Can Child Support Be Modified?

By Jones & Associates Law P.C.

Parents in Pennsylvania are responsible for providing their children with love, support, and financial assistance, regardless of whether they are married to their co-parents. When parents go through a separation or divorce, they will often create or work through the courts to have ordered a child support plan that dictates how much support each parent will pay for the benefit of the parties’ shared child or children. Child support that is mandated by the courts must be paid or parents may face sanctions for their delinquencies.

Child support orders can last for years, but the needs of a child and family may change before the order has come to its end. This post will discuss some of the reasons that parents may seek to modify their child support orders. Though parents may find this post useful, they should always seek counsel from their trusted family law attorney for guidance on their specific legal matters.

Changes in Circumstances

Changes in circumstances refer to events, expected or unexpected, the alter the financial situation of the child or their parent. When a parent experiences a change in circumstances, they may be less able to manage their child support payments and may stumble into nonpayment. Examples of changes in circumstances can include:

  • A parent’s loss of job or reduction in wages

  • Increased costs related to the child’s health

  • Changes in the custody schedule of the child and parents

  • Alterations in childcare or insurance costs

When a parent loses the ability to pay, they may be eligible for a modification to their child support obligation.

How to Seek a Modification

It is important that changes to child support are made on the record, meaning they are recognized as official changes to the court orders under which the parents were operating previously. Informal alterations to child support may not be enforceable. A family law attorney can assist their client seek a modification to their child support order to support their changes in circumstances.