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THE COURTS

Title 231--RULES OF CIVIL PROCEDURE

PART I.  GENERAL

[231 PA. CODE CH. 1910]

Amendment of the Rules Relating to the Support Guidelines; No. 306 Doc. No. 5

[28 Pa.B. 6162]

Order

Per Curiam:

   And Now, this 7th day of December, 1998, the Pennsylvania Rules of Civil Procedure are amended as follows:

   1.  Rule 1910.16-1 is amended as follows.

   2.  Rules 1910.16-2, 1910.16-3, 1910.16-4 and 1910.16-5 are rescinded and replaced as follows.

   3.  Rule 1910.6-6 and 1910.16-7 are adopted and added as follows.

   This order shall be processed in accordance with Pennsylvania Rule of Judicial Administration 103(b) and shall be effective April 1, 1998.

Annex A

TITLE 231.  RULES OF CIVIL PROCEDURE

PART I.  GENERAL

CHAPTER 1910.  ACTIONS FOR SUPPORT

Rule 1910.16-1.  Amount of Support. Support Guidelines.

   (a)  Applicability of the Support Guidelines. The support guidelines set forth the amount of support which a spouse or parent should pay on the basis of both parties' net monthly incomes as defined in Rule 1910.16-2 and the number of persons being supported. The support of a spouse or child is a priority obligation so that a party is expected to meet this obligation by adjusting his or her other expenditures.

   [(a)] (b)  The amount of support (child support, spousal support or alimony pendente lite) to be awarded pursuant to the procedures under Rules 1910.11 and 1910.12 shall be determined in accordance with the support guidelines which consist of the guidelines expressed as [grids set forth in Rule 1910.16-2 and as a formula in Rule 1910.16-3]  the child support schedule and the chart of proportional expenditures set forth in Rule 1910.16-3, the formula set forth in Rule 1910.16-4 and the operation of the guidelines as set forth in [Rule 1910.16-5]  these rules.

   [Official Note: Orders for spousal support and alimony pendente lite shall not be in effect simultaneously.]

   (c)  Orders for spousal support and alimony pendente lite shall not be in effect simultaneously.

   [(b)] (d)  If it has been determined that there is an obligation to pay support, there shall be a rebuttable presumption that the amount of the award determined from the guidelines is the correct amount of support to be awarded. The support guidelines are a rebuttable presumption and must be applied taking into consideration the special needs and obligations of the parties. The trier of fact must consider the factors set forth in Rule 1910.16-5. The presumption shall be rebutted if the trier of fact makes a written finding, or a specific finding on the record, that an award in the amount determined from the guidelines would be unjust or inappropriate.

   [(c)] (e)  The guidelines shall be reviewed at least once every four years to insure that their application results in the determination of appropriate amounts of support.

Explanatory Comment to Rule 1910.16-1--1998

Introduction

   Federal and state law require the use of guidelines to establish child and spousal support orders. Using the guidelines promotes (1) similar treatment of persons similarly situated, (2) a more equitable distribution of the financial responsibility for raising children, (3) settlement of support matters without court involvement, and (4) more efficient hearings where they are necessary. The Pennsylvania Rules of Civil Procedure governing actions for support set forth the basic child support schedule and formula as well as the explanatory text.

   A.  Income Shares. The child support guidelines are based on the Income Shares Model developed by the Child Support Guidelines Project of the National Center for State Courts. The model is based on the idea that the child of separated or divorced 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 and ages of the children. The basic support amounts reflected in the chart of proportional expenditures and child support 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.

   B.  Statutory Considerations. The federal statute, 42 U.S.C. § 467(a), requires that the guidelines be reviewed every four years. In addition, the Pennsylvania statute, 23 Pa.C.S. § 4322, states:

'' . . . 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 guidelines 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 guidelines 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.''

   1.  Reasonable Needs and Reasonable Ability to Provide Support. The guidelines make financial support of a child a primary obligation. They 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 obligor's net income is less than $550, he or she is barely able to provide for basic personal needs. In these cases, therefore, entry of a minimal order is appropriate after considering the party's living expenses. In some cases, it may not be appropriate to order support 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 on the reasonable needs of a dependent spouse or child and the reasonable ability of the obligor to pay. For example, in setting the amount of child support, it should be of no concern to the court that one obligor chooses to live in a one-room apartment and rely solely on public transportation, while another obligor, earning the same salary, chooses to live in a five-bedroom apartment and drive a new car. Both are obligated to give priority to the needs of their children. What they choose to do with their remaining income is not relevant to a support claim.

   2.  Net Income. The guidelines use the net incomes of the parties, and are based on the assumption that a child's reasonable needs increase as the combined net income of the child's parents increases. Each parent is required to contribute a share of the child's reasonable needs proportional to that parent's share of the combined net incomes. The custodial parent makes these contributions entirely through direct expenditures for food, shelter, clothing, transportation and other reasonable needs. In addition to any direct expenditures on the child's behalf, the non-custodial parent makes contributions through periodic support payments.

   3.  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.

   C.  Four-Year Review. The Family Support Act of 1988 [P.L. 100-485, 102 Stat. 2343 (1988)] requires that the child support guidelines be reviewed every four years to ensure that their application results in a determination of an appropriate child support award. With the assistance of Dr. Robert Williams, the developer of the Income Shares model, the Committee reviewed the most recent economic studies on child-related expenditures in intact households and assessed state guideline adjustments for low income, additional dependents, shared custody, child care, medical expenses and other factors which are considered in establishing or modifying a support award. Based on this review, Rules of Civil Procedure 1910.16-1 through 1910.16-5 relating to the guidelines have been amended and new Rules 1910.16-6 and 1910.16-7 have been added as follows.

   1.  Reorganization of the Rules. The rules have been reorganized so that they more logically follow the sequence for calculating the overall support obligation. Since the calculation begins with the computation of the parties' net incomes, new Rule 1910.16-2 consolidates all of the income provisions that formerly appeared throughout Rule 1910.16-5. Rule 1910.16-2 is followed by Rule 1910.16-3, the basic child support schedule; Rule 1910.16-4, the formula used in conjunction with the Schedule to arrive at obligor's basic support obligation; Rule 1910.16-5, which sets forth the factors the court must consider in determining whether to deviate from the basic support obligation; and Rule 1910.16-6, which consolidates all of the provisions for additional expenses that are typically added to the basic support obligation. Rule 1910.16-7 addresses the special treatment of child support obligations in the context of multiple families.

   2.  Calculation of Basic Child Support. The amount of basic support was previously determined from either the grids or the chart of proportional expenditures in conjunction with the income shares formula. The grids have been eliminated. The Committee has chosen to retain the chart and to use a basic child support schedule, which numerically reflects the amounts spent on children in intact families by combined income and number of children. The chart and the schedule appear in Rule 1910.6-3 and either one may be used to find the parties' combined basic child support obligation. In turn, the obligor's share of this obligation is calculated using the income shares formula in Rule 1910.16-4. In cases where the obligor's monthly net income is $550 or less, however, the schedule must be used to determine his or her basic support obligation.

   The amounts of child support set forth in the chart and the schedule have been updated to reflect recent economic estimates of child-related spending in intact households. Pursuant to federal and state law, these estimates must be adopted to ensure that children continue to receive adequate levels of support. Since the studies now consider households of up to six children, the guidelines have been expanded from four to six children. The newer studies also consider households with combined monthly net income of up to $12,600. Allowing for inflation, the model can be extended to combined monthly net income of up to $15,000. The Committee has chosen to do this so that the support guidelines will apply to more cases.

   3.  Computed Minimum Allowance in Low-Income Cases. The amended rules incorporate a Computed Allowance Minimum (CAM) into the support guidelines so that low-income obligors retain sufficient income to meet their basic needs and to maintain the incentive to continue working so that support can be paid. The CAM is built into the schedule in Rule 1910.16-3 and adjusts the basic support obligation to prevent obligor's net income from falling below $550 per month. Since the schedule reflects amounts of child support only, Rule 1910.16-2(e)(B) provides for a similar adjustment in spousal support and APL cases so that the obligor retains at least $550 per month in these cases as well.

   4.  Shared Custody. Under the prior guidelines, there was no formula or procedure for deviating from the basic support guidelines when custody is shared equally or the non-custodial parent has substantial partial custody. The guidelines provided that the obligor's support obligation should be reduced only if he or she spent ''an unusual amount of time with the children.'' Yet, there have been several decisions rejecting deviation even if the obligor spends almost 50% of the time with the children. See, e.g., Anzalone v. Anzalone, 449 Pa. Super. 201, 673 A.2d 377 (1996) (40% time was not ''unusual''); Dalton v. Dalton, 409 Pa. Super. 258, 597 A.2d 1192 (1991) (43% time did not justify deviation).

