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PART I. GENERAL

[ 231 PA. CODE CH. 1910 ]

Proposed Amendment of Pa.R.C.P. No. 1910.16-6

[46 Pa.B. 7522]
[Saturday, December 3, 2016]

 The Domestic Relations Procedural Rules Committee is planning to propose to the Supreme Court of Pennsylvania an amendment of Pa.R.C.P. No. 1910.16-6 governing allocation of child care expenses and additional expenses in support cases for the reasons set forth in the accompanying explanatory report. Pursuant to Pa.R.J.A. No. 103(a)(1), the proposal is being published in the Pennsylvania Bulletin for comments, suggestions, or objections prior to submission to the Supreme Court.

 Any reports, notes, or comments in the proposal have been inserted by the Committee for the convenience of those using the rules. They neither will constitute a part of the rules nor will be officially adopted by the Supreme Court.

 Additions to the text of the proposal are bolded; deletions to the text are bolded and bracketed.

 The Committee invites all interested persons to submit comments, suggestions, or objections in writing to:

Bruce J. Ferguson, Counsel
Domestic Relations Procedural Rules Committee
Supreme Court of Pennsylvania
Pennsylvania Judicial Center
PO Box 62635
Harrisburg, PA 17106-2635
Fax: 717-231-9531
domesticrules@pacourts.us

 All communications in reference to the proposal should be received by February 24, 2017. E-mail is the preferred method for submitting comments, suggestions, or objections; any e-mailed submission need not be reproduced and resubmitted via mail. The Committee will acknowledge receipt of all submissions.

By the Domestic Relations
Procedural Rules Committee

DAVID J. SLESNICK, Esq., 
Chair

Annex A

TITLE 231. RULES OF CIVIL PROCEDURE

PART I. GENERAL

CHAPTER 1910. ACTIONS FOR SUPPORT

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

[Additional expenses permitted pursuant to this Rule 1910.16-6] Adjustments to the Basic Support Obligation resulting from the additional expenses authorized by this rule may be allocated between the parties even if the parties' incomes do not justify an order of basic support.

 (a) Child care expenses. Reasonable child care expenses paid by either parent, if necessary to maintain employment or appropriate education in pursuit of income, shall be allocated between the parties in proportion to their monthly net incomes [and added to his and her basic support obligation]. The court may order that the obligor's share be added to his or her basic support obligation, paid directly to the service provider, or paid directly to the obligee. When a [parent] party is receiving a child care subsidy through the Department of [Public Welfare] Human Services, the expenses to be allocated between the parties shall be the amount actually paid by the parent receiving the subsidy.

Example. Mother has primary custody of the parties' two children and Father has partial custody. Mother's monthly net income is $2,000 and Father's is $3,500. At their combined income level of $5,500, the basic monthly child support from the schedule in Rule 1910.16-3 is $1,426 for two children. As Father's income is 64% of the parties' combined income, his share is $913. Mother incurs child care expenses of $400 per month and Father incurs $100 of such expenses each month. The total amount of child care expenses, $500, will be apportioned between the parties, with Father paying 64%, or $320. As he is already paying $100 for child care while the children are in his partial custody, he would pay the remaining $220 to Mother for a total child support obligation of $1,133 ($913 + $220 = $1,133).

(1) Documentation of the child care expenses shall be provided to the other party within a reasonable period of time after receipt unless the service provider invoices the parties separately for their proportionate share of the expense. Allocation of expenses for which documentation is not timely provided to the other party shall be within the discretion of the court.

[(1)] (2) Except as provided in subsection [(2)] (3), the total child care expenses shall be reduced to reflect the amount of the federal child care tax credit available to the eligible parent, whether or not the credit is actually claimed by that parent, up to the maximum annual cost allowable under the Internal Revenue Code.

[(2)] (3) The federal child care tax credit shall not be used to reduce the child care expenses subject to allocation between the parties if the eligible parent is not qualified to receive the credit.

*  *  *  *  *

 (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.] Expenditures for needs outside the scope of typical child-rearing expenses, e.g., private school tuition, summer camps, have not been factored into the Basic Child Support Schedule.

(1) If a party presents an expense for a need not factored into the Basic Child Support Schedule and the court determines the need and expense are reasonable, the court shall allocate the expense between the parties in proportion to the parties' monthly net incomes. The court may order that the obligor's share be added to his or her basic support obligation, paid directly to the service provider, or paid directly to the obligee.

(2) Documentation of the expenses allocated under (d)(1) shall be provided to the other party not later than March 31 of the year following the calendar year in which the invoice was received unless the service provider invoices the parties separately for their proportionate share of the expense. For purposes of subsequent enforcement, those expenses need not be submitted to the domestic relations section prior to March 31. Allocation of expenses for which documentation is not timely provided to the other party shall be within the discretion of the court.

 (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, alimony pendente lite 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. 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 or child support the obligor is paying), the court may make an appropriate downward adjustment in the obligor's support obligation. This rule shall not be applied after a final resolution of all outstanding economic claims. For purposes of this subdivision, the term ''mortgage'' shall include first mortgages, real estate taxes and homeowners' insurance and may include any subsequent mortgages, home equity loans and any other obligations incurred during the marriage which are secured by the marital residence.

*  *  *  *  *

RECOMMENDATION 163
Publication Report

 The Committee is proposing an amendment to Pa.R.C.P. No. 1910.16-6 as the rule relates to the allocation of child care expenses in subdivision (a) and other additional expenses in subdivision (d). The proposal provides the court and the parties with the option to have the allocated expenses included in the basic support obligation, paid directly to the service provider, or paid to the obligee.

 The Recommendation also proposes adopting a procedure similar to the documentation sharing mandate for unreimbursed medical expenses in subdivision (c). Requiring documentation of child care expenses in subdivision (a) and the additional expenses in subdivision (d), which are not included in the basic support obligation, to be shared between the parties on a timely basis should help eliminate exceedingly high reimbursements and payment of expenses in a more timely fashion, as well.

[Pa.B. Doc. No. 16-2065. Filed for public inspection December 2, 2016, 9:00 a.m.]



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