b) in the case of a hearing officer. Mediators, as defined in Pa.R.C.P. No. 1915.1 and as qualified in Pa.R.C.P. No. 1940.4, do not preside over custody conferences or hearings; rather, mediators engage custody litigants in alternative dispute resolution methods pursuant to Chapter 1940 of the Rules of Civil Procedure and, as such, the preclusion from practicing family law in the same judicial district in which an attorney/mediator is appointed is inapplicable.

Source

   The provisions of this Rule 1915.4-3 amended August 1, 2013, effective September 3, 2013, 43 Pa.B. 4702; amended March 4, 2015, effective in 30 days on April 3, 2015, 45 Pa.B. 1354; amended February 8, 2018, effective April 1, 2018, 48 Pa.B. 1095; amended October 19, 2021, effective January 1, 2022.

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DIVORCE AND ANNULMENT

Rule 1920.1 Definitions. Conformity to Civil Action.

   (a)  As used in this chapter: action, an action of divorce or an action for annulment of marriage, which may include the ancillary claims that may be joined with the action of divorce or for annulment under the Divorce Code, except as otherwise provided in these rules;

   “custody,” includes partial custody;

   “divorce,” divorce from the bonds of matrimony or dissolution of a civil union;

  “hearing officer,” shall have the same meaning as "master" as that term is used in the Divorce Code, 23 Pa.C.S. §§3101 et seq.          

“marital property rights” means those rights created solely by Section 3501 of the Divorce Code; and

   “nonmarital property rights” means all property rights other than marital property rights.

   (b)  Except as otherwise provided in this chapter, the procedure in the action shall be in accordance with the rules relating to a civil action.

Note: See Section 3104 of the Divorce Code for the ancillary claims that may be joined in a divorce action, except as otherwise provided  in these rules.

See Pa.R.C.P. No. 1920.31(a)(2) as to raising claims for child support, spousal support, and alimony pendente lite.

The definition of divorce has been expanded to include civil unions. See Neyman v. Buckley, 153 A.3d 1010 (Pa. Super. 2016).

 

Adopted June 27, 1980, effective July 1, 1980. Amended December 16, 1983, effective
July 1, 1984; March 30, 1994, effective July 1, 1994; July 30, 2018, effective January 1, 2019; October 19, 2021, effective January 1, 2022.

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Rule 1920.31. Joinder of Related Claims. Ancillary Claims. Alimony. Counsel Fees.
Costs and Expenses.

   (a) Ancillary Claims.

            (1)  If a party has raised a claim for alimony, counsel fees, or costs and expenses, the parties shall file a true copy of the most recent federal income tax return, pay stubs for the preceding six months, a completed Income Statement in the form required by Pa.R.C.P. No. 1910.27(c)(1), and a completed Expense Statement in the form required by Pa.R.C.P. No. 1910.27(c)(2)(B).

            (i) A party may not file a motion for the appointment of a hearing officer or a request for court action regarding alimony, counsel fees, or costs and expenses until at least 30 days following the filing of that party’s tax returns, Income Statement, and Expense Statement.

            (ii) The other party shall file the tax returns, Income Statement, and Expense Statement within 20 days of service of the moving party’s documents.

Note: See Pa.R.C.P. No. 1930.1(b). This rule may require attorneys or unrepresented parties to file confidential documents and documents containing confidential information that are subject to the Case Records Public Access Policy of the Unified Judicial System of Pennsylvania.

      (2)  A divorce complaint shall not include claims for child support, spousal support, and alimony pendente lite. Instead, claims for child support, spousal support, and alimony pendente lite shall be raised in the domestic relations section by filing a complaint pursuant to Pa.R.C.P.  No. 1910.4.

      (3)  If a party fails to file the documents as required by subdivision (a)(1), the court on motion may make an appropriate order under Pa.R.C.P.  No. 4019 governing sanctions.

(b) Alimony.

(1)  Orders for alimony may be enforced as provided by the rules governing actions for support and divorce, and in the Divorce Code.

Note: See, inter alia, Section 3323(b) of the Divorce Code relating to enforcement of the rights of any party under a decree, Section 3505(a) of the Divorce Code relating to an injunction against disposition of property pending suit, and Section 3703 of the Divorce Code relating to the collection of arrearages.

      (2)  When so ordered by the court, payments for alimony shall be made to the domestic relations section of the court that issued the order.

   (c)  The failure to claim spousal support, alimony, alimony pendente lite, counsel fees, and costs and expenses prior to the entry of a final decree of divorce or annulment shall be deemed a waiver of those claims, unless the court expressly provides otherwise in its decree. The failure to claim child support before the entry of a final decree of divorce or annulment shall not bar a separate and subsequent action.

   (d)  Upon entry of a decree in divorce, an existing order for spousal support shall be deemed an order for alimony pendente lite if any economic claims remain pending.

    Adopted June 27, 1980, effective July 1, 1980. Amended January 28, 1983, effective July 1, 1983; May 17, 1991, effective July 1, 1991; March 30, 1994, effective July 1, 1994; December 2, 1994, effective March 1, 1995; April 21, 1995, effective July 1, 1995; August 17, 1995, immediately effective; May 31, 2000, effective July 1, 2000; November 8, 2006, effective February 6, 2007; October 30, 2007, immediately effective; May 6, 2015, effective July 1, 2015; January 5, 2018, effective January 6, 2018; July 30, 2018, effective January 1, 2019; October 19, 2021, effective January 1, 2022.

Explanatory Comment—2018

As amended, Pa.R.C.P. No. 1920.31 precludes parties from raising claims for child support, spousal support, and alimony pendente lite as counts in a divorce action. Instead, parties shall file those claims in the domestic relations section as a separate action from the divorce. The amendment of this rule is not intended to affect the legal distinction between spousal support and alimony pendente lite.

Annotation

            In Joseph v. Joseph, the Superior Court, in a Non-Precedential Memorandum Decision, reiterated that a party’s right to seek equitable distribution terminates upon the trial court’s entry of a Decree of Divorce pursuant to 23 Pa.C.S. § 3503. Regarding husband’s claim for alimony, the court referred to Pa.R.Civ.P. 1920.31 which states, in relevant part: “(c) the failure to claim…alimony, alimony pendente lite,…prior to the entry of a final decree of divorce or annulment shall be deemed a waiver of those claims unless the court expressly provides otherwise in its decree. …” Here, husband did not file a complaint with a claim for alimony. In addition, the trial court did not preserve any economic claims in the Decree of Divorce. Therefore, the court held that husband waived his claim for alimony. The court held, therefore, that husband’s Petition Raising Claims did not set forth a cognizable cause of action, and the trial court did not err in sustaining wife’s Preliminary Objections. Joseph v. Joseph, Memorandum Decision, No. 1803 WDA 2018 (Pa. Super. July 25, 2019).

 

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Rule 1920.33. Joinder of Related Claims. Equitable Division. Enforcement.

   (a)  If a pleading or petition raises a claim for equitable division of marital property under Section 3502 of the Divorce Code, the parties shall file and serve on the other party an inventory, which shall include the information in subdivisions (a)(3)(i)-(iii) and shall be substantially in the form set forth in Pa.R.C.P. No. 1920.75.

  • Within 20 days of service of the moving party’s inventory, the non-moving party shall file an inventory.
  • A party may not file a motion for the appointment of a hearing officer or a request for court action regarding equitable division until at least 30 days following the filing of that party’s inventory.

Note: See Pa.R.C.P. No. 1930.1(b). This rule may require attorneys or unrepresented parties to file confidential documents and documents containing confidential information that are subject to the Case Records Public Access Policy of the Unified Judicial System of Pennsylvania.

      (3) The inventory shall set forth as of the date of separation:

  (i)  a specific description of the marital assets which either or both parties have a legal or equitable interest, individually or jointly with another person, the name of the co-owners, if applicable, and the marital liabilities, which either party incurred individually or jointly with another person, and the name of any co-debtors, if applicable;

 (ii)  a specific description of the assets or liabilities claimed to be non-marital and the basis for such claim; and

 (iii)  the estimated value of the marital and non-marital assets and the amount due for each marital and non-marital liability.

Note: Subdivision (c) provides for sanctions for failure to file an inventory as required by subdivision (a). An inventory may be incomplete if a party lacks comprehensive knowledge of the assets and liabilities involved in the claim for equitable division. Consequently, the rule does not contemplate that a party will be precluded from presenting testimony or offering evidence as to assets or liabilities omitted from the inventory. The omission may be remedied by inclusion of the omitted information in the pre-trial statement required by subdivision (b).

   (b)  Within the time required by order of court or written directive of the hearing officer or, if none, at least 60 days before the scheduled hearing on the claim for equitable division, the parties shall file and serve upon the other party a pre-trial statement. The pre-trial statement shall include the following matters, together with any additional information required by special order of the court:

(1)  a list of assets, which may be in chart form, specifying:

(i)  the marital assets:

a.  the value;

b.  the date of the valuation;

c.  the value of any non-marital portion;

d.  the facts and documentation upon which the party relies to support the valuation; and

e.  any liens or encumbrances associated with the asset.

(ii)  The non-marital assets:

a.  the value;

b.  the date of the valuation;

c.  the facts and documentation upon which the party relies to support the valuation; and

d.  any liens or encumbrances associated with the asset.