   It is generally agreed, however, that there should be some reduction in the support obligation in these cases to reflect the decrease in the obligee's variable expenses and the increase in obligor's fixed and variable expenses as a result of the children spending substantially more time with the obligor. As part of its four-year review of the guidelines, the Committee examined seven different methods being used by other states but found that none of them met these objectives without producing a substantial reduction in the support obligation at some income levels or income differentials for relatively small increases in custodial time. As a result, the Committee initially recommended the alternative solution of no reduction at all for time spent with the children. Based on the comments received, however, the Committee reconsidered this recommendation and ultimately selected a method which gives some recognition to the shift in child-related expenditures that occurs when the obligor spends a substantial amount of time with the children.

   This method is set forth in Rule 1910.16-4(c) and has been built into the formula used to calculate the presumptively correct amount of the support obligation. While not a perfect solution to the problem of establishing support obligations in the context of substantial or shared custody, it is better than the previous void and preferable to the many offset methods developed by local courts which effectively reduced the support obligation out of proportion to the increase in custody time. Its chief advantage is that there is no sharp reduction in the obligation at the 40% threshold. It also provides statewide uniformity. The method does not, however, result in $0 when there is equal custody and equal income. In those cases, therefore, the Rule provides for a cap to reduce the obligation so that the obligee does not receive a larger portion of the combined income than the obligor. Although this cap may in some cases result in a substantial reduction between 45-50% time, the Committee is not aware of an existing model that does not create some ''cliff effect'' at some level at some point in time. This model was chosen over others because the cases which involve truly equal time-sharing and equal incomes continue to represent a very small percentage of support cases.

   5.  Multiple Families. The Committee has chosen to retain the existing approach for establishing multiple child and spousal support obligations. New Rule 1910.16-7 sets forth the method for calculating child support obligations so that all of the obligor's children continue to have equal access to his or her resources and no child receives priority over the other children. Since calculation of multiple spousal support obligations is essentially a function of net income, it appears in new Rule 1910.16-2 governing the general calculation of net income. The provision continues to highlight the fact that the rules do not accord the same treatment to second and later spouses as they do to children in multiple family situations. Unlike children, who have no choice about the situation into which they are born, adults have the opportunity to investigate a potential spouse before committing themselves.

   6.  Child Care Expenses. Whereas the prior rules provided for equal sharing of these expenses, Rule 1910.16-6(a) now provides for proportionate sharing based on the parties' net incomes so that these expenses are allocated in the same manner as other expenses which are typically added to the basic support obligation. The Rule also reflects the availability and limitations of the federal child care tax credit which can be claimed by the custodial parent.

   7.  Health Insurance Premiums. Under the prior rules, the portion of the cost of health insurance premiums which benefit the other party or the children was deducted from the party's net income. This provided little incentive for either party to obtain or maintain health insurance coverage for the benefit of the other family members. If the obligor was paying the premium, it reduced the basic support award only marginally. If the obligee was paying the premium, he or she received virtually no financial credit at all in terms of a higher support award.

   To maximize the value for the party carrying the health insurance, new Rule 1910.16-6(b) treats the cost of the premium as an additional expense subject to allocation between the parties in proportion to their net incomes. This more accurately reflects the costs of carrying such insurance and also ensures that the obligee receives some financial credit for carrying the insurance. The new Rule also permits allocation of the entire premium, including the party's portion of the premium, when the insurance benefits the other party or the children. This change provides further incentive for parties to obtain health insurance for the benefit of the other party and the children.

   8.  Unreimbursed Medical Expenses. There are three changes to the treatment of unreimbursed medical expenses. First, since the first $250 per year per child of these expenses is already built into the basic child support obligation reflected in the chart and the schedule, only medical expenses which exceed this amount are subject to allocation between the parties as an additional expense to be added to the basic support obligation. Rule 1910.16-6(c) reflects this distinction. The Committee has also chosen to draw this same distinction with respect to spousal support so that the obligee-spouse is expected to meet the first $250 per year of his or her own unreimbursed expenses before seeking contribution from the obligor for any additional expenses.

   Second, the Rule distinguishes between those expenses which are predictable and recurring and those which are not. When the expenses are predictable and recurring, the court may establish a monthly amount for those expenses and add it to the basic support obligation. This permits the monthly amount to be collected more easily through wage attachment. When the expenses are variable and unanticipated, and thus not conducive to routine wage attachment, the court may nonetheless order the defendant to pay his or her percentage share of these expenses.

   Third, the definition of medical expenses is amended to include insurance co-payments, deductibles, and orthodontia and to exclude chiropractic services.

   (Editor's Note: The text of Rules 1910.16-2--1910.16-5 is being replaced as follows. The rules are being printed in regular typeface to enhance readability.)

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

   The amount of support to be awarded is based in large part upon the parties' monthly net income.

   (a)  Monthly Gross Income. Monthly gross income is ordinarily based upon at least a six-month average of all of a party's income. The term ''income'' is defined by the support law, 23 Pa.C.S. § 4302, 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 discretion of the trier of fact, inclusion of part or all of it is appropriate; and

   Official Note:  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 obligor is paying $1,000 per month in rehabilitative alimony for the express purpose of financing 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 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 lottery winnings, income tax refunds, insurance compensation or settlements; awards and verdicts; and any form of payment due to and collectible by an individual regardless of source.

   Official Note:  The trial court has discretion to determine 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 they may be averaged over a shorter or longer period of time depending on the circumstances of the case. They may also be escrowed in an amount sufficient to secure the support obligation during that period of time.

   Income tax refunds should not be included as income to the extent they were already factored into the party's actual tax obligation for purposes of arriving at his or her net income.

   (b)  Treatment of Public Assistance and SSI Benefits. Neither public assistance nor Supplemental Security Income (SSI) benefits shall be counted as income for purposes of determining support.

   Official 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 otherwise provided in this Rule, the court shall deduct only the following items from monthly gross income to arrive at net income:

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

   (B)  F.I.C.A. payments and non-voluntary retirement payments;

   (C)  union dues; and

   (D)  alimony paid to the other party.

   (2)  In computing a spousal support or alimony pendente lite obligation, the court shall deduct from obligor's monthly net income all of his or her child support obligations and any amounts of spousal support, alimony pendente lite or alimony being paid to former spouses.

   (d)  Reduced or Fluctuating Income.

   (1)  Voluntary Reduction of Income. Where a party voluntarily assumes a lower paying job, there generally will be no effect on the support obligation. A party will ordinarily not be relieved of a support obligation by voluntarily quitting work or by being fired for cause.

   Official Note:  This provision applies to the establishment as well as modification of a support obligation. To the extent that Klahold v. Kroh, 437 Pa. Super. 150, 649 A.2d 701 (1994) implies otherwise, it is overruled.

   (2)  Involuntary Reduction of Income. No adjustments in support payments will be made for normal fluctuations in earnings. However, appropriate adjustments will be made for substantial continuing involuntary decreases in income.

   (3)  Seasonal Employees. Support orders for seasonal employees, such as construction workers, shall ordinarily be based upon a yearly average.

   (4)  Income Potential. Ordinarily, a party who wilfully fails to obtain appropriate employment will be considered to have an income equal to the party's earning capacity. Age, education, training, health, work experience, earnings history and child care responsibilities are factors which shall be considered in determining earning capacity.

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

   (1)  Low Income Cases.

   (A)  When the obligor's monthly net income and corresponding number of children fall into the shaded area of the schedule set forth in Rule 1910.16-3, the basic child support obligation shall be calculated using the obligor's income only. For example, where obligor has monthly net income of $750, the presumptively correct amount of support for three children is $184 per month. This amount is determined directly from the schedule in Rule 1910.16-3.

   (B)  In computing a basic spousal support or alimony pendente lite obligation, the presumptively correct amount of support shall not reduce the obligor's net income below $550 per month. For example, if obligor earns $600 per month and obligee earns $300 per month, the formula in Part IV of Rule 1910.16-4 would result in a support obligation of $120 per month. Since this amount leaves the obligor with only $480 per month, it must be adjusted so that obligor retains at least $550 per month. The presumptively correct minimum amount of spousal support, therefore, is $50 per month in this case.

