Can a Parent’s Job Loss Affect Custody Rights in Pennsylvania?

Posted by Joseph Lento | Oct 27, 2023 | 0 Comments

The economy is constantly evolving. Employment positions that were considered solid one day may be downsized the next for any number of reasons. As a result, there is little guaranteed employment stability afforded to most adults in the U.S. Unfortunately, when an adult loses their job, the ripple effect of their loss of income tends to impact any minor children and other dependents who count on them for support. Understandably, many parents who share parental responsibility with an ex worry that losing their job could affect their child custody, parenting time, and/or child support rights and obligations.

If you have recently lost a job or suffered a significant financial setback and you're concerned that your parental situation will be impacted as a result, don't hesitate to discuss your case today with our Family Law Team by calling 888-535-3686 or by contacting the LLF Law Firm online. While the information below will give you a good introductory sense of how your income loss may impact your circumstances, there is no substitute for personalized professional guidance.

Child Custody and Parenting Plan Concerns

If you share legal and/or physical custody of your child with their other parent, trust that your job loss is unlikely to impact your broader custody rights in any way. Only extreme circumstances that impact the well-being of a child ordinarily cause the courts to call a fit parent's established custody rights into question.

With that said, if your sudden financial challenges occurred due to extreme gambling, addiction, job loss incurred because you assaulted a co-worker or another scenario that suggests that your child's well-being could be negatively impacted by your presence until after you seek some help, it's possible that the courts could grant your ex a modification of your family's child custody order.

Similarly, if a parent's financial challenges are caused by circumstances that require them to relocate to seek a new job or that otherwise could impact their ability to care for their child effectively during their parenting time, a modification of their parenting plan could be successfully negotiated between a child's co-parents or ordered by the courts.

Child Support Concerns

If a parent loses a job or otherwise experiences financial hardship, their obligation to pay child support is not generally modifiable unless that hardship occurred through no fault of the parent's own and is not likely to resolve soon. For example, financial hardship caused by a parent's cancer diagnosis or an employment layoff in a dying industry that may require that parent to seek retraining may warrant a child support modification. A parent quitting a job voluntarily or being fired for cause generally doesn't warrant a modification of any kind.

Legal Assistance Is Available

If you have questions about how your economic circumstances could affect your parental rights and responsibilities, connect with the compassionate Family Law Team at the LLF Law Firm today. We can provide you with personalized guidance that will empower you to make informed decisions about your situation.

When it comes to the law, knowledge is power. Don't hesitate to connect with our Family Law Team to discuss your case today by calling 888-535-3686 or by reaching out online. We look forward to speaking with you.

About the Author

Joseph Lento

"I pride myself on having heart and driving hard to get results!" Attorney Joseph D. Lento is a veteran of one of the nation's busiest family courts with nearly 20 years' experience passionately helping families. By day, he worked in the trenches of family court, and at night, he studied the law. He helped countless families while working at family court, and he went on to become an attorney, dedicating his law practice to continuing the work he started years earlier. Mr. Lento's experience both behind the scenes and on the front lines allows him to understand a client's family law matter from all angles, and allows him to find and employ the most effective strategies to get favorable outcomes for any client. Joseph D. Lento is licensed in Pennsylvania New Jersey, and New York, and is admitted pro hac vice as needed nationwide. In the courtroom and in life, attorney Joseph D. Lento stands up when the bell rings!


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The LLF Law Firm has unparalleled experience practicing Family Law in Pennsylvania. If you are having any uncertainties about what the future may hold for you and your family, contact our offices today. Our Family Law Team will go above and beyond the needs for any client and fight for what is fair.

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