Pursuant to federal law, the statewide support guidelines must be reviewed at least once every four (4) years. The support guidelines currently in place were adopted in September 2005 and became effective in January 2006. Recently, the Pennsylvania Supreme Court Domestic Relations Procedural Rules Committee published for comment new child support guidelines. The public comment period ends on October 31, 2008.
The most significant change to the guidelines relates to the maximum monthly net income included in the guidelines. Under the proposal, the support guidelines would apply to all cases in which the parties' combined monthly net income falls below $30,000. Under the current guidelines, cases in which the parties' combined monthly net incomes exceed $20,000 are governed by Melzer v. Witsberger. Raising the maximum income permitted under the guideline formula will provide consistency and predictability in child support cases for clients in higher income brackets.
The guidelines are in circulation for comment only and may be revised by the Domestic Relations Rules Committee prior to adoption. As the recommended guidelines make their way through the process, we will keep you updated about changes that may affect you.