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Can Parents Modify Child Support Payments in Doylestown and Newtown?
The fact that child support is granted by a Pennsylvania court does not necessarily mean that the child support order is final and cannot be modified. If circumstances change, such as, for example, one parent loses a job or another parent becomes disabled, child support can be modified in Doylestown and Newtown child support cases. It is important to mention that there must be a substantial change for the Pennsylvania courts to modify the original amount of support. The party asking for the modification has the burden of proving that a substantial and material change in circumstances has occurred since the entry of the latest support order.
Neither parent can decide to modify the support amount unilaterally and the courts are very protective of children.
Ex-spouses can mutually agree to change the amount of child support payments. However, it is not advisable to enter into an agreement with your former spouse on the subject of support modification without having it recorded as a court order. Failing to have a support modification agreement recorded properly can result in a situation where the paying spouse is required to pay for the difference between the child support amount originally agreed upon and the modified amount. For instance, despite agreeing to a reduced amount of child support, the parent receiving child support may decide to take the other parent to court asking for the amount not paid. The court may find that there is no evidence to support modification of child support and order the parent to pay the usual monthly payments plus the amount owed.
Our Bucks County child custody and support attorneys will analyze your situation to determine whether it meets the standard of a substantial change in circumstances. They also can prepare a support stipulation for you and your spouse to sign in order for it to become an order of court.
Due to the lasting recession the courts are reviewing numerous cases regarding support modification. This increase in support modification filings was caused by unprecedented loss of jobs and foreclosures across the country. The recession also heavily affected self-employed business owners who saw their revenues plummeting over the course of the last two years.
Keeping your financial records in good order and obtaining a consultation from our Doylestown and Newtown child custody and support attorneys might help you to plan ahead and prepare for the financial issues laying ahead of you. It also goes without saying that child support payments take precedence over spousal support. As a rule, if the child support payments are reduced, then the spousal support payments face the same fate.