When extenuating circumstances occur, a court-ordered child support payment may need to be modified. Something uncontrollable, such as a job loss, can leave an individual unable to pay child support or lacking the funds to pay the full amount. Fortunately, some steps can be taken to file for a child support modification in Pennsylvania.
Typically, there are only two things that can motivate a court to make a change to a child support ruling. Either the parent that has been ordered to pay child support experiences a substantial change in income, or the child to whom the support is due experiences a change that requires more or less money each month. For example, an increase in a child’s tuition can constitute an increase in monthly child support payments.
A parent who is filing for a child support modification needs to ensure that he or she has ample cause for doing so. In most jurisdictions, there is a limit to the number of times that an individual can file for such modifications. This means that simply trying to be vindictive towards an ex-spouse can be a waste of a limited number of opportunities to actually provide a child with what he or she needs.
Whether the motion for modification is filed by the parent who has been court-ordered to make payments or the individual receiving the money, the court will do a thorough investigation into the circumstances surrounding the request. If there is sufficient cause for a change in the court-ordered agreement, the judge will proceed from there.
A client seeking a change in a child support agreement should contact an attorney who is familiar with child support laws. A lawyer may launch an investigation into the causes for the modification request, at which point his or her client can be advised on how to best proceed.