You might not know that, as of January 1, 2022, Pennsylvania courts have changed how child support is calculated. If you currently have a child support Order in Pennsylvania, the amount of support to be paid or to receive might change using the state’s new guidelines.
What are child support guidelines?
Think of the guidelines as a big chart. Each row of the chart is an income level: in Pennsylvania, the net income of both parents is used to determine the child support amount. The columns of the chart represent the number of children in need of support.
Lets say, for example, a family has a net income of $1400 per month and 2 children. First, you would go to the row for income of $1400, then look two columns to the right to see the number for 2 children. In this case, the child support number is $306 per month, which is shared by both parents. The actual amount to be paid from one parent to the other will vary based upon factors like what percentage of the combined income comes from one parent and how custody of the children is shared.
Why did the guidelines change?
There are both federal and Pennsylvania state laws that require review of child support guidelines at least once every four years. The guidelines are based on economic data showing the cost to raise children, and those costs will invariably change over time with the economy.
What actually changed?
Among other things, the big change in child support is the numbers on the guidelines table. This means that even if your family’s net income and number of children stayed the same, the amount of child support might be different now, in 2022.
How can I change my support Order?
You can file to modify your support Order based upon a change in circumstances. Changes in circumstance can include a change in your custody schedule, a child turning 18 or graduating from high school, or a change in income (up or down). Fun fact: a change in the support guidelines also counts as a change in circumstances that can rise to modification of a support Order.
In short, essentially every child support Order in Pennsylvania could be subject to change based upon the new guidelines.
What do I need to do to change my child support Order in 2022?
The guidelines used to calculate child support have changed, but that doesn’t mean that your child support Order will automatically increase or decrease.
If you are curious about whether your current child support Order should change under these new guidelines, or by how much, you should speak with an attorney. The attorneys at the THOMAS SMITH Firm, P.C. can assist you in child support and other family law matters. More information about legal services for alimony, custody, child support, divorce and other family law matters can be found at thomassmithfirm.com or you can call us at (215) 860-3747 to schedule a consultation.
We look forward to hearing from you and helping you.