Why a Judge Would Modify a Child Support Order
On average, a noncustodial parent pays $430 per month in child support, but this amount could be higher or lower. It would depend on various factors such as your income, the number of children you have or whether a child has special needs. If your financial situation changes, it’s also possible that your payment could increase or decrease.
A Modification Could Occur If a Parent’s Employment Status Changes
Losing your job could be grounds for having a child support order modified. This may be true regardless of whether you are the custodial or noncustodial parent. In such an event, a judge might look to see whether you have any other assets that could be liquidated in an effort to make payments as currently ordered.
Conversely, if you were to see an increase in your pay, it may be possible that your child support obligation would be increased. If the other parent got a new job that came with a higher salary, he or she could be asked to accept more of the financial burden of raising a child. In that case, your payment could be decreased.
Unexpected Medical Expenses Could Result in a Modification
If you were to become ill, it could mean thousands of dollars or more in out-of-pocket medical expenses you didn’t budget for. That cost could have a negative impact on your ability to provide for your child. While you should still make an effort to provide to the best of your ability, a judge may nevertheless agree to modify an existing child support order due to your circumstances.
A child support attorney may be able to further explain how medical bills could impact an existing order. In the event that your child becomes ill or has medical needs that must be paid for, you could be asked to contribute more money each month until those needs subside.
Child Support Can Be Modified If Parental Roles Change
In the event that you start spending more time with your child, it may be possible to ask to pay less in child support. This is because the state generally recognizes that housing and feeding a child and otherwise meeting immediate needs are valid forms of support.
Of course, there is no guarantee that this will be true in your given case. As with any other matter pertaining to child custody and support, the best interests of the child are the primary concern. Therefore, if a child needs the additional financial support, he or she will be allowed access to it.
If the Other Parent Receives a Financial Windfall
In addition to getting a job with a higher salary, there are other ways in which the child’s other parent could see a positive change in financial circumstances. For example, he or she could receive an inheritance from a parent or win the lottery. This could mean that you will be granted the opportunity to pay less in child support each month. In some cases, a personal injury award could also have an impact on child support payments, and your family law attorney can help answer any questions you have on that topic.
Alterations When the Child Is About to Turn 18
Assuming that a child does not have any special needs, your obligation to pay child support generally ends when your son or daughter turns 18. In Pennsylvania, you typically have to request that a support obligation be terminated at least six months prior to this taking place. You should be aware that you may be obligated to help pay for college tuition or other costs in certain cases even after a child reaches the age of majority.
If you need a child support attorney to help with your case, contact the Law Office of Joanne Kleiner today. This can be done by calling our office in Jenkintown at 215-886-1266. You can also send a fax to 215-886-2670.