PA. R. CIV. P. § 1910.16-1
PA. R. CIV. P. § 1910.16-623
PA. CONS. STAT. ANN. § 4322
Rule 1910.16-1. Amount of Support. Support Guidelines.
(a) Applicability of the Support Guidelines.
(1) Except as provided in subdivision (2), the support guidelines determine the amount of support which a spouse or parent should pay based on the parties’ combined monthly net incomes as defined in Pa.R.C.P. No. 1910.16-2 and the number of persons being supported.
(2) In actions in which the plaintiff is a public body or private agency pursuant to Pa.R.C.P. No. 1910.3, the amount of the order shall be calculated under the guidelines based upon each obligor’s monthly net income as defined in Pa.R.C.P. No. 1910.16-2, with the public or private entity’s income as zero. In such cases, each parent shall be treated as a separate obligor and a parent’s obligation will be based upon his or her own monthly net income without regard to the income of the other parent.
(i) The amount of basic child support owed to other children not in placement shall be deducted from each parent’s monthly net income before calculating support for the child or children in placement, including the amount of direct support the guidelines assume will be provided by the custodial parent.
Example 1. Mother and Father have three children and do not live in the same household. Mother has primary custody of two children and monthly net income of $2,000 per month. Father’s monthly net income is $3,000. The parties’ third child is in foster care placement. Pursuant to the schedule in Pa.R.C.P. No. 1910.16-3, the basic child support amount for the two children with Mother is $1,415. As Father’s income is 60% of the parties’ combined monthly net income, his basic support obligation to Mother is $849 per month.
The guidelines assume that Mother will provide $566 per month in direct expenditures to the two children in her home. The agency/obligee brings an action against each parent for the support of the child in placement. Father/obligor’s income will be $2,151 for purposes of this calculation ($3,000 less $849 in support for the children with Mother). As the agency/obligee’s income is zero, Father’s support for the child in placement will be 100% of the schedule amount of basic support for one child at the $2,151 income level, or $509 per month. Mother/obligor’s income will be $1,434 for purposes of this calculation ($2,000 less $566 in direct support to the children in her custody). Her support obligation will be 100% of the schedule amount for one child at that income level, or $348 per month.
Example 2. Mother and Father have two children in placement. Father owes child support of $500 per month for two children of a former marriage. At the same income levels as in Example 1, Father’s income for determining his obligation to the children in placement would be $2,500 ($3,000 less $500 support for two children of prior marriage). His obligation to the agency would be $849 per month (100% of the schedule amount for two children at the $2,500 per month income level). Mother’s income would not be diminished as she owes no other child support. She would owe $686 for the children in placement (100% of the schedule amount for two children at the $2,000 income level).
(ii) If the parents reside in the same household, their respective obligations to the children who remain in the household and are not in placement shall be calculated according to the guidelines, with the parent having the higher income as the obligor, and the calculated support amount shall be deducted from the parents’ monthly net incomes for purposes of calculating support for the child(ren) in placement.
Example 3. Mother and Father have four children, two of whom are in placement. Mother’s monthly net income is $4,000 and Father’s is $3,000. The basic support amount for the two children in the home is $1,660, according to the schedule in Pa.R.C.P. No. 1910.16-3. As Mother’s income is 57% of the parties’ combined monthly net incomes, her share would be $946, and Father’s 43% share would be $714. Mother’s income for purposes of calculating support for the two children in placement would be $3,054 ($4,000 less $946). She would pay 100% of the basic child support at that income level, or $1,032, for the children in placement. Father’s income would be $2,286 ($3,000 less $714) and his obligation to the children in placement would be $784.
(iii) In the event that the combined amount the parents are required to pay exceeds the cost of placement, the trier of fact shall deviate to reduce each parent’s obligation in proportion to his or her share of the combined obligation.
(3) The support of a spouse or child is a priority obligation so that a party is expected to meet this obligation by adjusting his or her other expenditures.
