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Can a parent modify a child support order after a job change?

Reaching fair and agreeable terms during dissolution often takes times, and some divorcing couples in Philadelphia might have to overcome many challenges and resolve several dispute to come to a divorce settlement. While some of these decisions will remain and will go unchanged after the divorce decree is signed, when children are involved, terms involving the children might require adjustments as they age. A child support order may no longer provide the financial needs of the child or a parent may find it difficult making the required payments. Such situations could mean modification.

Can a parent modify a child support order after a job change? When a noncustodial parent is required to pay child support due to a support order, he or she is obligated to meet the terms of that order, which typically includes monthly payments to the custodial parent to cover the costs of raising their child or children. However, if the noncustodial parent becomes unemployed, is transitioning job or changed jobs, this could greatly impact his or her ability to make these payments.

When a substantial change in circumstances occurs, such as a change in income, a noncustodial parent can seek child support modification. When this is requested, courts will consider a variety of facts before approving or denying the request for modification, which helps determine if there has been a substantial change in circumstances.

In addition to unemployment and a decrease in income serving as reason to modify a child support order, a parent could seek modification for other reasons. This includes a significant change in the child's need, an increased cost of living, a parent has been incarcerated, income increase after a parent remarries or a parent has become disabled.

If a parent believes that they have cause or reason to modify or alter their child support order, it is important to understand if modification is a viable option. Additionally, parents should understand what this process looks like and how it could ultimately impact the child or children involved.

Source: Family.findlaw.com, "Can I Change a Child Support Order After Changing Jobs?" accessed March 14, 2016

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