Bucks County Child Support Modification Attorney
Every divorce involving a minor child must include an order for child support. However, in the months and years after a divorce is finalized the circumstances may change for either parent or the child that necessitates a modification of the original order. A judge will allow for a support modification only in certain situations, and an experienced Bucks County child support modification attorney can be critical in making that argument to the court. To learn more about whether your case qualifies for a modification of child support, call or contact Kardos, Rickles & Hand to schedule a case consultation.
Showing a Substantial Change in Circumstances
In order to make a modification on an existing child support order in Pennsylvania, the parent requesting the change must be able to prove that there has been a substantial change in circumstances. The change must be significant, material, permanent, and not anticipated at the time of the initial divorce decree. The change in circumstances can apply to either parent or the child in the relationship.
One common example of a substantial change in circumstances is the permanent loss of a job or a significant promotion at work. A substantial gain or loss in income for either parent that is long-term or permanent usually qualifies for modification. Illness or disability of either parent or the child also may qualify for a support modification, as does any change to the existing child custody order if it means a reallocation of the child’s time spent with each parent. A modification may also be approved if the parent paying support has another child.
There are also common circumstances that do not qualify for a modification of support. Temporary job loss, a small demotion, or a slight reduction in work hours does not typically qualify for a modification of child support. Cost of living increases for either parent also usually do not merit a change.
How to Modify a Child Support Order
An experienced Pennsylvania family law attorney can help in a child support modification case. A petition for modification must be filed with the court, and a hearing is set. The court will review all evidence presented, including financial statements for each parent along with any other documentation that may indicate a substantial change in circumstances. If the judge approves the modification, a new order will be issued with the modified amount of support.
It is important that you always get a written court order approving a modification for child support instead of simply having an oral agreement with the other parent. An oral agreement is not binding, and a parent could find themselves in arrears with the court for failure to pay child support even if the parents orally agreed to a change. You should always get a modification approved and in writing from the court before making any changes to a child support payment.
Talk to Our Office
Are you interested in learning more about child support modifications? If so, call or contact Kardos, Rickles & Hand in Newtown today to schedule a consultation.