   (C)  When the obligor's monthly net income is $550 or less, the court may award support only after consideration of the obligor's actual living expenses.

   (2)  High Income Child Support Cases.

   When the parties' combined net income exceeds $15,000 per month, child support shall be calculated pursuant to Melzer v. Witsberger, 505 Pa. 462, 480 A.2d 991 (1984). The presumptive minimum amount of child support shall be obligor's percentage share of the highest amount of support which can be derived from the schedule or the chart for the appropriate number of children and using the parties' actual combined income to determine obligor's percentage share of this amount. The court may award an additional amount of child support based on the remaining combined income and the factors set forth in Melzer.

   For example, where obligor and obligee have monthly net incomes of $17,000 and $4,000 respectively, the presumptive minimum amount of child support for three children is calculated as follows: using the formula in Rule 1910.16-4, determine the parties' percentage shares of income based on their actual combined income--81% and 19% respectively of $21,000. Using the schedule or chart in Rule 1910.16-3, find the highest possible combined child support obligation for three children--$3,480. Obligor's percentage share of the combined obligation is 81% of $3,480, or $2,818. This is the presumptive minimum amount of child support that he or she must pay for three children. Since this amount is derived from the schedule or chart in Rule 1910.16-3, both of which are limited to combined household income of $15,000, the court may award an additional amount of support based on the parties' remaining income of $6,000 and the factors set forth in Melzer.

Explanatory Comment to Rule 1910.16-2--1998

   This new Rule consolidates all of the income provisions, which formerly appeared throughout Rule 1910.16-5. Subdivision (a) specifies what is gross income for purposes of calculating the support obligation. In conformity with the recently expanded definition of income under 23 Pa.C.S. § 4322, income includes bonuses, lottery winnings, income tax refunds, insurance compensation or settlements, awards or verdicts and any form of payment due and collectible regardless of source.

   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. Since the cost of health insurance premiums is now treated as an additional expense subject to allocation between the parties under Rule 1910.16-6, it is no longer deductible from gross income. Subdivision (c) also incorporates former Rule 1910.16-5(o) relating to awards of spousal support or APL when there are multiple families. In these cases, a party's net income must be reduced further to account for his or her child support obligations as well as any pre-existing spousal support, APL or alimony obligations being paid to former spouses who are not the subject of the support action.

   Subdivision (e) reflects the Computed Allowance Minimum (CAM) in low-income child support cases. When the obligor's net monthly 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 Rule 1910.16-3. There is no need to use the formula in Rule 1910.16-4 to calculate obligor's support obligation because the CAM keeps the amount of the obligation the same regardless of obligee's income. Obligee's income may be a relevant factor, however, in determining whether to deviate from the basic guideline obligation pursuant to Rule 1910.16-5 and in considering whether to require the obligor to contribute to any additional expenses under Rule 1910.16-6.

   Since the schedule in Rule 1910.16-3 reflects child support only, subdivision (e)(1)(B) is necessary to reflect the operation of CAM in spousal support and alimony pendente lite cases. It adjusts the basic guideline obligation, which would otherwise be calculated under the formula in Rule 1910.16-4 so that the obligor does not fall below $550 per month in these cases.

   When the obligor's monthly net income is less than $550, subsection (1)(C) provides that the court 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 is appropriate. In some cases, it may not be appropriate to order support at all.

   The CAM amount is only the presumptively correct amount of basic support to be awarded. If the circumstances warrant, the court may deviate from that amount under Rule 1910.16-5 and may also consider the party's contribution to the additional expenses, which are typically added to the basic amount of support under Rule 1910.16-6. If, for example, the obligor earns only $600 per month but is living with his or her parents, or has remarried and is living with a fully-employed spouse, the court may consider an upward deviation under Rule 1910.16-5((b)(3) and/or may order the party to contribute to the additional expenses under Rule 1910.16-6. Consistent with the goals of CAM, however, the court should ensure that the overall support obligation leaves 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 reflects the limited application of Melzer v. Witsberger, 505 Pa. 462, 480 A.2d 991 (1984) to cases in which the guidelines cannot be used to establish the child support obligation because the parties' combined income exceeds $15,000 per month. The court must establish a presumptive minimum amount of child support using the guidelines to arrive at that amount. The formula for calculating the presumptive minimum amount has been modified slightly to clarify that the parties' percentage shares should be calculated using their actual combined income rather than theoretical combined income of only $15,000. This change eliminates many of the inequities and inconsistencies that arose under the previous formula for determining this amount. In considering the parties' remaining income, the court must use the factors set forth in igor's percentage share as additional support. Additional support, if any, may be more or less than the percentage share and must be determined, therefore, in accordance with the factors set forth in Melzer.

Rule 1910.16-3.  Support Guidelines. Basic Child Support Schedule and Chart of Proportional Expenditures.

   (a)  Basic Child Support Schedule. The following schedule sets forth the amounts spent on children in intact families by combined income and number of children. Combined income is on the vertical axis of the schedule and number of children is on the horizontal axis of the schedule. This schedule is used to find the basic child support obligation. Unless otherwise provided in these Rules, the obligor's share of the basic support obligation shall be computed using the formula set forth in Part I of Rule 1910.16-4.

