How is Child Support Determined?
When parents of minor children divorce, the noncustodial parent must pay child support to the custodial parent to ensure their needs are met.
Child support is based on several factors, such as:
- The noncustodial parent’s income
- The number of children in need of support
- The custody arrangement
- And more
However, life constantly changes and, in many cases, modifications are necessary to accommodate these changes. For example, if you recently lost your job, it is unlikely you will be able to continue making these payments. Under these circumstances, it is crucial to request a modification as soon as possible.
Otherwise, you will still be on the hook for the payments you miss. If you fall behind on your payments, you cannot retroactively modify the support order.
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Under What Circumstances Can I Modify My Child Support Order in New York?
If you are on good terms with your former spouse, discuss the changes your life recently underwent and why you will need to reduce your child support payments. However, even if you and your former spouse can reach an agreement on modifying the child support order, you must still go through official channels to ensure you are protected.
Of course, more often than not, it is difficult for former spouses to agree on a modification of the child support order. In this case, you should consider hiring an experienced attorney to guide you through the process.
As a rule, in New York, the court will only reduce the child support order if:
- There was a substantial change in circumstances, such as a layoff or serious illness
- The noncustodial parent experienced a change in income (at least 15%) since the original order went into effect or since its last modification
- Three years passed since the original order or since its last modification
If you quit your job or you were fired, on the other hand, it could affect your ability to reduce the child support order. The court will continue to base your child support payments on your “imputing income,” which is essentially the income you could earn based on your job history, skills, education, and job availability.
Therefore, it is never a good idea to voluntarily quit your job to evade child support payments. You could potentially end up in a worse predicament.
Discuss Your Child Support Case with Us Today!
If your child support order is no longer sustainable, you can pursue a modification and reduce the amount according to your change in circumstances. It is crucial to act fast, however, so reach out to the team at MONTEFUSCO | PAMMER to secure the exceptional legal guidance you need to effectively navigate this complex legal process.
Our team has been assisting clients through some of the most delicate and complicated family law issues since 1998 and would be honored to do the same for you.
Get started on your case today and contact us at (631) 801-0007 to schedule a free initial consultation with a member of our team.