(b) Amount of Support. The amount of support (child support, spousal support or alimony pendente lite) to be awarded pursuant to the procedures under Rules 1910.11 and 1910.12 shall be determined in accordance with the support guidelines which consist of the guidelines expressed as the child support schedule set forth in Rule 1910.16-3, the formula set forth in Rule 1910.16-4 and the operation of the guidelines as set forth in these rules.
(c) Spousal Support and Alimony Pendente Lite.
(1) Orders for spousal support and alimony pendente lite shall not be in effect simultaneously.
(2) In determining the duration of an award for spousal support or alimony pendente lite, the trier of fact shall consider the duration of the marriage from the date of marriage to the date of final separation.
(d) Rebuttable Presumption. If it has been determined that there is an obligation to pay support, there shall be a rebuttable presumption that the amount of the award determined from the guidelines is the correct amount of support to be awarded. The support guidelines are a rebuttable presumption and must be applied taking into consideration the special needs and obligations of the parties. The trier of fact must consider the factors set forth in Rule 1910.16-5. The presumption shall be rebutted if the trier of fact makes a written finding, or a specific finding on the record, that an award in the amount determined from the guidelines would be unjust or inappropriate.
(e) Guidelines Review. The guidelines shall be reviewed at least once every four years to insure that application results in the determination of appropriate amounts of support.
Rule 1910.16-6. Support Guidelines. Adjustments to the Basic Support Obligation. Allocation of Additional Expenses.
The trier of fact may allocate between the parties the additional expenses identified in subdivisions (a)—(e). If under the facts of the case an order for basic support is not appropriate, the trier of fact may allocate between the parties the additional expenses.
(a) Child care expenses. Reasonable child care expenses paid by either parent, if necessary to maintain employment or appropriate education in pursuit of income, shall be allocated between the parties in proportion to their monthly net incomes and added to his and her basic support obligation. When a parent is receiving a child care subsidy through the Department of Human Services, the expenses to be allocated between the parties shall be the amount actually paid by the parent receiving the subsidy.
Example. Mother has primary custody of the parties’ two children and Father has partial custody. Mother’s monthly net income is $2,000 and Father’s is $3,500. At their combined income level of $5,500, the basic monthly child support from the schedule in Pa.R.C.P. No. 1910.16-3 is $1,463 for two children. As Father’s income is 64% of the parties’ combined income, his share is $936. Mother incurs child care expenses of $400 per month and Father incurs $100 of such expenses each month. The total amount of child care expenses, $500, will be apportioned between the parties, with Father paying 64%, or $320. As he is already paying $100 for child care while the children are in his partial custody, he would pay the remaining $220 to Mother for a total child support obligation of $1,156 ($936 + $220 = $1,156).
(1) Except as provided in subsection (2), the total child care expenses shall be reduced to reflect the amount of the federal child care tax credit available to the eligible parent, whether or not the credit is actually claimed by that parent, up to the maximum annual cost allowable under the Internal Revenue Code.
(2) The federal child care tax credit shall not be used to reduce the child care expenses subject to allocation between the parties if the eligible parent is not qualified to receive the credit.
(b) Health Insurance Premiums.
(1) A party’s payment of a premium to provide health insurance coverage on behalf of the other party and/or the children shall be allocated between the parties in proportion to their net incomes, including the portion of the premium attributable to the party who is paying it, as long as a statutory duty of support is owed to the party who is paying the premium. If there is no statutory duty of support owed to the party who is paying the premium, the portion attributable to that person must be deducted from the premium as set forth in subdivision (2) below.
If, prior to the entry of a divorce decree, a party’s policy covers that party, a child and a spouse and the spouse has separate additional coverage not needed to cover the child and/or the other party, the cost of the spouse’s insurance premium shall not be allocated between the parties. If, prior to the entry of a divorce decree, a party provides coverage for that party and a child, but not the spouse, and the spouse has separate coverage, both parties’ premiums shall be allocated between the parties in proportion to their respective incomes.
