530 Oak St. Suite 102 | Syracuse, New York 13203
How a Court Decides Child Support Modification Requests
In general, the non-custodial parent of a minor must pay child support to the other parent. The amount of support is based on the child’s living expenses and the paying parent’s income and resources. Once the support order is in place, it continues in force unless and until it expires or is modified by the court. In New York, the child support order can be modified only for strong reasons.
In general, a court can modify a child support order based on a “substantial change in circumstances.” This can include a wide variety of events or conditions such as a job loss, a major illness or imprisonment.
A modification may also be granted in either of these situations:
Note that a loss of a job or a decrease in income does not automatically entitle a paying parent to reduce the amount of child support. Some people quit their jobs or intentionally earn less money just to reduce their child support obligations. The income reduction must have been involuntary and the paying parent must have made diligent efforts to secure employment consistent with his or her education, ability, and experience. Otherwise, the court “imputes” an amount of income to the parent based upon their potential for earning rather than their actual earnings.
The support modification process is fairly straightforward but can be contentious. The parent requesting a modification files a petition with the court that states the reasons for the requested change. The other parent gets notice and a copy of the petition. Both parents have a right to be heard on the matter and they will have an opportunity to settle through negotiations or mediation. If the parents do not reach an accord, a judge will hear both sides. If a modification is granted, the old order becomes invalid as of the date of the new order. Anyone requesting or opposing a modification should seek help from a qualified child support lawyer to best protect their interests.
Based in Syracuse, Bombardo Law Office, P.C. represents parents throughout central New York in child support cases. I work diligently to help each client achieve the best results possible under the circumstances with the least amount of stress. Feel free to contact me online or call 315-800-4002 for an initial consultation.
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530 Oak St. Suite 102
Syracuse, New York 13203
Bombardo Law Office, P.C. is located in Syracuse, NY and serves clients in and around Syracuse, Liverpool, Camillus, Warners, Nedrow, Cicero, Clay, Marcellus, East Syracuse, Elbridge and Jamesville.
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