For New Yorkers who share a child and have gotten a divorce, it is common that one spouse will pay child support to the custodial parent for the child's care and upkeep. There are calculations that are generally used to determine how much it will be. However, circumstances can change and there might be the need on the part of either the paying former spouse or the receiving former spouse for an agreement modification. Understanding how and when such a child support modification can take place is key to it being done in a timely fashion.
The main objective with child support is for the best interests of the child to be met. However, it is unavoidable that people will experience changes in their lives. Financially, they could meet a rough patch. They could lose a job. Or there could be sudden medical expenses. If there is a change in circumstances and a paying parent has fallen behind in payments, even if there is a modification, the child support that is owed from the past still needs to be paid.
There are certain situations that can warrant the child support order being modified. They include: a substantial change in circumstances; three years passed from the time the order was made or there was a modification; or a parent has had a change in income that has increased or decreased it by 15 percent and the change was involuntary. Once the order has been modified, the change will be effective the date of the filing of the petition.
A mistake that people often make when they are having issues meeting their child support payments is to simply reduce the payments on their own or stop making them entirely. That can cause significant problems as they will have legal issues on top of their financial issues. If the circumstances warrant it, a child support modification is possible if the law is adhered to. A law firm that handles family legal issues, divorce, child support and any dispute can help.