Conditions under which child support payments may be adjusted

Much like a marriage may evolve or in fact dissolve, so too might the circumstances of one or both spouses. For example, consider the case of a spouse who, after a divorce, has been paying a certain amount of child support, but who loses his or her job and remains unemployed or perhaps underemployed for an extended period of time. Can this spouse ask the court to adjust his or her child support payments?

In Pennsylvania, the law requires that a spouse attempting to vary the child support payments submit evidence supporting claims that the unemployment was involuntary in order for a change in child support payments to be considered. This loss of employment can range from a long-term job as a professional or tradesperson to work that is seasonal or commission based.

Other circumstances that may cause one to change child support payments include a substantial change in income or a child who no longer requires expenses, for example, like daycare.

Unless a child has special needs requiring continuing support, payments for support in Pennsylvania when the child turns 18 or graduates from high school, whichever occurs later. Unless the parents agree or a court orders otherwise, support payments do not continue through college years.

An order for child support is not set in stone. However, the court must review both parents’ current financial resources and any differences in percentage of parenting time to recalibrate the amount of support. In Pennsylvania, child support payment is based on a table called the Monthly Basic Child Support Schedule. It is updated every three years.

Should your financial circumstances change and you find it necessary to modify the amount of child support you are paying, you should consult a lawyer and find out what your options. The Gary R. Swayely Jr. law firm has extensive experience in family law issues such as the adjustment of child support payments. One of our lawyers will be pleased to assess your situation and offer advice. Please call 610-372-2700