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Child Support Reductions and Increases

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Reductions and Increases for child support are based upon the number of overnights

By Attorney Jeffrey B. Engle, Child Support Attorney, Harrisburg, Pennsylvania

In Pennslvania, an obligor (the party paying child support) may begin receiving a reduction once they've obtained at least 40% of the overnights in a given year (365 days) or 146 days.  Thirty percent (30%) is subtracted from the overall percentage reduction.  The Domestic Relations Procedural Rules Committee of the PA Supreme Court has recently suggested that the trier of fact may determine the number of overall nights.  

For instance, if an obligor's overall obligation to pay support is 58% based upon the combined net incomes of the parties in one month and they have 40% of the total overnights in a given year, they would receive a 10% reduction.  The new obligation would be based on 48%.  If the children spent 45% of the overnights with the obligor, then this percentage would decrease to 43% and so on.  If the time were equal (50/50), then it would be a 20% overall reduction or 38%.

If the children spend an equal time with both parents, regardless of who initiates the support action, the obligor is the parent with the higher income.

The Rules Committee is also proposing that there be an upward deviation for parents that spend very little time with their child(ren).  This is completely new.  If a parent spends less than 10% time annually, the trier of fact shall consider an upward deviation of the obligor's basic support.

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