The Pennsylvania Support Guidelines are reviewed every four years often resulting in changes to parties’ support awards and obligations. Recent changes to the statewide guidelines for calculating child and spousal support have changed effective January 1, 2022. While the primary changes to these updated guidelines are the modification to the support amount, there are several other changes as well. With regard to the amount of support received, in most cases, but not all, the changes to the guidelines result in the recipient receiving more support than under the previous guidelines. For example, parties who have a combined monthly net income of $10,000 to $15,000 will see increases in the support amount between approximately 15% and 23% (depending on the number of children). Those parties who have combined monthly net incomes between $20,000 and $23,000 will see the largest percentage increase in support, particularly with a greater number of children.
Some of the other notable changes related to the following:
- Earning capacity;
- Childcare expenses; and
- Educational, extracurricular and developmental activity expenses for the child.
A support modification is not automatically granted by the Pennsylvania courts when the guidelines are revised. Instead, a parent must file a support modification petition in order to obtain a new support order.