If you are facing a change in your work or living situation, you may be
considering an alteration in your child support payments. Below are instruction
on how to amend your order to accommodate your changing needs.
You should first try and reach out to the other parent to see if a modification
can be made that is agreeable to the both of you. In this case you can
simply have a judge sign off on the modification.
If it is not possible for you and your spouse to come to an agreement,
you will have to petition the court for a modification. In a hearing,
you will need to present the court with facts pertaining to your circumstances
which make the modification necessary.
Temporary & Permanent Modifications
The court may make either a temporary or permanent modification based on
the situation. A child's medical emergency, the payer's temporary
inability to pay from an illness or temporary financial burden, or a brief
financial or medical hardship can qualify for temporary modifications.
Permanent modifications can be arranged under any of the following circumstances:
- Rising cost of living
- Child support laws change
- Either parent becomes disabled
- Either parent loses a job or finds a new job with lower pay
- The child's needs change significantly
- Either parent remarries resulting in an increase in household income
It is important to notify the court when you become unable to make child
support payments due to your financial circumstances—payments you
miss become arrears and you will need to pay them at some point. No judge
can reduce them retroactively and bankruptcy will not affect support payments.
File a motion with the court as soon as the other parent refuses to agree
to a modification. Even if the other parent agrees, be sure to get this
in writing and approved by a judge so they cannot later change their minds.
In addition, you may be forced to pay higher and higher support payments
if your support order includes a cost of living clause as determined by
an economic indicator.
To schedule your complimentary consultation with our firm regarding a modification
of your child support payments, call (646) 233-2330.