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 attorneys for help. Your child support attorneys 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 attorneys can assess your financial situation and help determine how much you should be paying or receiving in child support.
Contact Empire Law today to discuss your family law case with our Bronx child support attorneys.