Friday, September 14, 2012

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Fathers and Families
Pennsylvania Updates Child Support Guidelines
Mississippi Amends Child Support Guidelines
September 14, 2012
Top Story
Pennsylvania Updates Child Support Guidelines
By Rita Fuerst Adams, National Executive Director,
Fathers and Families


The Pennsylvania Supreme Court Domestic Relations Rules Committee has reviewed and proposed updates to the child support guidelines, which will go into effect later this year. The Committee, as required by federal law, reviews the child support guidelines at least every four years in order to assure that they appropriately reflect current economic data on the costs of raising children.

The Committee's Recommendation 116 was guided by Jane Venohr's economic study. Jane Venohr, Ph.D, is a research associate with the Center for Policy Research. She is regarded as the nation’s leading expert on child support guidelines, having worked with over 25 states to develop and update guidelines.

Changes being recommended include:
  • In cases where the parents' combined income exceeds $3,500 per month, the Committee recommends an increase in child support from the previous schedule.
  • In cases where combined income is less than $3,500 per month, the recommended support decreases slightly.
  • For low-income cases, the Committee recommends an increase in Self-Support Reserve to $931 per month, the 2012 federal poverty level for one person. This means that if a parent has a monthly net income of $931 or less, they will only be obligated to pay child support after the court considers that parent's actual living expenses.
  • In cases above the poverty level, but still considered low-income, i.e. $1,100 per month, the recommendation introduces a two-step consideration. It first looks to the Schedule using the parent's income alone, then considers both parents' monthly net incomes. In these cases, the lower of the two calculations will be that parent's child support obligation. This is meant to address inequality in situations where the parent obligated to pay child support has a very low income, and the parent to whom child support is paid has a significantly higher income.
For high-income cases, defined as parents' combined monthly net income >$30,000, the Committee retains their three-step formula from the current guidelines, but increases percentages of combined net income within the formula.

In cases of shared custody, the Committee has recommended that if the parent receiving support receives a larger share of their combined income, the court will adjust the support obligation so that the combined income is allocated equally between the two households, and removes spousal support.

Mississippi Amends Child Support Guidelines
By Rita Fuerst Adams, National Executive Director,
Fathers and Families

MASignificant amendments to the Mississippi child support guidelines went into effect May 22, 2012. The amendments were to MCA 43-19-103, which sets out the bases that the court may use to deviate from the statutory child support calculation guidelines.

The most significant change is that the payments by the noncustodial parent for child care expenses may be a factor in determining child support payments when the child care is needed in order for the custodial parent to seek or retain employment, or because of the disability of the noncustodial parent.

Another factor that may be looked at in determining child support obligations are other adjustments which may be needed to achieve an equitable result between households. This includes, but is not limited to, a reasonable and necessary existing expense or debt.

Thus, factors identified that can impact child support payments are day care expenses, disability of the party paying child support, and significant debt incurred for the household.

The Protection from Domestic Abuse Law and related statutes were overhauled by the 2012 Legislature. Read the significant changes.
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A member recently donated a used, excellent condition Kyocera Taskalfa 550c color multifunction system with scanner, fax board, and saddle-stitch finisher. It prints, scans, copies, and faxes.

  • Print Speed: 55 pages per minute (black and color)
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Fathers and Families improves the lives of children and strengthens society by protecting the child’s right to the love and care of both parents after separation or divorce. We seek better lives for children through family court reform that establishes equal rights and responsibilities for fathers and mothers.

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