If, prior to the entry of a divorce decree, each spouse has his or her own health insurance that does not cover the other party, and there are no children subject to the order, the cost of both parties’ premiums shall be allocated between the parties in proportion to their respective incomes. If health insurance coverage for a child who is the subject of the support proceeding is being provided and paid for by a third party resident of either party’s house-hold, the cost shall be allocated between the parties in proportion to their net incomes. If the obligor is paying the premium, then the obligee’s share is deducted from the obligor’s basic support obligation. If the obligee is paying the premium, then the obligor’s share is added to his or her basic support obligation. Employer-paid premiums are not subject to allocation.
(2) When the health insurance covers a party to whom no statutory duty of support is owed, even if that person is paying the premium as set forth in subdivision (1) above, or other persons who are not parties to the support action or children who are not the subjects of the support action, the portion of the premium attributable to them must be excluded from allocation. In the event that evidence as to this portion is not submitted by either party, it shall be calcu-lated as follows. First, determine the cost per person by dividing the total cost of the premium by the number of persons covered under the policy. Second, multiply the cost per person by the number of persons who are not owed a statutory duty of support, or are not parties to, or the subject of the support action. The resulting amount is excluded from allocation.
(2.1) The actual incremental amount of the premium which provides coverage for the subjects of the support order, if submitted by either party, shall be used in determining the amount of the premium to be allocated between the parties. If not submitted by either party, then the amount of the premium shall be divided by the number of persons covered to calculate the portion of the premium that provides coverage to each person.
Example 1. If the parties are separated, but not divorced, and Husband pays $200 per month toward the cost of a health insurance policy provided through his employer which covers himself, Wife, the parties’ child, and two additional children from a previous marriage, the portion of the premium attributable to the additional two children, if not otherwise verifiable or known with reasonable ease and certainty, is calculated by dividing $200 by five persons and then multiplying the resulting amount of $40 per person by the two additional children, for a total of $80 to be excluded from allocation. Deduct this amount from the total cost of the premium to arrive at the portion of the premium to be allocated between the parties—$120. Since Husband is paying the premium, and spouses have a statutory duty to support one another pursuant to 23 Pa.C.S. § 4321, Wife’s percentage share of the $120 is deducted from Husband’s support obligation. If Wife had been providing the coverage, then Husband’s percentage share would be added to his basic support obligation.
Example 2. If the parties are divorced and Father pays $200 per month toward the cost of a health insurance policy provided through his employer which covers himself, the parties’ child and two additional children from a previous marriage, the portion of the premium attributable to Father and the two additional children will not be allocated between the parties. Thus, using the same calculations in Example 1, the amount of the premium attributable to Father and the two other children is $150 ($200 premium divided among four covered persons equals $50 per person multiplied by three) and that amount is deducted from the total cost of the premium, leaving $50 ($200 - $150 = $50) to be allocated between the parties.
Example 3. The parties are divorced and Mother is the obligee of a child support order. Father, the obligor, pays $200 per month toward the cost of a health insurance policy provided by his employer that covers himself and the parties’ child. Mother pays $400 per month for her employer-sponsored health insurance that covers only herself. The amount of the premium Father pays to cover the parties’ child, $100 ($200 premium divided between two covered persons, Father and the child), will be allocated between the parties in proportion to their respective incomes. The portion of the premium that covers Father will not be allocated because the parties are no longer married and he is not owed a duty of support by Mother. The premium Mother pays to provide her own coverage will not be allocated because the parties are no longer married and she is not owed a duty of support by Father.
(3) Pursuant to 23 Pa.C.S. § 4326(a), in every support proceeding, the court must ascertain each parent’s ability to provide medical support for the parties’ children and the support ‘‘order shall include a requirement for medical support to be provided by either or both parents, provided that such medical support is accessible to the children.’’
