Brewing Support Rules Changes to Be Minor

In Pennsylvania, child support is largely governed by "Rules of Civil Procedure" rather than laws. Laws are passed by the legislature and governor, but civil procedure rules in PA are created and amended by the Supreme Court of Pennsylvania. Generally, a group called the Domestic Relations Procedural Rules Committee sends "recommendations" to the Supreme Court for rules changes. The Court can then accept, change or reject the recommendations.

Right now, it is anticipated that the Rules Committee will propose three recommendations (105, 106 and 107) to the Supreme Court. The Court has not yet reviewed any of the recommendations. We can report that the proposed changes are largely technical and most of the changes will be of little interest to the public.

But one change caught our eye. One part of Recommendation 105 proposes that "After a party has filed a petition for modification, the petition may not be withdrawn unless both parties consent". This would represent a change to current practice in both Allegheny County and Washington County.

We have unilaterally canceled support hearings for a number of reasons. If this recommendation passes, parties better get good legal advice prior to filing for support modification. We have stepped in (more than once) to cancel scheduled support hearings when we determined that the support order was likely to go in the wrong direction.

This blog will let you know if any support rules of note are amended.