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How to modify child support payments

Many divorced parents understand the importance of making timely child support payments. Unfortunately, a person’s financial circumstances could change. A parent could lose their job or otherwise suffer an income loss. Child support modifications represent a way to lower child support payments when tough times come. However, Philadelphia parents do need to be well-prepared when going into court to ask for modifications.

Child support modifications could prevent legal troubles. Someone who falls behind on child support might face severe consequences. Letting the court know about a tough financial situation may be a wise decision. It’s better to move forward as soon as a financial situation changes rather than to explain the situation after falling thousands of dollars behind.

Child support modifications also work for the parent receiving payments. Things in the child’s life may change, too. Health care costs could lead to the parent asking for more child support. And yes, a custodial parent must be prepared when heading to court, as well. The courts will likely require sufficient documentation to raise child support amounts.

Minor changes in income or expense might not move the court to change child support amounts. Usually, expenses or income losses must be significant for the court to render any modifications.

Parents should learn about state rules regarding changes to child support. Some states may place time limits on how often someone can request child support modifications. Interestingly, in Pennsylvania, parents receive correspondence asking if the support should undergo a review.

When asking for child support modifications, submitting paperwork becomes necessary. In Pennsylvania, a particular form serves as a petition for the “modification, termination or reinstatement” of a current support order. It might be wise to speak with an attorney about filing a proper petition. Mistakes, errors and oversights could cause delays or other problems.