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Requesting modification to child support orders

For many Pennsylvania noncustodial parents, financial circumstances make it difficult to meet current child support obligations. A lost job, serious injury or illness and/or other drastic life changes may hinder your ability to meet your financial obligations to your children. Depending on the situation, it may be possible to request modification to child support orders to lower the payments.

If you believe that a modification is in order, it is best to make the request to modify the payments as soon as possible. Any child support arrears before the filing of the petition will continue to be owed, and the original order remains in effect pending the decision of the court. A bankruptcy will not affect any child support arrears. In order to keep the amount of arrears as low as possible, it is important to continue making as many payments as possible.

A Pennsylvania court may modify an existing child support order if a substantial change in your circumstances is shown. The key is to show the court that some significant event beyond your control makes it impossible to continue to make the current payments. This is yet another reason to continue to make payments since it needs to be clear to the court that you are willing to fulfill your obligations, but some circumstance is preventing it. Carefully documenting your financial position is necessary as well.

There are several aspects to requesting modification to child support orders that cannot be covered here. Seeking assistance and advice regarding your situation is essential to receive the best chance possible to reduce your child support. This article is not to be construed as legal advice, and therefore, cannot be relied upon for your particular situation.

Source: FindLaw, "Child Support Modification Tips", , Sept. 1, 2014

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