The court recognizes that the lives of children and their post-divorce parents change over time.
For that reason, child support orders are eligible for modification. However, requests to modify must meet certain court standards and prove to be in the child’s best interest.
Requesting modification of a support order
You can request an adjustment to your child support order at any time after the initial order. The court will even send you a notification every three years to see if you would like to review your current support order.
In Pennsylvania, you must request a modification of support by submitting a form through the local Domestic Relations Section in your area. When you receive a response, they will provide you with a date to hear your request and give you a list of documentation you must bring.
Factors the court considers
The basis of any modification is whether it is in the child’s best interests. Some factors the court uses to determine that include:
- Incarceration of the noncustodial parent
- Changes in income for either parent
- Changes in the child’s living situation, namely moving away from the custodial parent
- An increase in the child’s medical expenses
- Changes to health insurance coverage
- The child’s graduation from high school
- Changes to each parent’s living situation
This is not a comprehensive list. The family court considers each modification request on a case-by-case basis, meaning they account for the specific circumstance of your case. The petitioning parent must make a case for modification by explaining their reasoning and providing sufficient evidence to support the claim.