COMBINED NETONETWOTHREEFOURFIVESIX
MONTHLY INCOMECHILDCHILDRENCHILDRENCHILDRENCHILDRENCHILDREN
0-600 50 55 60 65 70 75
650 90 91 92 93 94 95
700 135 137 138 140 141 143
750 180 182 184 186 188190
800 196 228 230 233 235 238
850 208 255 276 279 282 285
900 220 273 304 325 329 333
950 232 291 325 348 369 380
1000 244 308 346 371 394 414
1050 256 326 367 394 419 441
1100 268 391 463 511 554 593
1150 279 407 482 532 577 617
1200 291 423 501 553 600 642
1250 302 440 520 575 623 667
1300 313 456 539 596 646 691
1350 325 472 558 617 669 716
1400 336 489 578 638 692 740
1450 347 505 597 659 715 765
1500 359 521 616 681 738 789
1550 370 538 635 702 761 814
1600 381 554 654 723 784 839
1650 393 571 674 744 807 863
1700 404 587 693766 830 888
1750 415 603712787853913
1800 427 620 731 808 876 937
1850 438 636 751 829 899 962
1900 449 652 770 851 922 987
1950 461 668 788 871 944 1010
2000 472 684 807 891 966 1034
2050 483 700 825 911 988 1057
2100 494 716 843 932 1010 1081
2150 505 732 862 952 1032 1104
2200 516 748 880 972 1054 1128
2250 528 763 898 993 1076 1151
2300 539 779 917 1013 1098 1175
2350 550 795 935 1033 1120 1198
2400 560 811 954 1054 1143 1223
2450 571 827 973 1075 1165 1247
2500 582 842 991 1095 1187 1271
2550 593 858 1010 1116 1210 1295
2600 603 874 1029 1137 1232 1319
2650 614 889 1048 1158 1255 1343
2700 625 905 1066 1178 1277 1367
2750 635 921 1085 1199 1300 1391
2800 641 929 1095 1209 1311 1403
2850 647 937 1104 1220 1322 1415
2900 653 945 1113 1230 1333 1427
2950 658 953 1122 1240 1345 1439
3000 664 961 1132 1251 1356 1451
3050 670 969 1141 1261 1367 1463
3100 676 977 1150 1271 1378 1474
3150 681 986 1160 1282 1389 1486
3200 686 993 1167 1289 1398 1496
3250 690 998 1172 1295 1404 1502
3300 693 1004 1177 1301 1410 1509
3350 697 1010 1182 1306 1416 1515
3400 700 1016 1187 1312 1422 1522
3450 704 1022 1192 1318 1428 1528
3500 708 1028 1197 1323 1434 1535
3550 711 1034 1203 1329 1440 1541
3600 715 1040 1208 1335 1447 1548
365072410521223135114651567
3700 733 1063 1238 1368 1483 1586
3750 742 1075 1252 1384 1500 1605
3800 750 1086 1267 1400 1518 1624
3850 759 1098 1282 1417 1536 1643
3900 768 1109 1297 1433 1553 1662
3950 777 1121 1311 1449 1571 1681
4000 786 1132 1326 1465 1588 1700
4050 794 1143 1339 1480 1604 1717
4100 801 1153 1351 1493 1619 1732
4150 808 1163 1363 1506 1633 1747
4200 815 1174 1375 1520 1647 1763
4250 822 1184 1387 1533 1662 1778
4300 829 1194 1399 1546 1676 1793
4350 836 1204 1411 1559 1690 1809
4400 843 1215 1423 1573 1705 1824
4450 850 1225 1435 1586 1719 1840
4500 857 1235 1447 1599 1734 1855
4550 864 1245 1459 1612 1748 1870
4600 872 1255 1471 1626 1762 1886
4650 879 1266 1483 1639 1777 1901
4700 886 1276 1495 1652 1790 1916
4750 892 1285 1506 1664 1804 1930
4800 899 1295 1518 1677 1818 1945
4850 906 1305 1529 1690 1832 1960
4900 913 1315 1541 1702 1845 1975
4950 920 1325 1552 1715 1859 1989
5000 927 1335 1564 1728 1873 2004
5050 934 1344 1575 1740 1887 2019
5100 941 1354 1586 1753 1900 2033
5150 948 1364 1598 1766 1914 2048
5200 954 1374 1609 1778 1928 2063
5250 961 1384 1621 1791 1941 2077
5300 968 1394 1632 1804 1955 2092
5350 975 1404 1644 1816 1969 2107
5400 982 1413 1655 1829 1983 2121
5450 989 1423 1667 1842 1996 2136
5500 996 1433 1678 1854 2010 2151
5550100314431690186720242166
5600 1010 1453 1701 1880 2038 2180
5650 1016 1463 1713 1893 2052 2195
5700 1023 1473 1724 1905 2065 2210
5750 1030 1483 1736 1918 2079 2225
5800 1037 1492 1747 1931 2093 2240
5850 1044 1502 1759 1944 2107 2254
5900 1051 1512 1771 1956 2121 2269
5950 1058 1522 1782 1969 2135 2284
6000 1065 1532 1794 1982 2148 2299
6050 1071 1542 1805 1995 2162 2314
6100 1078 1552 1817 2008 2176 2328
6150 1085 1561 1828 2020 2190 2343
6200 1092 1571 1840 2033 2204 2358
6250 1099 1581 1851 2046 2218 2373
6300 1106 1591 1863 2059 2232 2388
6350 1113 1601 1875 2071 2245 2403
6400 1120 1611 1887 2085 2260 2418
6450 1126 1621 1899 2099 2275 2434
6500 1133 1632 1912 2112 2290 2450
6550 1140 1642 1924 2126 2305 2466
6600 1147 1652 1937 2140 2320 2482
6650 1153 1662 1949 2154 2334 2498
6700 1160 1672 1961 2167 2349 2514
6750 1167 1682 1974 2181 2364 2530
6800 1174 1693 1986 2195 2379 2546
6850 1181 1703 1998 2208 2394 2561
6900 1187 1713 2011 2222 2409 2577
6950 1194 1723 2023 2236 2424 2593
7000 1201 1733 2036 2249 2438 2609
7050 1208 1744 2048 2263 2453 2625
7100 1215 1754 2060 2277 2468 2641
7150 1221 1764 2073 2290 2483 2657
7200 1228 1774 2085 2304 2497 2672
7250 1231 1779 2091 2311 2505 2680
7300 1235 1784 2098 2318 2513 2689
7350 1238 1790 2104 2325 2521 2697
7400 1242 1795 2111 2333 2529 2706
7450124518002117234025362714
7500 1249 1806 2124 2347 2544 2722
7550 1252 1811 2131 2354 2552 2731
7600 1256 1816 2137 2362 2560 2739
7650 1260 1822 2144 2369 2568 2748
7700 1263 1827 2150 2376 2576 2756
7750 1267 1832 2157 2383 2584 2764
7800 1270 1838 2163 2391 2591 2773
7850 1274 1843 2170 2398 2599 2781
7900 1277 1848 2177 2405 2607 2790
7950 1281 1854 2183 2412 2615 2798
8000 1284 1859 2190 2420 2623 2806
8050 1288 1865 2197 2428 2632 2816
8100 1296 1877 2211 2443 2648 2834
8150 1304 1888 2224 2458 2664 2851
8200 1312 1900 2238 2473 2680 2868
8250 1320 1911 2251 2487 2696 2885
8300 1328 1923 2265 2502 2712 2902
8350 1336 1934 2278 2517 2729 2920
8400 1344 1945 2291 2532 2745 2937
8450 1352 1957 2305 2547 2761 2954
8500 1360 1968 2318 2562 2777 2971
8550 1368 1980 2332 2576 2793 2988
8600 1376 1991 2345 2591 2809 3006
8650 1384 2003 2358 2606 2825 3023
8700 1392 2014 2372 2621 2841 3040
8750 1400 2026 2385 2636 2857 3057
8800 1408 2037 2399 2651 2873 3074
8850 1416 2049 2412 2665 2889 3092
8900 1424 2060 2426 2680 2905 3109
8950 1432 2072 2439 2695 2921 3126
9000 1440 2083 2452 2710 2937 3143
9050 1448 2095 2466 2725 2954 3160
9100 1456 2106 2479 2739 2970 3177
9150 1464 2117 2493 2754 2986 3195
9200 1472 2129 2506 2769 3002 3212
9250 1480 2140 2519 2784 3018 3229
9300 1488 2152 2533 2799 3034 3246
9350149621632546281430503263
9400 1504 2175 2560 2828 3066 3281
9450 1512 2186 2573 2843 3082 3298
9500 1520 2198 2586 2858 3098 3315
9550 1528 2209 2600 2873 3114 3332
9600 1536 2221 2613 2888 3130 3349
9650 1544 2232 2627 2903 3146 3367
9700 1552 2244 2640 2917 3162 3384
9750 1560 2255 2654 2932 3179 3401
9800 1568 2267 2667 2947 3195 3418
9850 1576 2278 2680 2962 3211 3435
9900 1584 2289 2694 2977 3227 3453
9950 1592 2301 2707 2991 3243 3470
10000 1600 2312 2721 3006 3259 3487
10050 1608 2324 2734 3021 3275 3504
10100 1616 2335 2747 3036 3291 3521
10150 1624 2347 2761 3051 3307 3539
10200 1632 2358 2774 3066 3323 3556
10250 1640 2370 2788 3080 3339 3573
10300 1648 2381 2801 3095 3355 3590
10350 1656 2393 2815 3110 3371 3607
10400 1664 2404 2828 3125 3387 3625
10450 1672 2416 2841 3140 3403 3642
10500 1680 2427 2855 3155 3420 3659
10550 1688 2439 2868 3169 3436 3676
10600 1695 2448 2879 3181 3449 3690
10650 1698 2453 2886 3188 3456 3698
10700 1702 2459 2892 3196 3464 3707
10750 1706 2464 2899 3203 3472 3715
10800 1710 2470 2905 3210 3480 3723
10850 1713 2475 2912 3217 3487 3732
10900 1717 2481 2918 3224 3495 3740
10950 1721 2486 2925 3232 3503 3748
11000 1725 2492 2931 3239 3511 3757
11050 1728 2497 2938 3246 3519 3765
11100 1732 2503 2944 3253 3526 3773
11150 1736 2508 2951 3260 3534 3782
11200 1740 2513 2957 3268 3542 3790
11250174325192964327535503798
11300 1747 2524 2970 3282 3558 3807
11350 1751 2530 2977 3289 3565 3815
11400 1755 2535 2983 3296 3573 3823
11450 1758 2541 2990 3303 3581 3832
11500 1762 2546 2996 3311 3589 3840
11550 1766 2552 3003 3318 3597 3848
11600 1770 2557 3009 3325 3604 3857
11650 1773 2563 3016 3332 3612 3865
11700 1777 2568 3022 3339 3620 3873
11750 1781 2574 3029 3347 3628 3882
11800 1785 2579 3035 3354 3635 3890
11850 1788 2585 3042 3361 3643 3898
11900 1792 2590 3048 3368 3651 3907
11950 1796 2596 3055 3375 3659 3915
12000 1800 2601 3061 3382 3667 3923
12050 1803 2607 3068 3390 3674 3932
12100 1807 2612 3074 3397 3682 3940
12150 1811 2618 3081 3404 3690 3948
12200 1815 2623 3087 3411 3698 3957
12250 1818 2628 3094 3418 3706 3965
12300 1822 2634 3100 3426 3713 3973
12350 1826 2639 3107 3433 3721 3982
12400 1830 2645 3113 3440 3729 3990
12450 1833 2650 3120 3447 3737 3998
12500 1837 2656 3126 3454 3745 4007
12550 1841 2661 3133 3462 3752 4015
12600 1845 2667 3139 3469 3760 4023
12650 1848 2672 3145 3475 3767 4031
12700 1852 2678 3152 3483 3776 4040
12750 1856 2684 3159 3491 3784 4049
12800 1860 2689 3166 3499 3793 4058
12850 1864 2695 3174 3507 3801 4067
12900 1868 2701 3181 3515 3810 4077
12950 1872 2707 3188 3523 3818 4086
13000 1876 2713 3195 3530 3827 4095
13050 1880 2718 3202 3538 3835 4104
13100 1884 2724 3209 3546 3844 4113
13150188827303216355438534122
13200 1892 2736 3223 3562 3861 4131
13250 1896 2742 3231 3570 3870 4141
13300 1900 2747 3238 3578 3878 4150
13350 1904 2753 3245 3586 3887 4159
13400 1908 2759 3252 3593 3895 4168
13450 1912 2765 3259 3601 3904 4177
13500 1916 2771 3266 3609 3912 4186
13550 1920 2776 3273 3617 3921 4195
13600 1924 2782 3280 3625 3929 4205
13650 1928 2788 3288 3633 3938 4214
13700 1932 2794 3295 3641 3947 4223
13750 1936 2800 3302 3649 3955 4232
13800 1940 2805 3309 3656 3964 4241
13850 1944 2811 3316 3664 3972 4250
13900 1948 2817 3323 3672 3981 4259
13950 1952 2823 3330 3680 3989 4268
14000 1956 2829 3338 3688 3998 4278
14050 1960 2834 3345 3696 4006 4287
14100 1964 2840 3352 3704 4015 4296
14150 1968 2846 3359 3712 4023 4305
14200 1972 2852 3366 3719 4032 4314
14250 1976 2858 3373 3727 4040 4323
14300 1980 2863 3380 3735 4049 4332
14350 1984 2869 3387 3743 4058 4342
14400 1988 2875 3395 3751 4066 4351
14450 1992 2881 3402 3759 4075 4360
14500 1996 2887 3409 3767 4083 4369
14550 2000 2892 3416 3775 4092 4378
14600 2004 2898 3423 3783 4100 4387
14650 2008 2904 3430 3790 4109 4396
14700 2012 2910 3437 3798 4117 4406
14750 2016 2916 3444 3806 4126 4415
14800 2020 2921 3452 3814 4134 4424
14850 2024 2927 3459 3822 4143 4433
14900 2028 2933 3466 3830 4152 4442
14950 2032 2939 3473 3838 4160 4451
15000203629453480384641694460