(2)  the name and address of the expert witness(es) the party intends to call at trial. A report of each expert witness listed shall be attached to the pre-trial statement. The report shall describe the expert’s qualifications and experience, state the substance of the facts and opinions to which the expert is expected to testify and summarize the grounds for each opinion;

(3)  the name, address, and a short summary of the testimony of the witnesses, other than the party, whom the party intends to call at trial;

(4)  a list of exhibits that the party expects to offer into evidence. Exhibits not exceeding three pages shall be attached to the pre-trial statement and shall have an identifying exhibit number affixed to or incorporated into the document, and exhibits exceeding three pages shall be described specifically and shall have an exhibit number in the description;

(5)  the party’s gross income from all sources, payroll deductions, net income, and the party’s most recent state and federal income tax returns and pay stubs;

(6)  if the party intends to offer testimony as to his or her expenses, an Expense Statement in the form required by Pa.R.C.P. No. 1910.27(c)(2)(B);

(7)  if there is a claim for counsel fees, the amount of fees to be charged, the basis for the charge, and a detailed itemization of the services rendered;

(8)  the description and value of disputed tangible personal property, specifically the personalty contemplated by item number 25 of the form in Pa.R.C.P. No. 1920.75, the method of valuing each item, and the evidence, including documentation, to be offered in support of the valuation;

(9)  a list of liabilities, which may be in chart form, specifying:

(i)  The marital liabilities:

a.  amount of liability;

b.  date of the valuation;

c.  amount of any non-marital portion;

d.  the facts and documentation upon which the party relies to support the valuation; and

e.  amount, if any, of payments made on the liabilities after the date of separation.

(ii)  The non-marital liabilities:

a.  amount of the liability;

b.  date of the valuation; and

c.  the facts and documentation upon which the party relies to support the valuation.

(10)  a proposed resolution of the economic issues raised in the pleadings.

Note: See Pa.R.C.P. No. 1930.1(b). This rule may require attorneys or unrepresented parties to file confidential documents and documents containing confidential information that are subject to the Case Records Public Access Policy of the Unified Judicial System of Pennsylvania.

   (c) If a party fails to file either an inventory, as required by subdivision (a), or a pre-trial statement as required by subdivision (b), the court may make an appropriate order under Pa.R.C.P. No. 4019(c) governing sanctions.

   (d) (1) A party who fails to comply with a requirement of subdivision (b) may be barred from offering testimony or introducing evidence in support of or in opposition to claims for the matters omitted.

(2) A party may be barred from offering testimony or introducing evidence that is inconsistent with or goes beyond the fair scope of the information set forth in the pre-trial statement.

   (e) An order entered by the court pursuant to Section 3502 of the Divorce Code may be enforced as provided by the rules governing actions for support and divorce and in the Divorce Code.

    Adopted May 17, 1991, effective July 1, 1991. Amended Nov. 8, 2006, effective Feb. 6, 2007; May 6, 2015, effective July 1, 2015; June 10, 2016, effective Oct. 1, 2016; Jan. 5, 2018, effective Jan. 6, 2018; June 1, 2018, effective July 1, 2018; October 19, 2021, effective January 1, 2022.

Explanatory Comment—1994

23 Pa.C.S. § 3105(a) states that an agreement is enforceable by any means available pursuant to the Divorce Code for enforcement of an order, as though the agreement were an order of court, except as otherwise provided in the agreement. Thus, although Rule 1920.33 refers only to enforcement of orders, it also applies to enforcement of agreements.

Annotations

———————

———————

            The court agreed with the trial court’s conclusion that “wife, who filed the exceptions, was, therefore, charged with adhering to the Pennsylvania Rules of Civil Procedure, namely Pa.R.Civ.P. 1920.33, requiring the parties to file an inventory of the parties’ assets and liabilities prior to the Equitable Distribution Exceptions de novo hearing. Plain and simple, counsel for wife did not comply with this rule.” Alford v. Hamburg, Memorandum Decision, No. 2826 EDA 2018 (Pa. Super. March 21, 2019).

 

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Rule 1920.42. Obtaining Divorce Decrees under Section 3301(c) or Section 3301(d) of the Divorce Code. Affidavits and Counter-Affidavits. Requirements of the Affidavit of Consent. Ancillary Claims. Orders Approving Grounds for Divorce. Notice of Intention to File the Praecipe to Transmit Record. Praecipe to Transmit Record.
  
(a)  Obtaining a divorce decree under Section 3301(c)(1) of the Divorce Code.

(1)  If a party has filed a complaint requesting a divorce on the ground of irretrievable breakdown, the court shall enter a decree in divorce after:

(i)  proof of service of the complaint has been filed;

(ii)  the parties have signed Affidavits of Consent 90 days or more after service of the complaint and have filed the affidavits within 30 days of signing, which may only be withdrawn by an order of court;

(iii)  the ancillary claims under Pa.R.C.P. Nos. 1920.31 and 1920.33 have been withdrawn by the party raising the claims, have been resolved by agreement of the parties or order of court, have not been raised in the pleadings, or in the case of a bifurcated divorce, the court has retained jurisdiction of the ancillary claims;

(iv)  the parties have signed and filed Waivers of Notice of Intention to File the Praecipe to Transmit Record or, alternatively, the party requesting the divorce decree has served on the other party a Notice of Intention to File the Praecipe to Transmit Record, which included a blank Counter-Affidavit under Section 3301(c)(1) and a copy of the proposed Praecipe to Transmit Record that indicated the date and manner of service of the Notice of Intention to File the Praecipe to Transmit Record; and

(v)  the party requesting the divorce decree has completed and filed a Praecipe to Transmit Record. If the parties have not waived the Notice of Intention to File the Praecipe to Transmit Record, the moving party shall wait a minimum of 20 days after service of the Notice of Intention to File the Praecipe to Transmit Record before filing the Praecipe to Transmit Record.

Note: See Pa.R.C.P. No. 1920.72(b) for the Affidavit of Consent. See Pa.R.C.P. No. 1920.73(a) for the Notice of Intention to File the Praecipe to Transmit Record.

See Pa.R.C.P. No. 1920.72(e)(1) for the Counter-Affidavit under Section 3301(c)(1) of the Divorce Code.

See Pa.R.C.P. No. 1920.73(b) for the Waiver of Notice of Intention to File the Praecipe to Transmit Record.

See Pa.R.C.P. No. 1920.73(c) for the Praecipe to Transmit Record.

(2)  To the extent that grounds for divorce have been established under Section 3301(c)(1) of the Divorce Code as outlined in subdivision (a)(1)(ii) and the parties have been unable to resolve the ancillary claims, the court shall enter an order approving grounds for divorce after:

(i)  the parties have signed and filed Waivers of Notice of Intention to File the Praecipe to Transmit Record or, alternatively, the party requesting the order approving grounds has served on the other party a Notice of Intention to File the Praecipe to Transmit Record, which included a blank Counter-Affidavit under Section 3301(c)(1) and a copy of the proposed Praecipe to Transmit Record that indicated the date and manner of service of the Notice of Intention to File the Praecipe to Transmit Record; and

(ii)  the party requesting the order approving grounds has completed and filed a Praecipe to Transmit Record requesting the court enter an order approving grounds for divorce. If the parties have not waived the Notice of Intention to File the Praecipe to Transmit Record, the moving party shall wait a minimum of 20 days after service of the Notice of Intention to File the Praecipe to Transmit Record before filing the Praecipe to Transmit Record. If the court enters an order approving grounds for divorce, entry of the divorce decree shall be deferred until the ancillary claims have been resolved.

Note: See Pa.R.C.P. No. 1920.73(a) for the Notice of Intention to File the Praecipe to Transmit Record.

See Pa.R.C.P. No. 1920.73(b) for the Waiver of Notice of Intention to File the Praecipe to Transmit Record.

See Pa.R.C.P. No. 1920.73(c) for the Praecipe to Transmit Record.

(3)  After the court enters an order approving grounds for divorce, a party may request, consistent with the judicial district’s local rules and procedures, that the court either hears the ancillary claims or appoints a hearing officer to hear the ancillary claims as outlined in Pa.R.C.P. No. 1920.51.

Note: See Pa.R.C.P. No. 1920.74 for the Motion for Appointment of Hearing Officer.

(4)  If the parties resolve the ancillary claims by agreement after the court approves the grounds for the divorce but before the court enters an order disposing of the ancillary claims, the parties shall file a Praecipe to Transmit Record requesting the court enter the appropriate divorce decree. To the extent the agreement does not address all of the parties’ claims raised in the pleadings, the party raising the outstanding claims shall withdraw the claims before the court enters a divorce decree.

   (b)  Obtaining a divorce decree under Section 3301(c)(2) of the Divorce Code.

(1)  If a party has filed a complaint requesting a divorce on the ground of irretrievable breakdown and a party has been convicted of a personal injury crime against his or her spouse, the court shall enter a decree in divorce after:

(i)  proof of service of the complaint has been filed;

(ii)  the party who is the victim of the personal injury crime:

)A)  has signed and filed an Affidavit of Consent consistent with subdivision (a)(1)(ii); and

(B)  has signed and filed an Affidavit to Establish Presumption of Consent under Section 3301(c)(2) of the Divorce Code alleging his or her status as a victim of a personal injury crime and that his or her spouse has been convicted of that crime;

(iii)  the filed affidavits and a blank Counter-Affidavit under Section 3301(c)(2) of the Divorce Code have been served on the other party consistent with Pa.R.C.P. No. 1930.4, and the other party has admitted or failed to deny the averments in the Affidavit to Establish Presumption of Consent under Section 3301(c)(2) of the Divorce Code;

(A)  If a party files a Counter-Affidavit under Section 3301(c)(2) of the Divorce Code denying an averment in the Affidavit to Establish Presumption of Consent under Section 3301(c)(2) of the Divorce Code, either party may present a motion requesting the court resolve the issue.

(B)  After presentation of the motion in subdivision (A), the court may hear the testimony or, consistent with Pa.R.C.P. No. 1920.51(a)(1)(ii)(D), appoint a hearing officer to hear the testimony and to issue a report and recommendation.

