One common question after receiving a child support order is, “What happens if something changes?”. You might wonder if you can modify that support order with the court in the future, especially if your financial situation changes.
There are a few common situations where you can petition the court for a child support modification.
Has it been a few years?
Pennsylvania law permits a periodic review of child support guidelines after at least four years. If your support order is four years old or older, petition for review based on duration.
Did you change jobs?
When your employment changes and creates a material difference in income, you might have grounds to petition for modification. The court considers the reason for your job change, so a willful change just to reduce your income is not likely to help your case. If your job change resulted from a layoff or termination, you may receive a revised order.
Has custody changed?
When custody changes and you gain primary physical custody, your support order should reflect that. After any custodial change, even an unofficial one, petition the court to modify both the legal custody order and your support order accordingly.
Has either parent relocated?
When one parent relocates to another state or far enough away to interfere with custody and cost of living, the court sometimes reviews child support commitments as a result. Petition for modification if a relocation disrupts your situation.
Child support modification needs reasonable grounds for the request. Before you petition the court for modification, consider if any of these situations apply.