The last two years of the global pandemic have upended the lives of many Pennsylvanians. Even before the first rumblings of the pandemic in 2019, many families already struggled to make ends meet. As we end 2021, the economy is still trying to recover. People continue to lose jobs, become ill, and experience personal setbacks that negatively impacted their financial health.
A financial setback can be challenging to navigate, even for the most responsible and well-meaning co-parent and ex-spouse. A side effect of the global pandemic has not only caused health concerns for millions of citizens, but it’s also caused financial distress in many households. The economic strain of job cuts, childcare costs, and inflation have left many families with gaps in their household budgets. The pandemic-related changes to our world and economy have left many families living paycheck to paycheck, and people who once couldn’t imagine struggling now find themselves needing public assistance. While the pandemic may be fading away, the economic health of the country is still quite troubled. The economic changes have made it quite difficult for some parents to remain current on support payments.
Factors Used to Determine Child Support in Pennsylvania
Child support payments are calculated using the financial disclosure from your divorce. If your financial picture has changed, it’s important that you let the court system know. Many factors are considered when calculating child support payment, like:
- Parent-Child Relationship: The court will consider how much time each parent spends with their minor children and the status of their relationship with the child.
- Financial Health: The court will review each parent’s financial disclosure, including income, debts, and assets. There will also be a review of each parent’s other financial obligations and needs. This can also be a simple copy of an individual’s monthly budget.
- Children’s Needs: Each child's age and needs will be reviewed and considered when calculating the potential child support order.
So, what happens if after all these calculations you are no longer able to make your court ordered payments? What should you do? Considerable effort is expended ensuring court ordered payments are fair and reasonable, so it’s not easy to change a support order.
What Do I Need for a Post-Judgment Modification?
Petitioners for a post-judgment modification must prove they’ve experienced a significant change to their standard of living. Pennsylvania requires parents who need changes to their court ordered payment plan to file a petition to modify an existing order. Many counties in Pennsylvania allow parents to complete this process online. Still, it’s important your Pennsylvania post-judgment modification attorney reviews your petition before filing. It’s easy to get overwhelmed when completing this type of legal paperwork because these documents can be confusing, and a mistake will void your paperwork and waste time. So, the first step in the post judgment modification process should be verifying you have a qualifying reason to file a request.
Typically, modifications are accepted for qualifying reasons such as:
- Pay Cuts
- Significant Move
- Health issues
This isn’t an exhaustive list of qualifying reasons for a post-judgment modification. So, it’s important to verify your eligibility with a family law attorney. After verifying you have a qualifying reason, petitioners should complete a detailed financial disclosure to file with their modification request.
Pennsylvania Post-Judgment Modification Lawyer
If you are struggling to make your Pennsylvania child support payments, contact the family law attorneys at William Kirby Law about filing a post-judgment modification. The broad guidelines and suggestions provided here are general steps needed to begin the modification process. Our lawyers can meet with you to answer your questions. If you need help filing for child support, or if you have a child support order you would like to modify, contact our office at (215) 515-9901 for more information about how we can help!