   (b)  Chart of Proportional Expenditures. The following chart sets forth the proportion of combined monthly net income spent on children by income level. It is used to find the parties' basic child support obligation. Unless otherwise provided in these Rules, the obligor's share of the basic support obligation shall be computed using the formula set forth in Part I of Rule 1910.16-4.

PROPORTION OF NET INCOME SPENT ON CHILDREN BY COMBINED INCOME LEVEL

Children$423-$1,058$1,059-$1,481$1,482-$1,905$1,906-$2,328$2,329-$2,751$2,752-$3,174
1 $104, plus 24.32% above $423 $258, plus 22.67% above $1,059 $354, plus 22.72% above $1,482 $451, plus 22.32% above $1,906 $545, plus 21.39% above $2,329 $636, plus 11.47% above $2,752
2 $152, plus 35.44% above $423 $377, plus 32.68% above $1,059 $515, plus 32.77% above $1,482 $654, plus 31.70% above $1,906 $788, plus 31.41% above $2,329 $921, plus 16.16% above $2,752
3 $180, plus 41.93% above $423 $446, plus 38.34% above $1,059 $609, plus 38.47% above $1,482 $772, plus 36.69% above $1,906 $927, plus 37.49% above $2,329 $1,085, plus 18.62% above $2,752
4 $199, plus 46.33% above $423 $493, plus 42.37% above $1,059 $673, plus 42.50% above $1,482 $853, plus 40.54% above $1,906 $1,024, plus 41.42% above $2,329 $1,199, plus 20.58% above $2,752
5 $216, plus 50.22% above $423 $535, plus 45.92% above $1,059 $729, plus 46.08% above $1,482 $924, plus 43.94% above $1,906 $1,110, plus 44.90% above $2,329 $1,300, plus 22.30% above $2,752
6 $231, plus 53.74% above $423 $572, plus 49.14% above $1,059 $780, plus 49.30% above $1,482 $989, plus 47.02% above $1,906 $1,188, plus 48.04% above $2,329 $1,391, plus 23.87% above $2,752
Children$3,175-$3,598$3,599-$4,021$4,022-$4,656$4,657-$5,502$5,503-$6,349
1 $684, plus 7.20% above $3,175 $715, plus 17.74% above $3,599 $790, plus 14.14% above $4,022 $879, plus 13.79% above $4,657 $996, plus 13.75% above $5,503
2 $989, plus 11.89% above $3,175 $1,040, plus 22.97% above $3,599 $1,137, plus 20.44% above $4,022 $1,267, plus 19.70% above $4,657 $1,434, plus 19.74% above $5,503
3 $1,164, plus 10.21% above $3,175 $1,207, plus 29.49% above $3,599 $1,332, plus 23.99% above $4,022 $1,485, plus 22.92% above $4,657 $1,679, plus 23.11% above $5,503
4 $1,286, plus 11.28% above $3,175 $1,334, plus 32.59% above $3,599 $1,472, plus 26.51% above $4,022 $1,640, plus 25.32% above $4,657 $1,855, plus 25.54% above $5,503
5 $1,395, plus 12.22% above $3,175 $1,446, plus 35.33% above $3,599 $1,596, plus 28.74% above $4,022 $1,778, plus 27.45% above $4,657 $2,011, plus 27.68% above $5,503
6 $1,492, plus 13.08% above $3,175 $1,548, plus 37.80% above $3,599 $1,708, plus 30.75% above $4,022 $1,903, plus 29.37% above $4,657 $2,151, plus 29.62% above $5,503
Children$6,350-$7,195$7,196-$8,042$8,043-$10,581$10,582-$12,697$12,698-$15,000
1 $1,113, plus 13.57% above $6,350 $1,227, plus 7.05% above $7,196 $1,287, plus 15.99% above $8,043 $1,693, plus 7.51% above $10,582 $1,852, plus 7.97% above $12,698
2 $1,601, plus 20.37% above $6,350 $1,773, plus 10.65% above $7,196 $1,863, plus 22.93% above $8,043 $2,446, plus 10.95% above $10,582 $2,677, plus 11.60% above $12,698
3 $1,874, plus 24.79% above $6,350 $2,084, plus 13.13% above $7,196 $2,195, plus 26.83% above $8,043 $2,877, plus 13.01% above $10,582 $3,152, plus 14.26% above $12,698
4 $2,071, plus 27.39% above $6,350 $2,303, plus 14.51% above $7,196 $2,426, plus 29.65% above $8,043 $3,179, plus 14.37% above $10,582 $3,483, plus 15.76% above $12,698
5 $2,245, plus 29.69% above $6,350 $2,496, plus 15.73% above $7,196 $2,629, plus 32.14% above $8,043 $3,446, plus 15.58% above $10,582 $3,775, plus 17.08% above $12,698
6 $2,402, plus 31.77% above $6,350 $2,671, plus 16.83% above $7,196 $2,813, plus 34.39% above $8,043 $3,687, plus 16.67% above $10,582 $4,039, plus 18.28% above $12,698

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

   (a)  The following formula shall be used to calculate the obligor's share of the basic guideline child support, spousal support and/or alimony pendente lite obligation:

PART I.  BASIC CHILD SUPPORT

OBLIGOROBLIGEE
1.  Total Gross Income per pay period ____________
2.  Less Deductions(______)(______)
3.  Net Income____________
4.  Conversion to Monthly Amount (if pay period is other than monthly)____________
5.  Combined Total Monthly Net Income______
6.  BASIC CHILD SUPPORT OBLIGATION
(Determine either from Schedule based on number of children and line 5 combined monthly net income OR from Chart by finding proportion of
combined income spent on the children)
______
7.  Net Income Expressed as a Percentage Share of Income (Divide line 4 by line 5 and multiply by 100)   ______%   ______%
8.  Each Parent's Monthly Share of the Basic Child Support Obligation (Multiply line 6 and line 7)____________