Note: This subdivision requires service of the counter-affidavit on the non-moving party consistent with original process since the averments in the moving party’s Affidavit to Establish Presumption of Consent under Section 3301(c)(2) of the Divorce Code are deemed admitted unless denied. See Pa.R.C.P. No. 1930.4 for service of original process and Pa.R.C.P. No. 1920.14(b) regarding failure to deny averments in the affidavit.

(iv)  the ancillary claims under Pa.R.C.P. Nos. 1920.31 and 1920.33 have been withdrawn by the party raising the claims, have been resolved by agreement of the parties or order of court, have not been raised in the pleadings, or in the case of a bifurcated divorce, the court has retained jurisdiction of the ancillary claims;

(v)  a minimum of 20 days from the date of service of the affidavits and blank Counter-Affidavit under Section 3301(c)(2) as set forth in

(vi)  the party requesting the divorce decree has served on the other party a Notice of Intention to File the Praecipe to Transmit Record, which included a copy of the proposed Praecipe to Transmit Record that indicated the date and manner of service of the Notice of Intention to File the Praecipe to Transmit Record, except that service of such Notice of Intention is not required if:

(A)  the parties have signed and filed Waivers of Notice of Intention to File the Praecipe to Transmit Record; or

(B)  the court finds that an attorney has not entered an appearance on the defendant’s behalf and that the defendant cannot be located after a diligent search; and

(vii)  the party requesting the divorce decree has completed and filed a Praecipe to Transmit Record. If the parties have not waived the Notice of Intention to File the Praecipe to Transmit Record, the moving party shall wait a minimum of 20 days after service of the Notice of Intention to File the Praecipe to Transmit Record before filing the Praecipe to Transmit Record.

Note: See Pa.R.C.P. No. 1920.72(b) for the Affidavit of Consent. See Pa.R.C.P. No. 1920.72(c) for the Affidavit to Establish Presumption of Consent under Section 3301(c)(2) of the Divorce Code.

See Pa.R.C.P. No. 1920.72(e)(2) for the Counter-Affidavit under Section 3301(c)(2) of the Divorce Code.

See Pa.R.C.P. No. 1920.73(a) for the Notice of Intention to File the Praecipe to Transmit Record.

See Pa.R.C.P. No. 1920.73(b) for the Waiver of Notice of Intention to File the Praecipe to Transmit Record.

See Pa.R.C.P. No. 1920.73(c) for the Praecipe to Transmit Record.

(2)  To the extent that grounds for divorce have been established
under Section 3301(c)(2) of the Divorce Code as outlined in subdivision (b)(1)(ii)--(iii) and the parties have been unable to resolve the ancillary claims, the court shall enter an order approving grounds for divorce after:

(i)  a minimum of 20 days from the date of service of the affidavits and blank Counter-Affidavit under Section 3301(c)(2) of the Divorce Code as set forth in (b)(1)(iii), the party requesting the order approving grounds has served on the other party a Notice of Intention to File the Praecipe to Transmit Record, which included a copy of the proposed Praecipe to Transmit Record that indicated the date and manner of service of the Notice of Intention to File the Praecipe to Transmit Record, except that service of such Notice of Intention is not required if:

(A)  the parties have signed and filed Waivers of Notice of Intention to File the Praecipe to Transmit Record; or

(B)  the court finds that an attorney has not entered an appearance on the defendant’s behalf and that the defendant cannot be located after a diligent search; and

(ii)  the party requesting the order approving grounds has completed and filed a Praecipe to Transmit Record requesting the court enter an order approving grounds for divorce. If the parties have not waived the Notice of Intention to File the Praecipe to Transmit Record, the moving party shall wait a minimum of 20 days after service of the Notice of Intention to File the Praecipe to Transmit Record before filing the Praecipe to Transmit Record. If the court enters an order approving grounds for divorce, entry of the divorce decree shall be deferred until the ancillary claims have been resolved.

Note: See Pa.R.C.P. No. 1920.73(a) for the Notice of Intention to File the Praecipe to Transmit Record.

See Pa.R.C.P. No. 1920.73(b) for the Waiver of Notice of Intention to File the Praecipe to Transmit Record.

See Pa.R.C.P. No. 1920.73(c) for the Praecipe to Transmit Record.

(3)  After the court enters an order approving grounds for divorce, a party may request, consistent with the judicial district’s local rules and procedures, that the court either hears the ancillary claims or appoints a hearing officer to hear the ancillary claims as outlined in Pa.R.C.P. No. 1920.51.

Note: See Pa. R.C.P. No. 1920.74 for the Motion for Appointment of Hearing Officer.

(4)  If the parties resolve the ancillary claims by agreement after the court approves the grounds for the divorce but before the court enters an order disposing of the ancillary claims, the parties shall file a Praecipe to Transmit Record requesting the court enter the appropriate divorce decree. To the extent the agreement does not address all of the parties’ claims raised in the pleadings, the party raising the outstanding claims shall withdraw the claims before the court enters a divorce decree.

   (c)  Obtaining a divorce decree under Section 3301(d) of the Divorce Code.

(1)  If a party has filed a complaint requesting a divorce on the ground of irretrievable breakdown and the requisite separation period has elapsed, the court shall enter a decree in divorce after:

(i)  proof of service of the complaint has been filed;

(ii)  a party has signed and filed an Affidavit under Section 3301(d) of the Divorce Code averring that the marriage is irretrievably broken and that the parties have been separate and apart for the required separation period;

(iii)  the filed affidavit and a blank Counter-Affidavit under Section 3301(d) of the Divorce Code have been served on the other party consistent with Pa.R.C.P. No. 1930.4, and the other party has admitted or failed to deny the averments in the Affidavit under Section 3301(d) of the Divorce Code;

(A)  If a party files a Counter-Affidavit under Section 3301(d) of the Divorce Code denying an averment in the Affidavit under Section 3301(d) of the Divorce Code, including the date of separation, either party may present a motion requesting the court resolve the issue.

(B)  After presentation of the motion in subdivision (A), the court may hear the testimony or, consistent with Pa.R.C.P. No. 1920.51(a)(1)(ii)(D), appoint a hearing officer to hear the testimony and to issue a report and recommendation.

Note: This subdivision requires service of the counter-affidavit on the nonmoving party consistent with original process since the averments in the moving party’s Affidavit under § 3301(d) of the Divorce Code are deemed admitted unless denied. See Pa.R.C.P. No. 1930.4 for service of original process and Pa.R.C.P. No. 1920.14(b) regarding failure to deny averments in the affidavit.

(iv)  the ancillary claims under Pa.R.C.P. Nos. 1920.31 and 1920.33 have been withdrawn by the party raising the claims, have been resolved by agreement of the parties or order of court, have not been raised in the pleadings, or in the case of a bifurcated divorce, the court has retained jurisdiction of the ancillary claims;

(v)  a minimum of 20 days from the date of service of the affidavit and blank Counter-Affidavit under Section 3301(d) of the Divorce Code as set forth in (c)(1)(iii), the party requesting the divorce decree has served on the other party a Notice of Intention to File the Praecipe to Transmit Record, which included a copy of the proposed Praecipe to Transmit Record that indicated the date and manner of service of the Notice of Intention to File the Praecipe to Transmit Record, except that service of such Notice of Intention is not required if:

(A)  the parties have signed and filed Waivers of Notice of Intention to File the Praecipe to Transmit Record; or

(B)  the court finds that an attorney has not entered an appearance on the defendant’s behalf and that the defendant cannot be located after a diligent search; and

(vi)  the party requesting the divorce decree has completed and filed a Praecipe to Transmit Record. If the parties have not waived the Notice of Intention to File the Praecipe to Transmit Record, the moving party shall wait a minimum of 20 days after service of the Notice of Intention to File the Praecipe to Transmit Record before filing the Praecipe to Transmit Record.

Note: See Pa.R.C.P. No. 1920.72(d) for the Affidavit under Section 3301(d) of the Divorce Code.

See Pa.R.C.P. No. 1920.72(e)(3) for the Counter-Affidavit under Section 3301(d) of the Divorce Code.

See Pa.R.C.P. No. 1920.73(a) for the Notice of Intention to File the Praecipe to Transmit Record.

See Pa.R.C.P. No. 1920.73(b) for the Waiver of Notice of Intention to File the Praecipe to Transmit Record.

See Pa.R.C.P. No. 1920.73(c) for the Praecipe to Transmit Record.

(2)  To the extent that grounds for divorce have been established under Section 3301(d) of the Divorce Code as outlined in subdivision (c)(1)(ii)--(iii) and the parties have been unable to resolve the ancillary claims, the court shall enter an order approving grounds for divorce after:

(i)  a minimum of 20 days from the date of service of the affidavit and blank Counter-Affidavit under Section 3301(d) of the Divorce Code as set forth in (c)(1)(iii), the party requesting the order approving grounds has served on the other party a Notice of Intention to File the Praecipe to Transmit Record, which included a copy of the proposed Praecipe to Transmit Record that indicated the date and manner of service of the Notice of Intention to File the Praecipe to Transmit Record, except that service of such Notice of Intention is not required if:

(A)  the parties have signed and filed Waivers of Notice of Intention to File the Praecipe to Transmit Record; or

(B)  the court finds that an attorney has not entered an appearance on the defendant’s behalf and that the defendant cannot be located after a diligent search; and

(ii)  the party requesting the order approving grounds has completed and filed a Praecipe to Transmit Record requesting the court enter an order approving grounds for divorce. If the parties have not waived the Notice of Intention to File the Praecipe to Transmit Record, the moving party shall wait a minimum of 20 days after service of the Notice of Intention to File the Praecipe to Transmit Record before filing the Praecipe to Transmit Record. If the court enters an order approving grounds for divorce, entry of the divorce decree shall be deferred until the ancillary claims have been resolved.

Note: See Pa.R.C.P. No. 1920.73(a) for the Notice of Intention to File the Praecipe to Transmit Record.

