Calculate The Parents' Net Monthly Incomes
The new PA child support guidelines are based on net monthly income after taxes, just like the old guidelines. For parents whose combined net income is more than $20,000 per month, the amount of child support was based on budgetary expenses under the old guidelines. Now, child support will be based on income in all cases, even cases over $20,000 per month combined income. Net monthly income is gross income minus federal, state and local income taxes, FICA, Social Security tax, self-employment tax, union dues and mandatory retirement contributions.
Determine Whether There is a Material Change in Circumstances
If there is a substantial and continuing increase or decrease in a parent's net monthly income, then the courts will be able to modify the amount of child support. Even if there is no change in the parents' incomes, the court may be able to modify child support if the new guideline results in a material change in the amount of support. If your child support was determined under the Melzer (budget-based) formula for cases over $20,000 per month net income, there is a good chance that you are entitled to modification under the new guidelines.
Call Your Family Lawyer
In many counties, it takes several weeks to schedule a child support modification hearing. If you think you might be entitled to modification, call your lawyer soon. Brian C. Vertz, ESQ, MBA, AVA is a Pittsburgh-based family lawyer with experience in all financial and personal aspects of divorce, child support, marital property, custody, settlements, and appeals.