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Changing a Child Support Order in Pennsylvania

Posted By Cairns Law Offices || 13-May-2019

If you’re a parent who is headed toward divorce, you probably have questions about child support. One question being, “Can child support ever be changed?” Yes, it absolutely can be changed and this is very common with divorce cases. Usually, circumstances rarely stay the same when parents divorce, so if there is a “significant change in circumstances,” child support can be modified upwards or downwards.

In Pennsylvania, after a child support order is issued, either parent has the right to petition the court to review their case and change (modify) the existing child support order. Parents can petition the court any time if they believe their circumstances have changed enough to warrant a child support modification.

Three-Year Case Review

Every three years the Domestic Relations Section (DRS) sends the parents a notice that asks them if they want their case reviewed. If one of the parents do want it reviewed, usually the paying parent wants it reduced, while the receiving parent wants the support increased. It’s rare for it to be the other way around. Additionally, it’s mandatory for the DRS to review support cases involving Temporary Assistance for Needy Families (TANF).

The three-year review for TANF cases is to see if a decrease, increase, modification, or termination is necessary while considering the child’s best interests. These are the factors considered before a modification is made by the court:

  • If either parent’s income has significantly increased.
  • If either parent’s income has significantly decreased.
  • If the child has ongoing or significant medical expenses.
  • Health insurance or childcare changes.
  • If the child has turned 18 or graduated high school.
  • If the child has moved in with the non-custodial parent or someone other than the custodial parent.
  • If the non-custodial parent has become incarcerated in jail or prison.
  • Any other relevant, but significant change in circumstances, such as unemployment or a disability.

Next: Can a Child Choose Which Parent to Live With in Pennsylvania?

We hope this post has helped answer some of your questions regarding modifying child support. If you are seeking a cheap, no-fault divorce in Pennsylvania, contact us today!

Categories: Child Support