See Pa.R.C.P. No. 1920.73(b) for the Waiver of Notice of Intention to File the Praecipe to Transmit Record.

See Pa.R.C.P. No. 1920.73(c) for the Praecipe to Transmit Record.

(3)  After the court enters an order approving grounds for divorce, a party may request, consistent with the judicial district’s local rules and procedures, that the court either hears the ancillary claims or appoints a hearing officer to hear the ancillary claims as outlined in Pa.R.C.P. No. 1920.51.

Note: See Pa.R.C.P. No. 1920.74 for the Motion for Appointment of Hearing Officer.

(4)  If the parties resolve the ancillary claims by agreement after the court approves the grounds for the divorce but before the court enters an order disposing of the ancillary claims, the parties shall file a Praecipe to Transmit Record requesting the court enter the appropriate divorce decree. To the extent the agreement does not address all of the parties’ claims raised in the pleadings, the party raising the outstanding claims shall withdraw the claims before the court enters a divorce decree.

    Adopted Nov. 7, 1988, effective Jan. 1, 1989. Amended May 17, 1991, effective July 1, 1991; Sept. 11, 1995, effective Jan. 1, 1996; April 10, 1997, effective July 1, 1997; March 2, 2000, imd. effective; May 6, 2015, effective July 1, 2015; June 3 2019, effective Oct. 1, 2019; October 19, 2021, effective January 1, 2022.

Explanatory Comment—1994

   Rule 1920.42 was revised in 1988 to add new subdivision (c) which imposes a requirement that the plaintiff notify the defendant or defendants attorney, if represented, of the intention to request entry of a divorce decree in an action under Section 3301(d)(1)(i) of the Divorce Code. In such an action the defendant has not actively participated in the proceedings and may be unaware that the court is about to enter a decree which will cut off certain economic rights unless a claim is promptly asserted. The requirement of notice is not extended to actions in which the defendant has actively participated by filing an affidavit of consent under Section 3301(c) of the Divorce Code or by contesting the plaintiff’s affidavit under Section 3301(d)(1)(ii).

   In addition, subparagraph (2) of subsection (c) requires that an unrepresented defendant also be served with a form counteraffidavit contained in Rule 1920.72(d). The defendant can use this form to deny the allegations contained in the plaintiff’s affidavit or to claim economic relief.

Explanatory Comment—1995

   The rule is amended to require the same notice prior to entry of the decree in a § 3301(c) divorce as was previously required in a proceeding under § 3301(d). This notice is already required by local rule in many counties, and is adopted in a general rule to further standardize practice.

   The requirement in new subdivision (c) that a party obtain leave of court before withdrawing an affidavit of consent is included to ensure orderly process, including notice to the other party and the court. The committee notes that the law is unsettled as to whether a court has the authority to refuse leave to withdraw an affidavit of consent.

Explanatory Comment—2019

   On April 21, 2016, Act 24 of 2016 (Act of Apr. 21, 2016, P.L. 166, No. 24) amended the Divorce Code by adding 23 Pa.C.S. § 3301(c)(2). Section 3301(c)(2) creates a presumption of consent to a divorce if a party is the victim of a personal injury crime committed by his or her spouse, as outlined in 23 Pa.C.S. § 3103. The Act amended other correlative statutes in the Divorce Code, as well. To effectively incorporate procedures for the newly enacted Section 3301(c)(2) into the Rules of Civil Procedure, Pa.R.C.P. No. 1920.42 was rescinded and replaced.

   In implementing Section 3301(c)(2), the rule utilizes an affidavit/counter-affidavit procedure similar to a Section 3301(d) divorce, which served as a template for the new procedure. The process for establishing the presumption of consent in Section 3301(c)(2) requires the party to aver in an affidavit that he or she had been the victim of a personal injury crime and that his or her spouse had been convicted of that personal injury crime. In response, the allegedly convicted spouse may oppose the establishment of the presumption by completing and filing a counter-affidavit. If the allegedly convicted spouse opposes the establishment of the presumption, the court may either schedule a hearing on the establishment of the presumption or appoint a master to do so. As part of the revised divorce procedures, amended Pa.R.C.P. No. 1920.51(a)(1) permits the appointment of a master for a determination of the presumption under Section 3301(c)(2). To effectuate the new procedures for Section 3301(c)(2) divorces, several additional forms, including an Affidavit to Establish Presumption of Consent and a Counter-Affidavit under Section 3301(c)(2), have been added to the rules. See Pa.R.C.P. No. 1920.72(c) and (e)(2).

   In addition to the changes to the rule related to 23 Pa.C.S. § 3301(c)(2), the rule has been further revised to provide a uniform practice across the Commonwealth for establishing a definitive point when the parties can move the court for resolution of any ancillary claims. As the court cannot resolve the ancillary claims until grounds for divorce have been established, Pa.R.C.P. No. 1920.42 includes procedures for obtaining approval of grounds for divorce in cases in which the parties have unresolved ancillary claims. This process requires that the parties obtain a court order approving grounds for divorce before seeking the appointment of a divorce master or requesting the court hear the ancillary claims raised in the pleadings. Forms have been correlatively amended or retitled to reflect this new procedure. The Waiver of Notice of Intention has been moved from Pa.R.C.P. No. 1920.72 to Pa.R.C.P. No. 1920.73.

   As a result of these changes, Pa.R.C.P. No. 1920.42 specifically outlines the process for obtaining a decree for Section 3301(c)(1), Section 3301(c)(2), and Section 3301(d) divorces. Although the rule’s length has expanded extensively, the detailed procedure alleviates confusion on when and how to obtain a divorce decree and further assists unrepresented parties to maneuver through a complicated procedure.

Annotation

___________________

Rule 1920.45  Counseling.

   (a)  If the Divorce Code provides for counseling, the parties shall be notified of the availability of counseling as prescribed in Pa.R.C.P. Nos. 1920.12(a)(8) and 1920.71.

Note: See Section 3302 of the Divorce Code for the divorce actions in which the parties may request counseling, but note the counseling exceptions in Section 3302(g).

   (b)  The court shall maintain in the prothonotary’s office a list of qualified professionals that provide counseling services, which shall be available to the parties upon request. Note: Section 3103 of the Divorce Code defines the term “qualified professionals.”

   (c)  If the ground for divorce is under:

(1)  Section 3301(c) of the Divorce Code and the court orders counseling as requested by a party, the parties must complete counseling within 90 days of the divorce complaint’s filing; or

(2)  Section 3301(d) of the Divorce Code and a court orders counseling, the parties must complete counseling within 120 days, unless the parties agree to a longer period.

Note: See Section 3301(d)(2) of the Divorce Code providing for a period “not less than 90 days nor more than 120 days…”

   (d)  If the court has referred a divorce action to a hearing officer and a party requests counseling pursuant to the Divorce Code, without leave of court, the hearing officer may require counseling and continue the hearing pending the counselor’s report.

    Adopted June 27, 1980, effective July 1, 1980. Amended Jan. 28, 1983, effective July 1, 1983 and applied to pending actions; March 30, 1994, effective July 1, 1994; June 3, 2019, effective Oct. 1, 2019; October 19, 2021, effective January 1, 2022.

Explanatory Note—1983

   Subdivision (a) as originally promulgated provided for the court to notify the parties of the availability of counseling. However, the rule did not specify the method of notification and diverse local practices developed.

   Subdivision (a) as revised specifies that parties shall be notified of the availability of counseling as provided by Rules 1920.12(a)(8) and 1920.71. The plaintiff acknowledges notification of the availability of counseling by an allegation in the complaint. See Rule 1920.12(a)(8), supra. The defendant is notified of the availability of counseling by a paragraph in the notice to defend and claim rights provided by Rule 1920.71, infra.

   The revision to subdivision (b) provides for the court to maintain and make available to all parties a list of marriage counselors. The list is to be maintained in the prothonotary›s office rather than the office of the domestic relations section.

_______________

Rule 1920.46 Affidavit of Non-Military Service.

   If the defendant fails to appear in the action, the plaintiff shall file an affidavit regarding military service with the motion for appointment of a hearing officer, prior to a trial by the court, or with the plaintiff’s affidavit required by Pa.R.C.P. No. 1920.42(b)(1)(ii) and (c)(1)(ii).

Note: The Servicemembers Civil Relief Act, 50 U.S.C. §§ 3901-4043, requires that in cases in which the defendant does not make an appearance, the plaintiff must file an affidavit of nonmilitary service before the court may enter judgment. If the defendant is in the military service and an attorney has not entered an appearance on behalf of the defendant, a judgment shall not be entered until the court appoints an attorney to represent the defendant and protect his or her interest.

Actions for divorce under Section 3301(c)(2) and (d)(1)(i) of the Divorce Code are governed by Pa.R.C.P. No. 1920.42(b) and (c), respectively.

Amended October 19, 2021, effective January 1, 2022.

Explanatory Comment—2003

   35 P.S. § 450.602 previously required a certificate of each divorce or annulment decreed in the Commonwealth to be transmitted to the Vital Statistics Division of the Commonwealth of Pennsylvania Department of Health. The statute was amended October 30, 2001, P.L. 826, No. 82, § 1, effective in 60 days, to require that the prothonotary submit a monthly statistical summary of divorces and annulments, rather than individual forms for each decree. Thus, subdivision (a) of Rule 1920.46, requiring the filing of the vital statistics form, is no longer necessary. Former subdivision (b) now comprises the entirety of the rule and the title has been amended to reflect that the rule applies only to the affidavit regarding military service.

­­­­­­­­­­­­­­______________________

Rule 1920.51. Hearing by the Court. Appointment of Hearing Officer.  Notice of Hearing.