PART II.  SUBSTANTIAL or SHARED PHYSICAL CUSTODY ADJUSTMENT, IF APPLICABLE (See subdivision (c) of this Rule)

9.a.Percentage of Time Spent with Children (Divide number of overnights with obligor by 365 and multiply by 100). ______%
b.Subtract 30% ______%
c.Obligor's Adjusted Percentage Share of the Basic Monthly Support
Obligation (Subtract line 9b from line 7)
 ______%
d.Obligor's Adjusted Share of the Basic Monthly Support Obligation (Multiply line 9c and line 6) ______
e.Further adjustment, if necessary under subdivision (c)(2) of this Rule ______
PART III..  ADDITIONAL EXPENSES (See Rule 1910.16-6)
10.a.Obligor's share of child care expenses ______
b.Obligor's share of health insurance premium if obligee is paying the
premium
 ______
c.Less obligee's share of the health insurance premium if obligor is paying the premium(______)
d.Obligor's share of unreimbursed medical expenses ______
f.Other additional expenses  ______
e.Total Additional Expenses ______
11.OBLIGOR'S TOTAL SUPPORT OBLIGATION
(Add line 8 (or 9(d) if applicable) and line 10e)
 ______

PART IV.  SPOUSAL SUPPORT OR APL
With Dependent Children

12.  Obligor's Monthly Net Income (Line 4) ______
13.  Less Obligee's Monthly Net Income (Line 4)(______)
14.  Difference ______
15.  Less Obligor's Total Child Support Obligation (Line 11)(______)
16.  Difference ______
17.  Multiply by 30%x ______ .30
18.  AMOUNT OF MONTHLY SPOUSAL SUPPORT OR APLx ______ 
Without Dependent Children
19.  Obligor's Monthly Net Income (Line 4) ______
20.  Less Obligee's Monthly Net Income (Line 4)(______)
21.  Difference ______
22.  Multiply by 40%x ______ .40
23.  AMOUNT OF MONTHLY SPOUSAL SUPPORT OR APL ______

   (b)  Order For More Than Six Children. When there are more than six children who are the subject of a single order, the child support obligation shall be calculated as follows. First, determine the appropriate amount of support for six children under the guidelines. Using the same income figures, subtract the support amount for five children from the amount for six children. Multiply the difference by the number of children in excess of six and add the resulting amount to the guideline amount for six children.

   (c)  Substantial or Shared Physical Custody.

   (1)  The support guidelines contemplate that the obligor has regular contact, including vacation time, with his or her children, and that he or she makes direct expenditures on behalf of the children. When, however, the children spend 40% or more of their time during the year with obligor, a rebuttable presumption exists that the obligor is entitled to a reduction in the basic support obligation to reflect this additional time. Except as provided in subsections (2) and (3) below, the reduction shall be calculated pursuant to the formula set forth in Part II of subdivision (a) of this Rule. For purposes of this provision, the time spent with the children shall be determined by the number of overnights they spend during the year with obligor.

   Example. Where obligor and obligee have monthly net incomes of $5,000 and $2,300 respectively, their combined child support obligation is $1,784 for two children. Using the income shares formula in Part I, obligor's share of this obligation is 68%, or $1,222. If the children spend 40% of their time with the obligor, the formula in Part II applies to reduce his or her percentage share of the combined support obligation to 58%, or $1,034. If the children spend 45% of their time with the obligor, his or her percentage share of the combined obligation is reduced to 53%, or $945. If the children spend equal time with both parents, the obligor's percentage share is reduced to 48%, or $856.

   (2)  When the children spend equal time with both parents, and application of the formula in Part II results in obligee receiving a larger share of the parties' combined income, the court shall adjust the support obligation so that the combined income is allocated equally between the two households.

   Example. Where the obligor and obligee have monthly net incomes of $3,000 and $2,500 respectively, their combined child support obligation for two children is $1,433. Obligor's share of this obligation is 55%, or $788. If the children spend equal time with both parents, the formula in Part II results in a support obligation of $501 payable to obligee. Since this amount gives obligee $3,001 of the combined income, and leaves obligor with only $2,499 of the combined income, the obligor's support obligation must be adjusted to $250 to equalize the combined income between the parties' households. This is the presumptively correct amount of basic support payable to obligee under these circumstances.

   (3)  This subdivision shall not apply when the obligor's income falls within the shaded area of the schedule in Rule 1910.16-3(a) or when the obligee's income is 10% or less of the parties' combined income.

   (d)  Divided or Split Physical Custody.

   (1)  When calculating a child support obligation, and one or more children reside with each party, the court shall offset the parties' respective child support obligations and award the net difference to the obligee as child support. For example, if the parties have three children, one of whom resides with Husband and two of whom reside with Wife, and their net monthly incomes are $1,500 and $800 respectively, Husband's child support obligation is calculated as follows. Using the formula with either the schedule or the chart in Rule 1910.16-3 for two children, Husband's support obligation for the two children living with Wife is $508. Using the formula with the schedule or chart in Rule 1910.16-3 for one child, Wife's support obligation for the child living with Husband is $188. Subtracting $188 from $508 produces a net support amount of $320 payable to Wife as child support.

   (2)  When calculating a combined child support and spousal or APL obligation, and one or more children reside with each party, the court shall offset the obligor's spousal and child support obligation with the obligee's child support obligation and award the net difference to the obligee as spousal and child support. In the example above, Husband's spousal and child support obligation to Wife and two children is $564. Wife's child support obligation for one child is $188. Subtracting $188 from $564 produces a net support amount of $376 payable to Wife as spousal and child support.

   (e)  Support Obligations When Custodial Parent Owes Spousal Support. Where children are residing with the spouse obligated to pay spousal support (custodial parent) and the other spouse (non-custodial parent) has a legal obligation to support these children, the guideline amount of spousal support shall be determined by offsetting the non-custodial parent's obligation for support of the children and the custodial parent's obligation of spousal support, and awarding the net difference to the non-custodial parent as spousal support.

   The following example uses the formula to show the steps followed to determine the amount of the non-custodial parent's support obligation to the children and the effect of that obligation upon the custodial parent's spousal support obligation. The example assumes that the parties have two children and the non-custodial parent's net monthly is $1,000 and the custodial parent to the non-custodial is $2,600. First, determine the spousal support obligation of the custodial parent to the non-custodial parent based upon their net incomes from the formula for spousal support without dependent children, i.e., $640. Second, recompute the net income of the parties assuming the payment of the spousal support so that $640 is deducted from the custodial parent's net income, now $1,960, and added to the non-custodial parent's net income, now $1,640. Third, determine the child support obligation of the for two children, i.e., $468. Fourth, determine the recomputed support obligation of the custodial parent to the non-custodial parent by subtracting the non-custodial parent's child support obligation from Step 3 ($468) from the original support obligation determined in Step 1 ($640). The recomputed spousal support is $172.

   (f)  Allocation. Consequences.

   (1)  An order awarding both spousal and child support may be unallocated or state the amount of support allocable to the spouse and the amount allocable to each child. However, the formula provided by these rules assume that an order will be unallocated. Therefore, if the order is to be allocated, the formula set forth in this Rule shall be utilized to determine the amount of support allocable to the spouse. If allocation of an order utilizing the formula would be inequitable, the court shall make an appropriate allocation. Also, if an order is to be allocated, an adjustment shall be made to the award giving consideration to the federal income tax consequences of an allocated order as may be appropriate under the circumstances.

   (2)  When the parties are in higher income brackets, the income tax considerations are likely to be a more significant factor in determining an award of support. A support award for a spouse and children is taxable to the obligee while an award for the children only is not. Consequently, in certain situations an award only for the children will be more favorable to the obligee than an award to the spouse and children. In this situation, the trier of fact should utilize the guidelines which result in the greatest benefit to the obligee.

   When the obligee's net income is equal to or greater than the obligor's net income, the guideline amount for spouse and children is identical to the guideline amount for children only. Therefore, in cases involving support for spouse and children, whenever the obligee's net income is equal to or greater than the obligor's net income, the guideline amount indicated shall be attributed to child support only.

   (3)  In the event that obligor defaults on an unallocated order, the court shall allocate the order for collection of child support pursuant to the Internal Revenue Service income tax refund intercept program or for registration and enforcement of the order in another jurisdiction under the Uniform Interstate Family Support Act, 23 Pa.C.S. § 7101 et seq. The court shall provide notice of allocation to the parties.

