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NY Child Support Modifications

Posted on May 19, 2020

The separation or divorce of a couple with children is a life-changing event, but it’s probably not the only substantial change you will face. A job loss or a new job, remarriage, the birth of a new child or similar major events can all make it necessary to change the amount of child support being paid.

A modification of support order must be approved by the courts for child support to be either decreased or increased. Because child support is used to feed, clothe, house and provide medical care and ensure the child’s well-being, there has to be a good reason as to why modification is being sought—especially if a parent is seeking a reduction in the amount he or she has been ordered to pay the custodial parent.

When can you modify child support in New York?

Obtaining child support modification starts with filing a petition with the family court. In order for the judge to consider a modification request, you must prove:

  • A substantial change in circumstances: A change in circumstance may include involuntary unemployment through no fault of their own (such as a layoff), having a cut in pay or cut in hours, relocation or another event that causes a significant financial change for either parent or a change in custody. Incarceration may be a reason for modification, provided it is “not the result of nonpayment of an order of support for child support or an offense against the custodial parent or child who is the subject of the order or judgment.”
  • It has been three years since the child support order was issued: After three years, the court may recalculate both parent’s current income to see if modification is warranted.
  • Either parent has had a 15 percent increase or decrease in income since the order was last adjusted or modified: If the income has decreased and the parent is actively seeking employment that will offset or increase their previous income, a decrease in child support may be justified.

Reasons why your request for a child support modification can be denied

If you are unable to accurately account for or document any of the reasons above, chances are your request for modification will be or has been denied. A substantial change in circumstances has to be more than, for instance, a $15 per month raise in your rent.  Lastly, if you voluntarily resigned from a job and, therefore, had a decrease of 15 percent or more as a result, your modification request will be turned down.

Call us today to schedule a consultation to discuss your situation

Whether you are seeking to decrease your child support payments because of a substantial change in your circumstances or are a custodial parent seeking an increase in support, our New York City child support attorney can help. To learn more about the process and what we can do for you, please call us at (212) 349-1600 or contact us online to schedule a confidential consultation.