(i) The obligor bears the initial responsibility of providing health care coverage for the children if it is available at a reasonable cost. ‘‘Reasonable cost’’ to an obligor shall be defined as an amount that does not exceed 5% of the obligor’s net monthly income and, when added to the amount of basic child support plus additional expenses the obligor is ordered to pay, does not exceed 50% of the obligor’s net monthly income. If the obligee is providing the coverage, the reasonable amount of the obligor’s share shall be defined as an amount that does not exceed 5% of the obligor’s net monthly income and, when added to the amount of basic child support plus additional expenses the obligor is ordered to pay, does not exceed 50% of the obligor’s net monthly income.
(ii) Unless health care coverage for the parties’ children is provided by the obligee or a third party, the court shall issue the National Medical Support Notice required by 23 Pa.C.S. § 4326(d.1) to the obligor’s employer in response to notification that the obligor is employed. The notice shall direct the employer to enroll the children of the obligor who are the subject of the support proceeding if the coverage is available at a reasonable cost to the obligor. However, the notice shall direct that enrollment shall not occur earlier than 25 days from the date of the National Medical Support Notice to allow the obligor time to object. Concurrent with the issuance of the National Medical Support Notice, the court shall provide notice to the obligor setting forth the process to object to the enrollment based upon unreasonable cost, mistake of fact or availability of alternative health care coverage for the children. If there is more than one employer-provided health care coverage option, the obligor shall select the plan, subject to the obligee’s right to seek a court order designating a different option.
(iii) Absent the availability of health care coverage to the obligor for the parties’ children at a reasonable cost, the court shall order the obligee to provide health care coverage for the children if it is available at a reasonable cost. ‘‘Reasonable cost’’ to the obligee shall be defined as an amount not to exceed 5% of the obligee’s net monthly income.
(iv) If health care coverage is not available to either party at a reasonable cost, the court may order the custodial parent to apply for government-sponsored coverage, such as the Children’s Health Insurance Program (‘‘CHIP’’), with any co-premium or other cost apportioned between the parties in proportion to their respective net monthly incomes.
(v) Within thirty days after the entry of the support order, the party ordered to provide health care coverage shall provide written proof to the other party that medical insurance has been obtained, including insurance cards and all other materials set forth in the form order in Rule 1910.27(e). There shall be a continuing obligation to provide the other party and the court with proof of any changes in coverage.
(vi) The court shall give preference to health care coverage that is readily accessible to the child, as defined by geographic coverage area, access to local treatment providers or other relevant factors.
The maximum amount of any attachment for child and medical support is set forth by the federal Consumer Credit Protection Act (Public Law 90-321, Section 303(b); 15 U.S.C. § 1601 et seq.).
(4) In cases in which the obligor is paying the cost of health insurance coverage and the obligee has no income or minimal income such that the obligor will bear 90% or more of the proportional share of the cost of the health insurance premiums, the trier of fact may, as fairness requires, deduct part or all of the cost of the premiums actually paid by the obligor to provide coverage for the other party or the children from the obligor’s gross income to determine net income for support purposes. If such a deduction is taken from the obligor’s gross income, then the allocation of premium costs as set forth in (b)(1) above shall not be applied.
Subdivision (b) of this rule does not apply to Medical Assistance. See 23 Pa.C.S. § 4326(l). The 2005 amendments to Rule 1910.16-6(b)(1) and (2) clarify that the portion of the insurance premium covering the party carrying the insurance cannot be allocated between the parties if there is no statutory duty of support owed to that party by the other party. See Maher v. Maher, 575 Pa. 181, 835 A.2d 1281 (2003) and 23 Pa.C.S. § 4321.
(c) Unreimbursed Medical Expenses. Unreimbursed medical expenses of the obligee or the children shall be allocated between the parties in proportion to their respective net incomes. Notwithstanding the prior sentence, there shall be no apportionment of unreimbursed medical expenses incurred by a party who is not owed a statutory duty of support by the other party. The court may direct that the obligor’s share be added to his or her basic support obligation, or paid directly to the obligee or to the health care provider.