   Official Note:  This provision is necessary to comply with various state and federal laws relating to the enforcement of child support. It is not intended to affect the tax consequences of an unallocated order.

Explanatory Comment to Rule 1910.16-4--1998

   Former Rule 1910.16-4 listed the factors for deviation from the support guidelines. Those factors now appear in Rule 1910.16-5. New Rule 1910.16-4(a) sets forth the income shares formula used to establish the support obligation and consolidates the provisions which formerly appeared in Rule 1910.16-5 relating to use of the formula in special situations. The formula itself has been revised only to conform to the new schedule in Rule 1910.16-3.

   Subdivision (b) incorporates former Rule 1910.16-5(e) relating to orders for more than four children. It has been changed only to reflect the expansion of the guidelines from four to six children and the use of the chart and schedule in lieu of the grids.

   Subdivision (c) sets forth the method for calculating the presumptively correct amount of support in cases where the obligor spends a substantial amount of time with the children. The method is essentially this: when the obligor spends 40% or more time with the children, his or her percentage share of the combined basic support obligation is reduced by the percentage of time spent over and above the routine partial custody/visitation arrangement. For purposes of applying this method, the Committee has designated 30% time as the routine arrangement and 40% time as the level at which the parties' expenses begin to change significantly enough to warrant a reduction in the basic support obligation. When there is equal time sharing, subsection (2) reduces the support obligation further so that the obligor does not pay more than what is necessary to spread the parties' combined income equally between the two households. Subsection (3) expressly excludes CAM cases from application of this rule. Since the CAM already reduces support to a minimal level, no further reduction should be given for the amount of time spent with the children.

   Subdivision (d) is derived from previous Rule 1910.16-5(h) relating to divided or split custody cases. The new provision has been rewritten to update the examples in conformity with the new levels of child support reflected in the chart and schedule. It retains the existing method for offsetting the parties' respective support obligations when one or more of the children reside with each party, but eliminates the exception which previously existed in cases where one party's income was minimal and the other party's income was significantly greater. This exception was confusing as well as erroneous in its suggestion that offsetting should not be used because it would result in less than the full guideline amount of child support being paid to the party with minimal income. To the contrary, the offset method actually works to protect against this result and therefore should be used in these cases.

   Subdivision (e) incorporates the substance of former Rule 1910.16-5(j) governing spousal support obligations when the custodial parent owes spousal support. It has been rewritten for greater clarity and the examples have been updated to reflect the new levels of child support and the use of the new schedule.

   Subdivision (f)(1) and (2) incorporate verbatim the provisions which formerly appeared in Rule 1910.16-5(f). The guidelines continue to presume that the order will be unallocated for tax purposes. Subsection (3) is new, however, and provides for administrative allocation of the order in two instances: 1) when the obligor defaults on the order and it becomes necessary to collect support by intercepting any income tax refunds that may be due and payable to obligor and 2) when the obligor defaults and the order must be registered in another state under the Uniform Interstate Family Support Act (UIFSA). As the note indicates, this administrative allocation is not intended to affect the tax consequences of the unallocated order.

Rule 1910.16-5.  Support Guidelines. Deviation.

   (a)  If the amount of support deviates from the amount of support determined by the guidelines, the trier of fact shall specify, in writing, the guideline amount of support, and the reasons for, and findings of fact justifying, the amount of the deviation.

   Official Note:  The deviation applies to the amount of the support obligation and not to the amount of income.

   (b)  In deciding whether to deviate from the amount of support determined by the guidelines, the trier of fact shall consider:

   (1)  unusual needs and unusual fixed obligations;

   (2)  other support obligations of the parties;

   (3)  other income in the household;

   (4)  ages of the children;

   (5)  assets of the parties;

   (6)  medical expenses not covered by insurance;

   (7)  standard of living of the parties and their children;

   (8)  in a spousal support or alimony pendente lite case, the period of time during which the parties lived together from the date of marriage to the date of final separation; and

   (9)  other relevant and appropriate factors, including the best interests of the child or children.

Explanatory Comment to Rule 1910.16-5--1998

   As part of the overall reorganization of the support rules, the provisions which formerly appeared in Rule 1910.16-5 have been moved elsewhere. New Rule 1910.16-5 incorporates former Rule 1910.16-4 setting forth the factors for deviation from the presumptively correct amount of support. Subdivision (b)(8) was added to permit the court to consider the length of the marriage in a spousal support or alimony pendente lite case. 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.

   (Editor's Note:  The following Rules 1910.16-6 and 1910.16-7 are new and are being printed in regular typeface to enhance readability.)

Rule 1910.16-6.  Support Guidelines. Adjustments to the Basic Support Obligation.

   (a)  Child care expenses. Reasonable child care expenses paid by the custodial parent, if necessary to maintain employment or appropriate education in pursuit of income, are the responsibility of both parents. These expenses shall be allocated between the parties in proportion to their net incomes and obligor's share added to his or her basic support obligation.

   (1)  Except as provided in subsection (2), the total child care expenses shall be reduced by 25% to reflect the federal child care tax credit available to the custodial parent, whether or not the credit is actually claimed by that parent, up to a maximum annual cost of $2,400 per year for one child and $4,800 per year for two or more children. For example, where the custodial parent incurs $7,000 per year of reasonable child care expenses for two children, the net child care expenses subject to allocation between the parties is calculated as follows. Multiply the first $4,800 of these expenses by .75 - $3,600. Add the remaining child care expenses of $2,200 to this amount for a total of $5,800. Divide this amount by 12 months for a total of $483 per month of net child care expenses that are subject to allocation between the parties in proportion to their net incomes.

   (2)  The federal child care tax credit shall not be used to reduce the child care expenses subject to allocation between the parties if the custodial parent's gross income (before considering any support) falls below $1,200 per month for one child, $1,600 per month for two children, $1,800 per month for three children, $2,000 per month for four children, $2,300 per month for five children and $2,500 per month for six children.

   Official Note:  A child care subsidy provided by the Department of Public Welfare should not be used to reduce the child care expenses subject to allocation between the parties to the extent that obligor has the financial resources to contribute to the actual costs of child care. Nor is it appropriate to order the obligee to seek a child care subsidy in order to reduce the obligor's share of child care expenses if obligor has the financial ability to contribute to those expenses.

   (b)  Health Insurance Premiums.

   (1)  A party's payment of a premium to provide health insurance coverage on behalf of the other party or the children shall be allocated between the parties in proportion to their net incomes, including the portion of the premium attributable to the party who is paying it. If the obligor is paying the premium, then obligee's share is deducted from the obligor's basic support obligation. If the obligee is paying the premium, then obligor's share is added to his or her basic support obligation. Employer-paid premiums are not subject to allocation.

   (2)  When the health insurance covers other persons or children who are not the subject of the support action, the portion of the premium attributable to them must be excluded from allocation. In the event this portion is not known or cannot be verified, it shall be calculated as follows. First, determine the cost per person by dividing the total cost of the premium by the number of persons covered under the policy. Second, multiply the cost per person by the number of persons who are not the subject of the support action. The resulting amount is excluded from allocation.

   For example, if Husband pays $200 per month for a health insurance policy which covers himself, Wife, the parties' child, and two additional children from a previous marriage, the portion of 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 $80 to be excluded from allocation. Deduct this amount from the total cost of the premium to arrive at the portion of the premium to be allocated between the parties - $120. Since Husband is paying the premium, Wife's percentage share of $120 is deducted from Husband's support obligation. If Wife had been providing the coverage, then Husband's percentage share would be added to his basic support obligation.

   (3)  Pursuant to 23 Pa.C.S. § 4326, the non-custodial parent bears the initial responsibility of providing health care coverage for the children if it is available at a reasonable cost on an employment-related or other group basis.

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

   (c)  Unreimbursed Medical Expenses. Unreimbursed medical expenses of the obligee or the children shall be allocated between the parties in proportion to their respective net incomes and obligor's share added to his or her basic support obligation.

   (1)  For purposes of this subdivision, medical expenses are annual unreimbursed medical expenses in excess of $250 per person which are recurring and can be reasonably predicted by the court at the time of establishment or modification of the support order. 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. Medical expenses do not include cosmetic, chiropractic, psychiatric or psychological services unless specifically directed in the order of court.

   (2)  If there are annual medical expenses in excess of $250 per person which are unpredictable or non-recurring, the court may order that such expenses, if incurred, be allocated in proportion to the parties' net incomes. The court may direct obligor to pay his or her share either to the obligee or directly to the health care provider.

