2022 will see major changes to the Pennsylvania support guidelines as, effective January 1, 2022, new statewide child support guidelines go into effect. The Pennsylvania courts do not automatically grant child support increases when the guidelines are updated. A parent must file a child support modification request and obtain a new child support order.
The 2022 child support child support increases are modest at most income levels, though the increase is not the same at all income levels. For parents whose combined net monthly income is between $4,000 and $10,000, there is a 10% increase for one child and less than a 15% change for more than one child. For parents whose combined net monthly income is between $10,000 and $15,000, there is a 15% change for one child and a 23% change for more than one child. The largest percentage change from the current guidelines is for parents whose combined net monthly income is between $20,300 and $22,600, where is increase is between 22% and 24%. For families whose combined net monthly incomes exceed $30,000 the increase from the current child goes up to more than 25%, but a much smaller increase for families with more than one child.
Here are some examples:
The new guidelines reflect actual expenses of an intact family living in a single household at the various combined monthly net incomes and the number of children with no shared custody adjustment. The child support guidelines are broken into two components. One component is a chart, and the other component is a three-step process. The chart applies to families that have a combined monthly net income up to $30,000. The reason that the chart stops at $30,000 combined monthly net income is that there is no reliable economic data regarding the reasonable needs of children in households where the combined monthly net income exceeds $30,000. Families who have a combined monthly net income in excess of $30,000 per month are considered high-income cases and have child support calculated based on the three-step process set forth in the support guidelines and as set forth in the Pennsylvania Supreme Court case of Hanrahan v. Bakker, 186 A.3d 958 (Pa. 2018). The primary issue of high-income child support cases is the mandate of courts to conduct a reasonable needs analysis in calculating high-income child support.
To the extent that a petition for modification is filed, the petitioner is required to demonstrate proper grounds for modification. A change in the guidelines is sufficient grounds for a support modification if the new guidelines would result in a material change in child support. At the same time, the court may consider other changes, such as increases or decreases in the parties’ incomes. Medical insurance premiums, child care costs or extracurricular activities.
The Pennsylvania child support guidelines are routinely updated every four years to reflect changes in the cost of living. The guidelines are based upon a statistical model that measures the portion of household income that intact families spend on their children, with the idea that divorced, separated and unmarried parents should spend the same amount on their child(ren). The statistical model is updated with new survey data every few years, and then the child support guidelines are updated.
If you would like to consider a child support modification, an experienced lawyer from Williams Family Law can help determine whether one is warranted due to the new support guidelines or other changes in Please contact us at 215-340-2207 or email firstname.lastname@example.org.