   (a)  In an action of divorce or annulment:

(1)  the court may:

(i)  hear the testimony; or

(ii)  upon motion of a party or of the court, appoint a hearing officer:

(A)  before entry of the divorce decree to hear the testimony for the ancillary claims of alimony, equitable division of marital property, partial physical custody, supervised physical custody, counsel fees, and costs and expenses, which are raised in the pleadings, and to issue a report and recommendation, provided that grounds for divorce under Sections 3301(c) or 3301(d) of the Divorce Code have been established and approved by the court as outlined in Pa.R.C.P. No. 1920.42;

(B)  before approving grounds for divorce under Sections 3301(c) or 3301(d) of the Divorce Code for the limited purpose of assisting the parties and the court on issues of discovery or settlement;

(C)  to hear the testimony for establishing grounds for divorce under Sections 3301(a) or 3301(b) of the Divorce Code or annulment and the ancillary claims, which are raised in the pleadings, and to issue a report and recommendation; or

(D)  after a party files a counter-affidavit denying the averments in the affidavit in an action under Section 3301(c)(2) or 3301(d) of the Divorce Code, including the date of separation, to hear the testimony and to issue a report and recommendation.

(2)  the court shall not appoint a hearing officer:

(i)  to approve grounds for divorce under Sections 3301(c) or 3301(d) of the Divorce Code; or

Note: See Pa.R.C.P. No. 1920.42 for approving grounds for divorce under Sections 3301(c) and 3301(d) of the Divorce Code.

(ii)  for the claims of legal custody, sole physical custody, primary physical custody, shared physical custody, or paternity.

Note: Section 3321 of the Divorce Code prohibits the appointment of a hearing officer as to the claims of custody and paternity. However, as set forth in Pa.R.C.P. No. 1920.91(3), the Supreme Court of Pennsylvania suspended Section 3321 insofar as that section prohibits the appointment of a hearing officer in partial physical custody cases.

(3)  The Motion for the Appointment of a Hearing Officer and the order shall be substantially in the form prescribed by Pa.R.C.P. No. 1920.74. The order appointing the hearing officee shall specify the issues or ancillary claims that are referred to the hearing officer.

(4)  A permanent or standing hearing officer employed by or under contract with a judicial district or appointed by the court shall not practice family law before a conference officer, hearing officer, permanent or standing hearing officer, or judge of the same judicial district.

Note: Conference officers preside at office conferences under Pa.R.C.P. No. 1910.11. Hearing officers preside at hearings under Pa.R.C.P. No. 1910.12. The appointment of hearing officer to hear actions in divorce or annulment is authorized by Section 3321 of the Divorce Code.

   (b)  Written notice of the hearing shall be given to each attorney of record by the hearing officer. If a hearing officer has not been appointed, the prothonotary, clerk or other officer designated by the court shall give the notice.

   (c)  If no attorney has appeared of record for a party, notice of the hearing shall be given to the party by the hearing officer, or if a hearing officer has not been appointed, by the prothonotary, clerk or other officer designated by the court, as follows:

(1)  to the plaintiff, by ordinary mail to the address on the complaint;

(2)  to the defendant,

(i)  if service of the complaint was made other than pursuant to special order of court, by ordinary mail to the defendants last known address; or

(ii)  if service of the complaint was made pursuant to special order of court, (a) by sending a copy of the notice by ordinary mail to the persons, if any, named in the investigation affidavit, likely to know the present whereabouts of the defendant; and (b) by sending a copy by registered mail to the defendants last known address.

Note: Under Rule 76, registered mail includes certified mail.

   (d)  Advertising of notice of the hearing shall not be required.

   (e)  Proof of notice shall be filed of record.

Note: Consistent with Section 3301(e) of the Divorce Code as amended, these rules contemplate that if a divorce decree may be entered under the no fault provisions of §§ 3301(c) or (d), a divorce decree will be entered on these grounds and no hearing shall be required on any other grounds.

    Adopted June 27, 1980, effective July 1, 1980. Amended January 28, 1983, effective July 1, 1983; September 29, 1989, effective October 15, 1989; May 17, 1991, effective July 1, 1991; March 30, 1994, effective July 1, 1994; July 15, 1994, effective January 1, 1995; September 11, 1995, effective January 1, 1996; July 8, 2010, effective September 6, 2010; March 4, 2015, effective April 3, 2015; July 30, 2018, effective January 1, 2019; June 3, 2019, effective Oct. 1, 2019; October 19, 2021, effective January 1, 2022.

Explanatory Comment—1994

   While subdivision (a)(2)(ii) clearly prohibits appointment of a master to determine a divorce claim brought under §§ 3301(c) or 3301(d), the provision does permit a master to hear claims which are joined with the divorce action. The rule is amended to conform with proposed new Rules 1915.4-1 and 1915.4-2, and to remove the implied prohibition against the use of hearing officers in partial custody or visitation cases.

Explanatory Comment—2010

   The rule is amended to clarify the role of the master in a divorce case when either party has asserted grounds for divorce pursuant to § 3301(c) or § 3301(d) of the Divorce Code. The rule had been interpreted in some jurisdictions as requiring the entry of a bifurcated decree before a master could be appointed to hear economic claims.

Explanatory Comment—2019

               Subdivision (a)(1)(ii)(A) provides for the appointment of a master to hear, inter alia, partial physical custody cases. The authority for a master to hear partial physical custody cases is 23 Pa.C.S. § 3321, which the Supreme Court of Pennsylvania suspended in part to allow masters to hear partial physical custody cases. However, this rule should not be construed to require a court to appoint masters in partial physical custody or supervised physical custody cases. Nor should the rule be construed as inconsistent with Pa.R.C.P. Nos. 1915.4-1, 1915.4-2, or 1915.4-3 that provide for conference officers and hearing officers in custody cases.

_____________________

Rule 1920.53  Hearing by Hearing Officer. Report

   In an action for divorce or annulment that has been referred to a hearing officer, the hearing officer’s report and recommendation shall include findings of fact, conclusions of law, and a recommended disposition of the case or issue.

   (a)  The findings of fact shall include, as appropriate for the circumstances and issues before the hearing officer:

(1)  the method and date of service of process;

(2)  the manner and date of service of the notice of the hearing officer’s hearing or the hearing officer’s efforts to notify the parties;

(3)  the date and place of marriage;

(4)  information relating to any prior marriage of the parties and proof of dissolution of such prior marriage;

(5)  the residences of the parties at the time of the marriage and subsequent thereto, the actual length of time the parties have resided in the Commonwealth, and whether the residence requirement of Section 3104(b) of the Divorce Code has been met;

(6)  the age and occupation of the parties;

(7)  the initials and age of the children of the parties, if any, and with whom the children reside;

(8)  the grounds upon which the action is based;

(9)  defenses to the action, if any;

(10)  whether the court should grant or deny the divorce , annulment, or other relief on the basis of the complaint, the counterclaim, if filed, or a motion requesting relief; and

(11)  other relevant facts related to the appointment.

   (b)  The conclusions of law shall include a discussion of the law as it relates to the facts, as well as the legal conclusions reached by the hearing officer.

   (c)  If a divorce or an annulment is recommended, the hearing officer shall attach a proposed decree to the report and recommendation.

    Former rule rescinded and new rule adopted Sept. 11, 1995, effective Jan. 1, 1996; amended June 3, 2019, effective Oct. 1, 2019; amended October 19, 2021, effective January 1, 2022.

_________________________

Rule 1920.54. Hearing by Hearing Officer Report. Related Claims.

   (a)  If claims for counsel fees and costs and expenses have been referred to a hearing officer pursuant to Pa.R.C.P. No. 1920.51(a), the hearing officer’s report shall contain a separate section captioned “Counsel Fees and Costs and Expenses.” The report may be in a narrative form stating the reasons for the recommendation and shall include a proposed order stating:

(1)  the amount;

(2)  by and for whom it shall be paid; and

(3)  the effective date of the order.

   (b)  If a claim for alimony has been referred to a hearing officer, the report shall contain a separate action captioned “Alimony.” The report shall conform to the requirements of subdivision (a) and, in addition, shall set forth:

(1)  the findings required by Section 3701(a) of the Divorce Code,

(2)  the relevant factors considered under Section 3701(b) of the Divorce Code,

(3)  the nature, amount, duration and manner of payment of alimony, if any, and

(4)  the reason or reasons for the recommended denial or award of alimony.

   (c)  If a claim for the determination and distribution of existing property rights and interests between the parties has been referred to a hearing officer, the report shall contain a separate section captioned “Division of Property.” The section shall be divided into two parts:

(1)  one captioned “Marital Property,” listing all property to be designated as such and including a proposed equitable distribution thereof with a discussion of the relevant factors considered under Section 3502(a) of the Divorce Code; and

(2)  one captioned “Nonmarital Property,” listing all property to be designated as such.

    Adopted June 27, 1980, effective July 1, 1980. Amended March 30, 1994, effective July 1, 1994; November 8, 2006, effective February 6, 2007; May 6, 2015, effective July 1, 2015; July 30, 2018, effective January 1, 2019; October 19, 2021, effective January 1, 2022.

__________________

Rule 1920.55-1. Alternative Hearing Procedures for Matters Referred to a Hearing Officer.

   (a)  Matters referred to a hearing officer for hearing shall proceed as prescribed by Pa.R.C.P. No. 1920.55–2 unless the court by local rule adopts the alternative procedure of Pa.R.C.P. No. 1920.55–3.

   (b)  The president judge or the administrative judge of Family Division of each county shall certify that all divorce proceedings which are referred to a hearing officer in that county are conducted in accordance with either Pa.R.C.P. No. 1920.55–2 or Pa.R.C.P. No. 1920.55–3. 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 divorce proceedings that are referred to a hearing officer in accordance with Pa.R.C.P. No.____________.

