If you are a couple headed for divorce, chances are you have questions about child support. One of the more common ones that parents ask is if child support can be modified. Yes, child support can absolutely be modified, and this is not unusual.
Once a child support order has been issued in Pennsylvania, either parent has the right to petition the court to review it either upwards or downwards. Since child support obligation is partly based on the parents’ income, child support can fluctuate if a parent gets or loses a job or faces other life changes.
Here are possible reasons why a parent may petition the court for child support modification in Pennsylvania:
Change in income
If either parent loses their source of income or goes through a significantly negative change in their income level, the court may be open to reviewing and modifying the existing child support decree. Loss of income on either parent can disrupt the stability of the child’s life.
On the other hand, if either parent gains a significant increase in their income level, the court may consider reviewing child support upwards.
Change in the child’s needs
If the child develops a medical condition or acquires a new need, this is likely to result in unforeseen costs. The court may consider modifying child support due to this.
Change to the child’s age
Child support only applies to children who are under 18. Thus, if a child reaches 18 years of age, child support may no longer be applied to them. However, this depends on whether or not the support order was meant to put the child through higher education and attend school.
The court will consider these, among other reasons, when modifying child support in Pennsylvania. However, it is important to understand that child support modification does happen automatically. One or both parents must file a formal petition in court. Once a formal motion is filed, the court will review the petition and decide if the modification request is justifiable.