(1) For purposes of this subdivision, medical expenses are annual unreimbursed medical expenses in excess of $250 per person. Medical expenses include insurance co-payments and deductibles and all expenses incurred for reasonably necessary medical services and supplies, including but not limited to surgical, dental and optical services, and orthodontia. Medical expenses do not include cosmetic, chiropractic, psychiatric, psychological or other services unless specifically directed in the order of court.
While cosmetic, chiropractic, psychiatric, psychological or other expenses are not required to be apportioned between the parties, the court may apportion such expenses that it determines to be reasonable and appropriate under the circumstances.
(2) An annual limitation may be imposed when the burden on the obligor would otherwise be excessive.
(3) Annual expenses pursuant to this subdivision (c), shall be calculated on a calendar year basis. In the year in which the initial support order is entered, or in any period in which support is being paid that is less than a full year, the $250 threshold shall be pro-rated. Documentation of unreimbursed medical expenses that either party seeks to have allocated between the parties shall be provided to the other party not later than March 31 of the year following the calendar year in which the final bill was received by the party seeking allocation. For purposes of subsequent enforcement, unreimbursed medical bills need not be submitted to the domestic relations section prior to March 31. Allocation of unreimbursed medical expenses for which documentation is not timely provided to the other party shall be within the discretion of the court.
(4) If the trier of fact determines that out-of-network medical expenses were not obtained due to medical emergency or other compelling factors, the court may decline to assess any of such expenses against the other party.
(5) In cases involving only spousal support or alimony pendente lite, the parties’ respective net incomes for purposes of allocating unreimbursed medical expenses shall be calculated after the amount of spousal support or alimony pendente lite is deducted from the obligor’s income and added to the obligee’s income.
If the trier of fact determines that the obligee acted reasonably in obtaining services which were not specifically set forth in the order of support, payment for such services may be ordered retroactively.
(d) Private School Tuition. Summer Camp. Other Needs. The support schedule does not take into consideration expenditures for private school tuition or other needs of a child which are not specifically addressed by the guidelines. If the court determines that one or more such needs are reasonable, the expense thereof shall be allocated between the parties in proportion to their net incomes. The obligor’s share may be added to his or her basic support obligation.
(e) Mortgage Payment. The guidelines assume that the spouse occupying the marital residence will be solely responsible for the mortgage payment, real estate taxes, and homeowners’ insurance. Similarly, the court will assume that the party occupying the marital residence will be paying the items listed unless the recommendation specifically provides otherwise. If the obligee is living in the marital residence and the mortgage payment exceeds 25% of the obligee’s net income (including amounts of spousal support, alimony pendente lite and child support), the court may direct the obligor to assume up to 50% of the excess amount as part of the total support award.
If the obligor is occupying the marital residence and the mortgage payment exceeds 25% of the obligor’s monthly net income (less any amount of spousal support, alimony pendente lite or child support the obligor is paying), the court may make an appropriate downward adjustment in the obligor’s support obligation. This rule shall not be applied after a final resolution of all outstanding economic claims. For purposes of this subdivision, the term ‘‘mortgage’’ shall include first mortgages, real estate taxes and homeowners’ insurance and may include any subsequent mortgages, home equity loans and any other obligations incurred during the marriage which are secured by the marital residence.
§ 4322. Destruction and disposition of obsolete records.
(a) General rule.--Any person required to maintain records pursuant to Subchapter A (relating to establishment, maintenance and effect of judicial records) may destroy such records in conformity with this subchapter and the general rules prescribed hereunder. No such person shall be held liable on his official bond, or in the way of damages for loss, or in any other manner, civil or criminal, because of the destruction of records as authorized pursuant to this subchapter.
(b) Historical documents.--Any original records which are of historical value as may be determined by the City Archivist, in the case of City and County of Philadelphia, or by the Pennsylvania Historical and Museum Commission, in the case of any other county, shall be transferred to the Pennsylvania Historical and Museum Commission or to such other depositories as may be designated by the commission.