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Pennsylvania Implements New Child Support Guidelines

On January 12, 2010, the Pennsylvania Supreme Court modified the Pennsylvania Child Support Guidelines, which govern the determination of support to be paid on behalf of children and spouses. The new rules go into effect May 12, 2010. If you are either paying or receiving child support read below to see if these rules may affect you.

Current Rules:

The support charts which are based upon a formula that currently covers cases where the parties combined monthly net income totals $20,000 per month or less. If your combined monthly income is over $20,000 the case is considered a high income case called a Meltzer case. In Melzer cases, support is determined based upon the needs of the child rather than a set formula. Also the current rules do not make any assumption about or automatically give credit for the amount of time the child(ren) spend with the non-custodial parent.

New Rules

Beginning May 12, 2010, the support charts cover income up to $30,000 or less. In cases where the parties combined monthly net income exceeds $30,000 calculation of support will be formula based. In effect, this means that virtually all cases now will be treated under the guidelines. The rules also make an assumption that the non-custodial parent spends 30% time with the child(ren), and new guidelines take this into consideration.


For some families there will be no effect. In some high income families there may be a slight upward or downward adjustment of support, while in other families there also may be a slight effect depending upon how your award was calculated.

If you believe that you may be affected by this change in the support rules- either in the support you are paying or receiving- please contact our office to schedule a meeting to discuss your case. Requests for change in support are not automatic, you must file a Petition to Modify your existing Support Order. We are happy to further explain the new rules to you, and discuss the need for filing, should there be one.

I conveniently represent clients in the Bucks, Chester, Delaware, Montgomery, and Philadelphia Counties, the towns of Wayne, Radnor, Philadelphia, King of Prussia, Paoli, Devon, Berwyn, Newtown Square, Villanova, Bryn Mawr, Haverford, Ardmore, Lower Merion, Media, Wallingford, and Swarthmore, and throughout Pennsylvania.


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