Child support is an essential tool used to help provide for children whose
parents are no longer together. However, sometimes those payments become
too restrictive or are not adequate to provide for the child’s needs.
When your financial situation changes or your child’s needs increase,
it may be time for you to consider seeking a child support modification
to better suit your current circumstances. When the court orders child
support, those payments must be followed or the guilty party could face
serious consequences. However, if you’ve undergone a significant
financial change, you can petition the court for an adjustment to those
existing orders to better reflect the needs of the child and the means
of either parent.
If you need to modify your child support payments, find out more about
the modification process and discover what you need to do next:
About Child Support Modifications
Child support is a useful tool family law courts use to ensure that divorced
or separated parents both contribute to their child’s wellbeing
in a financial way until the child reaches 18 years of age. Usually, the
parent who lives with and acts as primary caretaker for the child will
receive the child support payments on the child’s behalf. These
funds are to be used to provide the child with an education, stable home,
food, toys, and other essentials. However, if the supporting parent is
unable to meet the court-ordered payments because of some financial hardship
or significant change in circumstances, the court may grant a modification
to adjust those payments or to terminate them altogether.
When is a Modification Warranted?
New York courts will grant child support modifications only when the circumstances
of the child or of either parent have changed significantly. Examples
of significant changes include:
- The medical or financial needs of the child have changed
- One parent becomes financially responsible for more children
- Either parent loses their job
- Either parent experiences a significant change in income
- Child custody or visitation has changed
- Either parent relocates
- Either parent faces a major health problem or disability
Usually, these changes occur if either parent remarries, begins a new job,
has another child, or experiences some type of financial hardship. Additionally,
if either parent becomes ill or develops some type of mental or physical
disability, their change in circumstances could warrant an adjustment
to their support payments. Any changes to the child’s medical needs
will also justify a court-ordered modification.
Your Next Step
If you or your co-parent has experienced any of the significant changes
listed above, you may be eligible to seek legally-binding child support
modification. After you’ve determined that you may have just cause
to request a modification, you need to contact your family law attorney
for help. Your attorney can file a request for a modification with the
court and work with you to develop a sound legal plan prior to your court
date. However, if the parents are able to come to an agreement independently
about a modification to the existing child support orders, it could save
you from additional time in court. In either situation, your experienced
family law attorney can assess your financial situation and help determine
how much you should be paying or receiving in child support.
Contact The Law Firm of Wayne F. Crowe, Jr., P.C.
today to discuss your family law case with our Bronx divorce attorneys.