New Support Guidelines
Several changes to the state-wide support guidelines will take place in August 2013. First and foremost, the basic child support schedule will be updated to reflect newer economic data. The basic child support schedule is a table that references the combined monthly net income of the parents and the number of children to determine the appropriate support award. There is a presumption that the amount of support indicated by the support schedule is the correct amount. In addition to updating the entire support schedule, the Self-Support Reserve has also increased from $867 a month to $931 a month. This amount reflects the 2012 poverty level for one person. The self-support reserve is the minimum amount of income that should be retained by the party paying support to ensure they can support themselves and to provide an incentive to continue working.
Another change set to take place in August relates to the calculation of net income. Generally, the rules provide for a calculation including the net income of both parents, however, Rule 1910.16-2 will soon provide that two calculations be done in low-income cases. First, a calculation should be done using only the income of the party that will be paying support. Then, a second standard calculation should be done utilizing the income of both parties. The party owing support would be responsible to pay the lower amount of the two calculations. This revised rule is meant to address issues where the party owing support is low-income but the party to receive support has significantly greater income.