After getting a divorce, both parents are legally obligated to support their children financially. In most cases, this obligation falls on the parent who does not have primary custody of the child. In New York, child support payments are typically paid monthly, and they are calculated by taking a percentage of the parents’ combined income that is based on the number of children the parents share and then dividing this amount between the parents based on how much each parent contributes to their combined income.
Child support orders are intended to ensure that both parents contribute toward meeting their children’s ongoing needs. In some cases, however, the circumstances of either parent may change, making it necessary to modify the amount of child support that one parent pays to the other. In these situations, it is important to understand the issues that may play a role in modification requests, and parents can consult with an experienced family law attorney to determine their best course of action.
Circumstances that May Warrant a Modification of Child Support
According to the laws in New York, a request to modify child support may be made in the following situations:
At least three years have passed since the child support order was initially created or since it was most recently modified.
Either parent’s gross income has increased or decreased by at least 15 percent since the child support order was created or modified.
There has been a substantial change in circumstances that warrants a modification.
If either of the first two conditions has been met, a parent may submit a modification request, and the court may recalculate child support based on the parents’ current income. In other cases, a parent may need to provide evidence showing that the circumstances of themselves, the other parent, or one or more of their children have changed and that these changes have made a child support modification necessary.
There are several different circumstances that may warrant a modification of child support payments. These may include:
Either parent has lost their job or experienced a decrease in income.
The needs of a child have changed (for example, a child may have been diagnosed with a condition that requires special medical care, and child support orders may need to be adjusted to ensure that the parents will share the costs related to this treatment).
Changes have been made to child custody, resulting in children spending living primarily with a different parent.
It is important to note that child support modifications cannot be made retroactively. If a parent has experienced a change to their income that has affected their ability to pay support, a modification request should be filed as soon as possible. Modifications may be made following the date that a petition is filed, but any child support owed prior to that date will still need to be paid.
Contact Our Rockland County Child Support Modification Attorney
If you are currently paying or receiving child support payments, and your circumstances have changed, you may need to determine whether a modification will be necessary. By filing a modification request as soon as possible after a change in circumstances, you can make sure this issue will be addressed correctly while avoiding potential financial issues. If you believe you may be eligible for a modification, the experienced Hudson Valley child support lawyer of Law Offices of Robert S. Lewis, P.C. can advise you on your best course of action. To set up a free consultation, call our office at 845-358-7100.