Modifications and Enforcement of Child Support

Child Support

Child support in Pennsylvania is money paid to the custodial parent for the support, maintenance, and education of the children.  Voluntary gifts and payment of rent, which benefit the child when the child is with you, may not be considered support.  Child support ceases with emancipation of the child by state law or as agreed by the parties.


Child support orders may be enforceable by a variety of means, such as wage attachment, execution, liens on property, or contempt.  They are not dischargeable in bankruptcy, but unpaid support may be collectable for only a limited period of time, by statute.


Until emancipation of the child, the court has the power to modify custody and child support in Pennsylvania whenever circumstances make such change proper.  The same factors used in making  the  initial  award  are  considered  for  modification.  Modification generally requires a significant change of circumstances.  These factors could result in a change of the custodial arrangement or an increase or decrease in the support obligation. Remarriage of either parent does not automatically result in a change of circumstances.

Gold-Bikin, Lynne Z. & Kolodny, Stephen, The Divorce Trial Manuel, Chicago: ABA Book Publishing, 2004.  Print.

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