______________________________________________________________________________

(PRESIDENT JUDGE)         (ADMINISTRATIVE JUDGE)

Note: For a complete list of the Alternative Hearing Procedures for each county:
http://www.pacourts.us/courts/supreme–court/committees/rules–committees/domestic–
relations–procedural–rules–committee.

Explanatory Comment

   The 1995 amendments created alternative procedures for appeal from the recommendation of a master in divorce. Pa.R.C.P. No. 1920.55–1 states that, if the court chooses to appoint a master, the exceptions procedure set forth in proposed Pa.R.C.P. No. 1920.55–2 will be used unless the court has, by local rule, adopted the alternative procedure of proposed Pa.R.C.P. No. 1920.55–3.

In lieu of continuing the practice of including in the Note a 67–county list identifying the hearing procedure selected by the local county court, the list can now be found on the Domestic Relations Procedural Rules Committee website.

The provisions of rule 1920.55-1 adopted September 11, 1995, effective January 1, 1996; amended March 16, 2011, effective immediately; amended October 14, 2016, effective December 2016; amended October 19, 2021, effective January 1, 2022.

_______________________

Rule 1920.55-2. Hearing Officer’s Report. Notice. Exceptions. Final Decree.

   (a)  After conclusion of the hearing, the hearing officer shall:

(1)  file the record and the report within;

(i)  twenty days in uncontested actions; or

(ii)  thirty days from the last to occur of the receipt of the transcript by the hearing officer or close of the record in contested actions; and

(2)  immediately serve upon counsel for each party, or, if unrepresented, upon the party, a copy of the report and recommendation and written notice of the right to file exceptions.

   (b)  Within 20 days of the date of receipt or the date of mailing of the hearing officer’s report and recommendation, whichever occurs first, any party may file exceptions to the report or any part thereof, to rulings on objections to evidence, to statements or findings of fact, to conclusions of law, or to any other matters occurring during the hearing. Each exception shall set forth a separate objection precisely and without discussion. Matters not covered by exceptions are deemed waived unless, prior to entry of the final decree, leave is granted to file exceptions raising those matters.

   (c)  If exceptions are filed, any other party may file exceptions within 20 days of the date of service of the original exceptions. The court shall hear argument on the exceptions and enter a final decree.

   (d)  If no exceptions are filed, the court shall review the report and, if approved, shall enter a final decree.

   (e)  No Motion for Post-Trial Relief may be filed to the final decree.

    Adopted Sept. 11, 1995, effective Jan. 1, 1996. Amended Aug. 8, 2006, imd. effective; May 6, 2015, effective July 1, 2015; October 19, 2021, effective January 1, 2020.

Explanatory Comment—1995

   The proposed amendments create alternative procedures for appeal from the recommendation of a master in divorce. Rule 1920.55-1 states that, if the court chooses to appoint a master, the exceptions procedure set forth in proposed Rule 1920.55-2 will be used unless the court has, by local rule, adopted the alternative procedure of proposed Rule 1920.55-3.

 

Explanatory Comment—2006

   The time for filing exceptions has been expanded from ten to twenty days. The purpose of this amendment is to provide ample opportunity for litigants and counsel to receive notice of the report and recommendation, to assure Commonwealth-wide consistency in calculation of time for filing and to conform to applicable general civil procedural rules.

________________________

 

Rule 1920.55–3. Hearing Officer’s Report. Notice. Hearing De Novo. Final Decree.

 

   (a)  No record shall be made of the hearing in proceedings held pursuant to this rule.

   (b)  After the conclusion of hearing, the hearing officer shall:

   (1)  file the report within;

(i)  twenty days in uncontested actions; or

(ii)  thirty days in contested actions; and

   (2)  immediately serve upon counsel for each party, or, if unrepresented, upon the party, a copy of the report and recommendation, and written notice of the right to demand a hearing de novo.

   (c)  Within 20 days of the date the hearing officer’s report is mailed or received, whichever occurs first, any party may file a written demand for a hearing de novo. If a demand is filed, the court shall hold a hearing de novo and enter a final decree.

   (d)  If no demand for de novo hearing is filed within the 20-day period, the court shall review the report and recommendation and, if approved, shall enter a final decree.

   (e)  No Motion for Post-Trial Relief may be filed to the final decree.

    Adopted Sept. 11, 1995, effective Jan. 1, 1996; August 8, 2006, eff. imd.; October 19, 2021, effective January 1, 2022.

Explanatory Comment—2006

   The time for filing exceptions has been expanded from ten to twenty days. The purpose of this amendment is to provide ample opportunity for litigants and counsel to receive notice of the report and recommendation, to assure commonwealth-wide consistency in calculation of time for filing and to conform to applicable general civil procedural rules.

Explanatory Comment—1995

The amendments create alternative procedures for appeal from the recommendation of a master in divorce. Rule 1920.55-1 states that, if the court chooses to appoint a master, the exceptions procedure set forth in Rule 1920.55-2 will be used unless the court has, by local rule, adopted the alternative procedure of Rule 1920.55-3.

 

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Rule 1920.61  Testimony Outside the County

   On motion of a party and upon such terms as it may order, the court may authorize and direct the hearing officer to take testimony of witnesses within any other county of the Commonwealth or in any other state or territory subject to the jurisdiction of the United States, or in any foreign country.

 

Adopted June 27, 1980, effective July 1, 1980; amended October 19, 2021, effective January 1, 2022.

_________________

 

Rule 1920.74. Form of Motion for Appointment of Hearing Officer. Order.

 

(a)  The motion for appointment of a hearing officer shall be substantially in the following form:

(Caption)

MOTION FOR APPOINTMENT OF Hearing Officer

   ____________(Plaintiff) (Defendant), moves the court to appoint a hearing officer with respect to the following claims:

(  )  Divorce                         (  )  Counsel Fees

(  )  Annulment                   (  )  Cost and Expenses

(  )  Alimony                        (  )  Other: _______________

(  )  Equitable Division of Marital Property

and in support of the motion states:

   (1)  Discovery (is) (is not) complete as to the claim(s) for which the appointment of a hearing officer is requested.

   (2)  The non-moving party (has) (has not) appeared in the action (personally) (by his or her attorney, ____________ , Esquire).

   (3)  The statutory ground(s) for divorce (is) (are) ____________ .

   (4)  If the hearing officer’s appointment is for resolution of a divorce, an annulment, or ancillary claims, the parties have complied with Pa.R.C.P. Nos. 1920.31, 1920.33, and 1920.46, as applicable.

   (5)  Check and complete the applicable paragraph(s):

   u  (a)  The action is not contested.

   u  (b)  An agreement has been reached with respect to the following claims: ____________

   u  (c)  The action is contested with respect to the following claims: ________________________________________________________________________________.

   (6)  The action (involves) (does not involve) complex issues of law or fact.

   (7)  The hearing is expected to take ____________ (hours) (days).

   (8)  Additional information, if any, relevant to the motion: _______________

______________________________________________________________________________

Date: ____________ ________________________________________

Attorney for (Plaintiff)

(Defendant)

   (b)  The order appointing a hearing officer shall be substantially in the following form:

(Caption)

ORDER APPOINTING Hearing Officer

   AND NOW, ____________, 20____________, ____________, Esquire, is appointed hearing officer with respect to the following claims: ____________.

BY THE COURT:

________________________________________

MOVING PARTY                                                    NON-MOVING PARTY

Name:                                                  Name:

____________________________________ ________________________________________

Attorneys Name:                                             Attorneys Name:

____________________________________ ________________________________________

Attorneys Address:                                             Attorneys Address:

____________________________________ ________________________________________

____________________________________ ________________________________________

Attorneys Telephone #:                                             Attorneys Telephone #:

____________________________________ ________________________________________

Attorneys E-Mail:                                             Attorneys E-Mail:

____________________________________ ________________________________________

Party’s Address and Telephone #                                                 Party’s Address and Telephone #

if not represented by counsel:      if not represented by counsel:

____________________________________ ________________________________________

____________________________________ ________________________________________

Note: See Pa.R.C.P. No. 1920.51(a)(1)(ii) for the issues and claims for which the court may appoint a hearing officer. It is within the discretion of the court to determine the point at which a hearing officer should be appointed in a case.

    Adopted January 28, 1983, effective July 1, 1983 and applied to pending actions; amended October 31, 2002, effective immediately; July 30, 2018, effective January 1, 2019; June 3, 2019, effective Oct. 1, 2019; October 19, 2021, effective January 1, 2022.

 

Explanatory Comment—1983

 

See Explanatory Comment following Rule 1920.73.

 

____________________

 

Rule 1920.91  Suspension of Acts of Assembly

   The following Acts of Assembly are suspended insofar as they apply to the practice and procedure in actions for divorce or annulment of marriage to the extent hereinafter set forth:

   (1)  Section 3104(e) of the Domestic Relations Code, 23 Pa.C.S. § 3104(e), absolutely;

Official Note: Suspended Section 3104(e) of the Divorce Code prescribes venue in actions of divorce or for annulment of marriage. Venue in such actions is prescribed by Rule of Civil Procedure 1920.2.

   (2)  Section 3505(b) of the Domestic Relations Code, 23 Pa.C.S. § 3505(b), absolutely;

Note: Suspended Section 3505(b) of the Divorce Code requires the submission to the court of an inventory and appraisement of property. Rule of Civil Procedure 1920.33(a) supplants this provision by requiring parties seeking the distribution of property to file an inventory while subdivision (b) of the rule requires the filing of a pre-trial statement.

   (3)  Section 3321 of the Domestic Relations Code, 23 Pa.C.S. § 3321, insofar as it prohibits the appointment of hearing officers in partial custody or visitation matters.

Official Note: Suspended Section 3321 of the Divorce Code states that the court may appoint a hearing officer to hear testimony on all issues relating to a divorce except custody or paternity.

