Parents who receive child support may worry that their child’s entitlement might decrease if their co-parent has new children. Similarly, noncustodial parents may be concerned that having subsequent children from a new relationship might lead to financial strain due to their existing obligation.
Since each state handles child support cases differently, what’s applicable in one state may not be in another. In this article, we’ll discuss the impact of subsequent children on an existing child support order in Pennsylvania. We’ll also talk about what you can do to protect their children and their interests.
Does the Birth of Subsequent Children Terminate a Child Support Order?
The needs of a subsequent child do not justify the termination of an existing court order. Child support obligations in Pennsylvania only ends when a child clocks 18 or graduates high school, whichever comes first. Even the death of a parent doesn’t exempt them from their responsibilities. In such cases, the parent’s estate will be liable for the remaining balance.
However, a parent can modify their child support order if they can prove that there has been a substantial change in circumstances. Typically, an event that affects a parent’s finances can qualify for a modification. Additionally, your child support lawyers in Media, PA, can put you through the process of modifying your child support order.
How the Court Factors in a New Child
While a new child doesn’t automatically qualify for changing an existing order, a family judge may take it into consideration. In assessing a request for modification, a judge will consider the parent’s total child support obligation. This total amount is the parent’s financial responsibility to both the child from a previous relationship and the new child.
If the total support amount is equal to or less than 50% of the parent’s monthly net income, there’ll be no deduction. However, if the amount is more than 50% of the monthly net income, the judge may consider a reduction.
Additionally, Pennsylvania family law aims to treat each child equally. It states that neither the first nor second family should receive a preference. Therefore, the courts will balance how much each side gets to ensure a fair support order. Due to this law’s complex nature, it’s advisable to discuss your situation with experienced child support lawyers in Media PA.
Furthermore, the court will ensure that the parent is left with sufficient money (usually around $981 per month) to support themselves. If a parent has less than $981 after establishing the support order, the court may adjust the order to allow him to retain $981.
However, if his total monthly income is less than $981, the court will need to scrutinize his finances before determining a support amount.
While many parents genuinely want to support their children, new changes may occur, leading to financial constraints. One such change is the birth of a child from a new relationship. If you are currently facing any challenge relating to your support obligation, discuss your case with child support lawyers in Media, PA.