Child support is often the source for disagreement and contention between
alienated individuals attempting to co-parent their child. When a party
feels that the child support payment they are receiving is not enough,
or the payer feels that the payment is too high, a child support modification
may be in order.
An experienced Nassau County divorce attorney can help you seek a child
support modification so that the best interests of you and your child
or children are adequately represented.
How to Make a Child Support Modification in Nassau County
In 2010, New York made some changes to the way in which child support modifications
may be modified and when. Under these new guidelines, a
modification to child support obligations may be made
- Three years have passed since the date of the original order or most recent
- A party’s income has either increased or decreased 15%
If all of the preceding requirements are not met, a party may still petition
the court for a modification, but this is only if there has been an unanticipated
and unreasonable change of circumstances.
The non-custodial parent’s income is then subjected to calculation
of support under the Child Support Standards Act (CSSA) in the same manner
in which it was initially calculated.
Proving a Change in Circumstances
A party seeking a downward modification must prove to the court that his
or her decrease in income was involuntary, and that he or she has diligently
sought employment in accordance with his or her abilities, skills, educational
qualifications, experience, etc. Thus voluntary periods of unemployment,
such as to pursue educational aspirations and the like are not acceptable
as a basis for a downward modification.
The benefit of these new requirements is that it makes it easier to revisit
child support payments after a period of time, whereas the prior process
required a party to show somewhat cumbersome documentation in order to
initiate upward modification.
In the past, an upward modification was only available in circumstances
where the expenses related to raising the child increased for some reason,
and the party had documents to prove this assertion, both relating to
expenses at the time of the original order and documents representing
these expenses at the time of the attempted modification, along with proof
of how income was inadequate to meet these expenses--thus, an upward modification
was difficult to obtain. Additionally, in such a case, a non-custodial
parent could almost always assert that an upward modification would amount
to a financial hardship.
Under New York law, there is no automatic provision for an adjustment of
child support. This means that a dramatic increase or decrease in income
for one of the parents, such as in the case of bankruptcy or unemployment,
does not automatically lower the child support payment obligations.
Contact Jason M. Barbara & Associates, P.C. today!
Matters relating to child support and
child custody, whether at the time of separation or divorce, or when a modification
is necessary, can be incredibly stressful and emotionally charged. An
attorney can help ease the process giving you the peace of mind to know
that your interests are represented.
If you need to modify your existing child support agreement, the experienced
lawyers at Jason M. Barbara & Associates, P.C. can assist you through
this stressful time.
Contact us today at (516) 406-8381 to schedule your initial consultation.