   (3)  An annual limitation may be imposed when the burden on the obligor would otherwise be excessive.

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

   (d)  Private School Tuition. Summer Camp. Other Needs. The support schedule does not take into consideration expenditures for private school tuition or other needs of a child which are not specifically addressed by the guidelines. If the court determines that one or more such needs are reasonable, the expense thereof shall be allocated between the parties in proportion to their net incomes. The obligor's share may be added to his or her basic support obligation.

   (e)  Mortgage Payment. The 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 court will assume that the party occupying the marital residence will be paying the items listed unless the recommendation specifically provides otherwise. If the obligee is living in the marital residence and the mortgage payment exceeds 25% of the obligee's net income (including amounts of spousal support, APL and child support), the court may direct the obligor to assume up to 50% of the excess amount as part of the total support award. For purposes of this subdivision, the term ''mortgage'' includes first and subsequent mortgages, home equity loans and any other obligations incurred during the marriage which are secured by the marital residence.

Explanatory Comment to Rule 1910.16-6--1998

   New Rule 1910.16-6 consolidates the provisions of former Rule 1910.16-5 governing the treatment of additional expenses that warrant an adjustment to the basic support obligation.

   Subdivision (a) relating child care expenses substantially incorporates former subdivision (i) of Rule 1910.16-5 with two substantive changes. First, it changes the method of allocation from one of equal shares to proportionate shares based on the parties' net incomes. Second, it reflects the federal child care tax credit that is available to the custodial parent. This credit essentially reduces the total expenses subject to allocation. For tax purposes, the actual credit can range anywhere from 20 to 30 percent depending on the custodial parent's income. For support purposes, however, the Rule assumes an average tax credit of 25 percent. Although the court may always look at the actual tax rate that applies in a particular case, it will have very little impact on the overall support award.

   There are two important limitations on the use of this tax credit. First, it applies only to the first $2,400 per year ($200 per month) for one child or $4,800 per year ($400 per month) for two or more children. Only child care expenses incurred up to these amounts, therefore, are reduced by 25% before allocating them between the parties. Any remaining expenses are allocated between the parties without adjustment. Second, since the tax credit may be taken only against taxes owed, it cannot be used when the custodial 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 custodial parent's gross income falls below the thresholds set forth therein. The income thresholds are based on 1997 tax rates.

   Subdivision (b) reflects a major change in the treatment of health insurance premiums. Under the old rules, the cost of health insurance was deducted from the party's gross income to determine net income. Under the new Rule, this cost is now treated as an additional expense to be allocated between the parties in proportion to their net incomes. In addition, subsection (1) of the new Rule permits allocation of the entire premium, including the party's portion of the premium, when the insurance benefits the other party or the children. Subsection (2) provides for proration of the premium when the health insurance covers other persons who are not subject to the support action.

   Subdivision (c) incorporates former Rule 1910.16-5(p) with four changes. First, 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. Second, the Committee has chosen to draw this same line 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 third change amends the definition of ''medical expenses'' to include insurance co-payments, deductibles and orthodontia and to exclude chiropractic services. The fourth change distinguishes between medical expenses which are recurring and predictable and those which are not. When the expenses are recurring and predictable, the court may establish a monthly amount for these expenses and add it to the basic support obligation so that it is collectible through wage attachment.

   Subdivision (d) governs apportionment of private school tuition, summer camp and other unusual needs not reflected in the basic guideline amounts of support. Whereas the old rule required these expenses to be borne by the parties in reasonable shares, the new Rule presumes allocation in proportion to the parties' net incomes consistent with the treatment of the other additional expenses.

   New subdivision (e) substantially incorporates former Rule 1910.16(g) and has been modified only to provide some uniformity and certainty as to what constitutes an unusually high mortgage payment that may justify an upward adjustment to the basic support obligation. The change is intended only for the benefit of the obligee living in the marital residence. There is no adjustment if the obligor is living there.

Rule 1910.16-7.  Support Guidelines. Awards of Child Support When There are Multiple Families.

   (1)  When the total of obligor's basic child support obligations equals fifty percent or less of his or her monthly net income, there will generally be no deviation from the guideline amount of support on the ground of the existence of a new family. For example, where 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 $1,500 for obligor, $500 for the former spouse and $1,300 for the current spouse, the request for a reduction will be denied because the total support obligation of $707 ($354 for the first child and $353 for the second child) is less than half of the obligor's monthly net income.

   (2)  When the total of obligor's basic support obligations exceeds fifty percent of his or her monthly net income, the court may consider a proportional reduction of these obligations. Since, however, the goal of the guidelines is to treat each child equitably, in no event should either a first or later family receive preference. Nor shall the court divide the guideline amount for all of obligor's children among the households in which those children live.

   Example. Obligor is sued for support of an out of wedlock child. 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 $1,500 for obligor, $1,100 for the former spouse, $0 for the current spouse and $1,500 for the parent of the new child. The guideline amounts for each family are $504 for the two children of the first marriage, $359 for the one child of the second marriage, and $332 for the one child out of wedlock for a total support obligation of $1,195. Since the total of these obligations exceeds fifty percent of the obligor's net monthly income of $1,500 per month, the court may consider a proportional reduction of all of the orders.

   Example. 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 $1,000 for obligor, $0 for the first spouse and $500 for the second spouse. The guideline amounts for each family are $308 for the two children of the first marriage and $347 for the three children of the second marriage for a total support obligation of $655. Since this total obligation leaves obligor with only $345 on which to live, the order for the three children of the second family is too high. 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 must be reduced proportionally.

   Example. Obligor is sued to establish orders for three children born out of wedlock. The net monthly incomes for obligor and for each obligee is $1,500. The court would determine that the guideline figure for each child is $322 for a total obligation of $966 for three children. It would be incorrect to determine the guideline amount for three children, in this case $664, and then divide that amount among the three children.

   (3)  For purposes of this Rule, the presumptively correct total of obligor's basic support obligations is calculated using only the basic guideline amounts of support, as determined from the formula in Rule 1910.16-4, and does not include any additional expenses that may be added to these amounts pursuant to Rule 1910.16-6. In calculating the presumptively correct total of obligor's basic support obligations, the court should ensure that obligor retains at least $550 per month consistent with Rule 1910.16-2(e).

   Example. Assume that obligor is paying $291 per month support for one child of the first marriage, plus an additional $50 per month for child care expenses. 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 $1,200 for obligor and $0 for both the former and current spouses. Obligor's request for a reduction should be denied because the total of the basic guideline obligations for both children is only $582 ($291 for each child) and this amount does not exceed 50% of the obligor's net monthly income. No reduction should be given on the basis that obligor's contribution to child care expenses for the first child results in an overall support obligation of $632 which exceeds 50% of the obligor's net monthly income. Thus, the presumptively correct amount of basic support for the two children is still $582 ($291 for each child). The court must then consider the deviation factors under Rule 1910.16-5 and the parties's respective contributions to additional expenses under Rule 1910.16-6 in arriving at an appropriate amount of total support for each child.

   Example. Assume that obligor is paying $244 per month support for one child of the first marriage. Obligor has one new child of the second intact marriage. The relevant incomes are $1,000 for obligor and $0 for both the former and current spouses. No reduction should be given on the basis of obligor's new child because the total of the basic guideline obligations for both children is only $488 ($244 for each child) and this amount does not exceed 50% of the obligor's net monthly income. Since, however, this amount leaves obligor with only $512 per month, the court should proportionally reduce the support obligations so that obligor retains $550 per month. Thus, the presumptively correct amount of basic support for the two children is $450 ($225 for each child). The court must then consider the deviation factors under Rule 1910.16-5 and the parties' respective contributions to additional expenses under Rule 1910.16-6 in arriving at an appropriate amount of total support for each child.

Explanatory Comment--1998

   This new Rule replaces former Rule 1910.16-5(n) relating to the calculation of child support obligations in the context of multiple families. It has been rewritten for clarity and to update the examples used to illustrate the method for calculating these obligations. Awards of spousal support in this context are now 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 (3) has been added to clarify 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 CAM to ensure that obligor retains sufficient income to maintain the incentive to work so that he or she can support all of the children.

   Subdivision (3) also emphasizes that the initial amounts which are calculated for purposes of determining whether a proportional reduction is warranted are only presumptively correct 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.

[Pa.B. Doc. No. 98-2058. Filed for public inspection December 18, 1998, 9:00 a.m.]



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