   (4)  And all other Acts or parts of Acts of Assembly inconsistent with these rules to the extent of such inconsistency.

    Adopted June 27, 1980, effective July 1, 1980. Amended Feb. 7, 1989, effective July 1, 1989; May 17, 1991, effective July 1, 1991; July 15, 1994, effective Jan. 1, 1995; May 5, 1997, effective July 1, 1997; October 19, 2021, effective January 1, 2022.

Explanatory Comment—1989

   Rule 1920.91 is amended to suspend two provisions of the Act of February 12, 1988, No. 13, which amended the Divorce Code. The suspended provisions provided for venue and discovery in actions for divorce or annulment. Venue in actions of divorce or for annulment of marriage is prescribed by Rule 1920.2, while discovery in these actions is prescribed by Rule 1920.22.

               [See Explanatory Comment—1991 following Rule 1920.31]

 

__________________

 

RULES RELATED TO DOMESTIC RELATIONS MATTERS GENERALLY

Rule 1930.7.  Status Conference

   At any time in the proceedings, the court, the court’s designee or the hearing officer, sua sponte or upon application of any party, may hold a status conference, in person or by any other means permitted by these rules, with the parties' counsel, the parties and counsel, or self-represented parties in order to review the case status and expedite the litigation.

    Adopted August 18, 2006, effective immediately; amended October 19, 2021, effective January 1, 2022.

 

___________________

 

Rule 1931.  Family Court Rules.

   (a)  Actions Governed by These Rules.

(1)  Divorce, Annulment, Dissolution of Marriage.

(i)  Equitable Distribution.

(ii)  Alimony/Alimony Pendente Lite.

(iii)  Counsel Fees, Costs and Expenses.

(2)  Child Custody.

(i)  Legal Custody.

(ii)  Physical Custody.

(iii)  Partial Custody/Visitation.

(3)  Support.

(i)  Child Support.

(ii)  Spousal Support.

(iii)  Modification and Enforcement.

(4)  Paternity.

(5)  Protection From Abuse.

   (b)  Commencement of Action.

   (1)  Unified Family Court Docketing. All actions under these Family Court Rules which involve identical parties shall be entered on the court’s docket under the same primary case number. Additional letters or numbers may be added parenthetically to specify the type of action, judge assigned or other identifying information.

   (2)  Custody Agreements. If, at a support proceeding, it appears that resolution of custody issues will facilitate compliance with the child support order, the conference officer or hearing officer may provide the parties with a form custody complaint and form custody agreement, along with information as to where to file the completed documents, the filing fee and how to contact the lawyers referral service. The support conference officer or hearing officer shall not participate in custody negotiations, preparation of the forms, or provide legal advice.

   (c)  Consolidation of Family Court Matters.

   (1)  General Rule. Two or more actions under these Family Court Rules involving the same parties and common questions of law and/or fact shall be consolidated for hearing or trial unless the court determines that it is inappropriate or impractical to do so.

   (2)  Trial Continuity. Trials before a judge or hearings before a hearing officer shall be scheduled to be heard on consecutive days or within a ten-day period. If not completed within the time allotted, the trial or hearing shall be concluded within 90 days of the date of the commencement of the trial or hearing, unless a shorter time frame is required by statute or another procedural rule.

   (3)  Prompt Decisions.

   (i)  Except as provided in subdivision (c)(3)(ii), in any matter brought under these Family Court Rules, a decision by a conference officer, hearing officer, or judge shall be entered, filed and served upon counsel for the parties, or any party not represented by counsel, not later than 30 days after the conference, hearing or trial concludes, unless a shorter time frame is required by statute or another procedural rule.

   (ii)  The time for entering and filing a decision may be extended if, within 30 days of the conclusion of the conference, hearing or trial, the court extends the date for such decision by order entered of record showing good cause for the extension. In no event shall an extension delay entry of the decision more than 60 days after the conclusion of the conference, hearing or trial.

   (d)  Continuing Education for Family Court Personnel.

   (1)  Program Development. Courses of instruction that include, at a minimum, the following topics shall be developed or approved by the Administrative Office of Pennsylvania Courts (AOPC):

   (i)  The substantive law and procedural aspects of the areas of law governed by these Family Court Rules;

   (ii)  Domestic violence;

   (iii)  Child development;

   (iv)  Family dynamics;

   (v)  Addictions and treatments;

   (vi)  Asset valuation;

   (vii)  Community resources.

   (2)  Initial Training. Within one year of assignment to cases governed by these Family Court Rules, each hearing officer, conciliator, mediator, and other court personnel designated by the president or administrative judge of each judicial district shall successfully complete the coursework developed or approved by the AOPC.

   (3)  Continuing Education. Each hearing officer, conciliator, mediator and other court personnel designated by the president or administrative judge who is assigned to cases governed by these Family Court Rules shall successfully complete six hours of continuing education developed or approved by the AOPC each calendar year following the calendar year in which the initial training was completed.

   (4)  Compliance. The AOPC shall monitor compliance with the educational requirements of this rule.

Explanatory Comment 2002

   This new rule is suspended in all judicial districts except the First (Philadelphia), Fifth (Allegheny County), Twenty-third (Berks County) and Forty-fifth (Lackawanna County) Judicial Districts until further order of the Supreme Court of Pennsylvania.

 

               (December 17, 2002, effective immediately in the First, Fifth, Twenty-Third and Forty-Fifth Judicia him l Districts); amended October 19, 2021, effective January 1, 2022.

 


FOLLOWING IS ERRATA

 

 

 

 

Errata - Support Practice - Statute Corrections

Statutes Corrections: 

-statutory section 4346

-statutory section 4352

 

  • 4346.  Contempt for noncompliance with visitation or partial custody order (Repealed).

234346

2010 Repeal.  Section 4346 was repealed November 23, 2010, P.L.1106, No.112, effective in 60 days.

 

  • 4352.  Continuing jurisdiction over support orders.

(a)  General rule.--The court making an order of support shall at all times maintain jurisdiction of the matter for the purpose of enforcement of the order and for the purpose of increasing, decreasing, modifying or rescinding the order unless otherwise provided by Part VIII (relating to uniform interstate family support) or VIII-A (relating to intrastate family support) without limiting the right of the obligee, or the department if it has an assignment or other interest, to institute additional proceedings for support in any county in which the obligor resides or in which property of the obligor is situated. The Supreme Court shall by general rule establish procedures by which each interested party shall be notified of all proceedings in which support obligations might be established or modified and shall receive a copy of any order issued in a case within 14 days after issuance of such order. A petition for modification of a support order may be filed at any time and shall be granted if the requesting party demonstrates a substantial change in circumstances.

(a.1)  Automatic review.--Upon request of either parent, or automatically if there is an assignment under Title IV-A of the Social Security Act (49 Stat. 620, 42 U.S.C. § 301 et seq.), each order of support shall be reviewed at least once every three years from the date of establishment or the most recent review. The review shall be for the purpose of making any appropriate increase, decrease, modification or rescission of the order. During the review, taking into the account the best interest of the child involved, the court shall adjust the order, without requiring proof of a change in circumstances, by applying the Statewide guidelines or a cost-of-living adjustment in accordance with a formula developed by general rule. Automated methods, including automated matches with wage or State income tax data, may be used to identify the support orders eligible for review and implement appropriate adjustments.

(a.2)  Effect of incarceration.--Incarceration, except incarceration for nonpayment of support, shall constitute a material and substantial change in circumstance that may warrant modification or termination of an order of support where the obligor lacks verifiable income or assets sufficient to enforce and collect amounts due.

(b)  Notice.--Each party subject to an automatic child support review shall receive:

(1)  thirty days' advance notice of the right of such party to request a review and adjustment of the order, except when the adjustment results from a cost-of-living adjustment or other automated adjustment;

(2)  a copy of any order establishing, modifying or rescinding a child support obligation or, in the case of a denied petition for modification, a notice of determination that there should be no change in the amount of the child support order, within 14 days after issuance of such order or determination; and

(3)  a 30-day period from the date of the notice of a cost-of-living adjustment or other automated adjustment to request an individual review and adjustment in accordance with the Statewide guideline.

(c)  Transfer of action.--Where neither party to the action resides or is employed in the county wherein the support action was filed, the court may transfer the matter to any county wherein either party resides or where the defendant is regularly employed. If one of the parties resides outside of this Commonwealth, the action may be transferred to the county of residence or employment of the other party.

(d)  Arrears as judgments.--On and after the date it is due, each and every support obligation shall constitute a judgment against the obligor by operation of law, with the full force, effect and attributes of a judgment of court, including the ability to be enforced, and shall be entitled as a judgment to full faith and credit in this or any other state. Overdue support obligations of this or any other state which are on record at the county domestic relations section shall constitute a lien by operation of law against all real property owned by the obligor within the county as provided in subsection (d.1). The department shall develop and implement a system for providing notice to the public of liens arising out of overdue support obligations. The system and its procedures shall ensure convenient access to lien information and shall address hours of access by the business community and the general public and access via modem or automated means. Thirty days after publication of notice in the Pennsylvania Bulletin that the system has been established, any lien on record shall constitute a lien against any real property in this Commonwealth owned by the obligor and shall also have the effect of a fully perfected security interest in personal property owned by the obligor in which a security interest can arise. The department shall consult with the Department of Transportation in the development of this system to enforce compliance with this subsection as it applies to liens on motor vehicles. The Supreme Court shall by general rule establish procedures for the recording of liens of other states at the county domestic relations section and for the enforcement of liens arising from overdue support without prior judicial notice or hearing. A bona fide good faith purchaser of personal property for value which is subject to a lien under this subsection acquires all title which the transferor had or had the power to transfer pursuant to 13 Pa.C.S. Ch. 24 (relating to title, creditors and good faith purchasers), and the obligee shall have all rights against such property which would be preserved to a fully perfected secured creditor under 13 Pa.C.S. Div. 9 (relating to secured transactions; sales of accounts, contract rights and chattel paper). The obligation for payment of arrears or overdue support shall terminate by operation of law when all arrears or overdue support has been paid.

