In the time since your divorce, things have probably changed. You probably have a new home, a new schedule and a changed relationship with your child. You may also have a new career. If the changes in your life have come with a change in you or your ex’s ability to support your child, it may be time to request a modification to your child support order. In what circumstances can you request a modification?
Have your child’s needs changed?
It is natural for your child’s needs to change over time, so it is essential to consider whether a child support order written when they were young is still the correct order when they are older. Whether your child has entered school and no longer requires daycare or new costs for activities, an increase or decrease in their expenses could be caused by modification.
Has your custody arrangement changed?
The court bases the child support you or your ex pay on your specific parenting arrangements and your child’s needs. If your custody arrangement changes—if one parent has the child for more nights per week, for example—then the child support order can be adjusted to reflect that.
Has your employment situation changed?
Whether you have experienced a medical condition that made you unable to work or have had a change in your career path, your child support order should reflect your current finances. An increase in salary could be an opportunity to better provide for your child, while a pay decrease could be a reason to modify your order so that you can have some financial relief.
Has your child had healthcare struggles?
When your child has increased health needs, whether due to illness or disability, it might be time to change your child support order. Your order should account for the increased cost of your child’s medical care and the time away from work that one parent might experience.
When can you request a modification?
While some states set a specific percentage or dollar amount as the threshold for a modification, Pennsylvania requires you to demonstrate a “changed circumstance.” Consulting with a lawyer may help you illustrate this change.
By requesting a modification, you can ensure that your child support order fits your current life and meets your child’s current needs.