Every four years, the Pennsylvania Child Support Guidelines are reviewed to reflect fluctuations in the economy and are adjusted based on cost of living changes. On May 1, 2017, new Support Guidelines became effective providing generally moderate increases to most income levels. This could reflect in an increase in the amount of child support paid.
A change in the Support Guidelines does not automatically trigger a modification of support; rather, it may be grounds to seek a modification if the change would result in a material or substantial change in circumstance in a child support award. In order to have a support order evaluated, it requires the filing of a Petition for Modification of Support based on the material or substantial change of circumstance. A material or substantial change in circumstance, in addition to updated Support Guidelines, may include increases or decreases in a party’s income, childcare expenses, health insurance premiums or coverage, or support of other children. A Support Order may also be reviewed if it has been in effect for a period in excess of three years. It is important to have an experienced and knowledgeable attorney review all circumstances prior to pursuing a modification of child support to ensure an increase in child support award would be warranted.