(d.1)  Real property liens.--

(1)  Overdue support shall be a lien on real estate within the county in which the overdue support is on record at the county domestic relations section if:

(i)  the underlying support action is pending in the county domestic relations section or is being enforced by the county domestic relations section;

(ii)  notice of the existence of the support action is available to the public through a docket book or automated means; and

(iii)  the county domestic relations section is able to determine the amount of overdue support by reference to its records and is able to provide the amount of the overdue support upon request.

(2)  The priority and amount of a lien for overdue support shall be determined as follows:

(i)  The date of the lien for purposes of determining priority shall be determined separately for each unpaid overdue support payment. The date shall be the later of:

(A)  the date the obligor obtains a real property interest which may be subject to a lien;

(B)  the date the overdue support becomes a lien under paragraph (1); or

(C)  January 1, 1998.

(ii)  The amount of the lien on any date shall be the amount of overdue support shown on that date in the records of the domestic relations section.

(3)  Upon request of any person, the domestic relations section shall issue a written certification of the amount of overdue support owed by an individual as of the date of the certification and shall note on the docket the date of certification and the amount certified. The interests of any purchaser of real estate for value, mortgagee or other lienor that in good faith purchases the real estate or lends money on the security of the real estate and that records, within 30 days before or 60 days after the date of issuance of a certificate under this paragraph, a deed, mortgage or other encumbrance against the real estate shall not be subject to any lien for overdue support in excess of the amount shown on the certification.

(4)  The amount of overdue support owed by an obligor and the name of the obligor shall be public information and shall be deemed a public record subject to the act of June 21, 1957 (P.L.390, No.212), referred to as the Right-to-Know Law.

(5)  A lien arising from overdue support:

(i)  shall automatically attach to after-acquired property owned by the obligor;

(ii)  shall retain its priority without renewal or revival;

(iii)  shall continue to encumber the property upon sale or other transfer;

(iv)  shall not be divested upon a judicial sale or execution by a person with a lien with less priority;

(v)  shall not attach to the interest of any other co-owner in the property;

(vi)  shall expire 20 years after the due date of the last unsatisfied overdue support payment; and

(vii)  may be released by the court as against abandoned or distressed real property at the request of a governmental unit in order to facilitate the property's sale and rehabilitation.

(6)  The domestic relations section:

(i)  shall satisfy the lien promptly upon payment but no later than 60 days following receipt of the payment;

(ii)  may charge a fee not to exceed the lesser of its estimated cost of producing the report or $20 for the issuance of a lien certification or other written report of the overdue support obligations of an obligor;

(iii)  shall provide to the prothonotary of the county the identity of obligors and amount of overdue support to be used to make the information available to the public. The information shall be updated at least monthly and shall be provided by a paper listing, diskette or any other electronic means until the Statewide system under subsection (d) is implemented; and

(iv)  shall transmit at least every 60 days to credit bureaus directly or through the department reports and updates regarding the liens for overdue support.

(7)  The domestic relations section or employees thereof shall not be liable for errors in the certification of amounts of overdue support or satisfaction of liens for overdue support except as provided in 42 Pa.C.S. § 8550 (relating to willful misconduct).

(8)  Support may cease to be overdue if a revised payment schedule is established by the court, but any lien which has previously arisen against real estate shall remain in effect until paid or divested.

(9)  Notwithstanding paragraphs (2) and (3), the interests of any person who recorded a deed, mortgage or other instrument creating an interest in or lien against real estate on or after January 1, 1998, and before the effective date of this subsection shall not be subject to a lien for any overdue support accruing on or after the date the deed, mortgage or other instrument creating the interest or lien was recorded.

(e)  Retroactive modification of arrears.--No court shall modify or remit any support obligation, on or after the date it is due, except with respect to any period during which there is pending a petition for modification. If a petition for modification was filed, modification may be applied to the period beginning on the date that notice of such petition was given, either directly or through the appropriate agent, to the obligee or, where the obligee was the petitioner, to the obligor. However, modification may be applied to an earlier period if the petitioner was precluded from filing a petition for modification by reason of a significant physical or mental disability, misrepresentation of another party or other compelling reason and if the petitioner, when no longer precluded, promptly filed a petition. In the case of an emancipated child, arrears shall not accrue from and after the date of the emancipation of the child for whose support the payment is made.

(f)  Foreign support orders.--(Deleted by amendment).

(g)  Notice to obligors and obligees.--The domestic relations section shall mail notice to obligors and obligees of existing orders informing them that such orders may attain the status of a judgment by operation of law. The notice shall explain the nature of a judgment by operation of law and its effect. Further, the notice shall advise each party to a support proceeding of the party's duty to advise the domestic relations section of material changes in circumstance and of the necessity to promptly request a modification as soon as circumstances change.

(g.1)  Nondisclosure of certain information.--If the court finds in an ex parte or other proceeding or if an existing order provides that the health, safety or liberty of a party or child would be unreasonably put at risk by the disclosure of identifying information, the court shall order that the address of the child or party or other identifying information not be disclosed in a pleading or other document filed in a proceeding under this part. Any court order under this subsection must be docketed in the domestic relations section.

(g.2)  Work activities.--If an obligor owes overdue support with respect to any child receiving cash or medical assistance, the court shall upon motion of the department or domestic relations section order that overdue support be paid in accordance with a plan approved by the court or that the obligor participate in work activities approved by the department. Work activities include:

(1)  Subsidized or unsubsidized public or private sector employment.

(2)  Work experience programs.

(3)  Work training programs.

(4)  Community service programs.

(5)  Job search requirements.

(6)  Job readiness programs.

(7)  Education directly related to employment.

(8)  Attendance at secondary school.

(9)  For a person who has not graduated high school, study leading to a high school diploma or equivalent.

(g.3)  Voidable transfers.--The court may void any voidable transfer by the obligor pursuant to 12 Pa.C.S. Ch. 51 (relating to voidable transactions). It shall be a rebuttable presumption that a transfer by an obligor is voidable as to an obligee if the transfer was made for less than reasonably equivalent value and the transfer occurred after the initiation of a proceeding to establish or enforce support.

(h)  Applicability.--This section applies to all support orders whether entered under this chapter or any other statute.

234352

(Mar. 25, 1988, P.L.296, No.35, eff. imd.; Dec. 20, 1989, P.L.654, No.81, eff. imd.; Apr. 4, 1996, P.L.58, No.20, eff. imd.; Dec. 16, 1997, P.L.549, No.58, eff. Jan. 1, 1998; Dec. 15, 1998, P.L.963, No.127, eff. imd.; May 13, 2008, P.L.144, No.16, eff. imd.; Dec. 22, 2017, P.L.1249, No.78, eff. 60 days)

 

2017 Amendment.  Act 78 amended subsec. (g.3). See section 7 of Act 78 in the appendix to this title for special provisions relating to applicability.

2008 Amendment.  Act 16 amended subsec. (a.1) and added subsec. (a.2), retroactive to March 31, 2008.

1998 Amendment.  Act 127 amended subsec. (d) and added subsec. (d.1). Section 15 of Act 127 provided that nothing in Act 127 shall impair the priority or validity of any lien recorded prior to the effective date of Act 127. Act 127 of 1998 was suspended by Pennsylvania Rule of Civil Procedure No. 1910.50(3), as amended May 31, 2000, insofar as it is inconsistent with Rule No. 1910.20 relating to the availability of remedies for collection of past due and overdue support.

1997 Amendment.  Act 58 amended subsecs. (a), (b) and (d) and added subsecs. (a.1), (g.1), (g.2) and (g.3). Act 58 of 1997 was suspended by Pennsylvania Rule of Civil Procedure No. 1910.50(3), as amended May 31, 2000, insofar as it is inconsistent with Rule No. 1910.20 relating to the availability of remedies for collection of past due and overdue support.

1996 Amendment.  Act 20 amended subsec. (a) and deleted subsec. (f).

Suspension by Court Rule.  Section 4352(d) was suspended by Pennsylvania Rule of Civil Procedure No. 1910.50(5), as amended May 31, 2000, insofar as it is inconsistent with Rule 1910.22 providing that overdue support on public record at the domestic relations section constitutes a lien of record against all real property within the state of Pennsylvania which is owned by the obligor.

Section 4352(d.1) was suspended by Pennsylvania Rule of Civil Procedure No. 1910.50(6), as amended May 31, 2000, only insofar as subsection (d.1)(1) provides that the underlying support action shall either be pending at the county domestic relations section or shall be enforced by the county domestic relations section in order for a lien to arise to arise against real property located in that county.

References in Text.  Division 9 of Title 13, referred to in subsec. (d), was repealed and added by the act of June 8, 2001 (P.L.123, No.18). Present Division 9 relates to secured transactions.

The Act of June 21, 1957 (P.L.390, No.212), referred to as the Right-to-Know Law, referred to in subsec. (d.1)(4), was repealed by the act of February 14, 2008 (P.L.6, No.3), known as the Right-to-Know Law.

Errata - Pennsylvania Real Estate Tax Sales and Municipal Claims—Fourth Edition

Revision to title page: Pennsylvania Real Estate Tax Sales and Municipal Claims—Fourth Edition. Not all of the authors who contributed to this edition were listed on the title page. The full list of authors who should be on the title page is as follows:

 Robert W. Ballenger, Esq.

Catherine M. Martin, Esq.

Jonathan S. Sgro, Esq.

Montgomery L. Wilson, Esq.

Darrell M. Zaslow, Esq.

Levi S. Zaslow, Esq.