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
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.
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!