New York couples who have children and have gotten a divorce will need to continue to deal with one another as the noncustodial parent pays child support to the custodial parent. For many, this is not a problem as they are happy to support their children. In some cases, however, there is a dispute over the payments and it is not due to a parent not paying or not wanting to pay, but because of the amount that was ordered in the case.
A question that is often asked is whether the child support can be changed. For the custodial parent and the supporting parent, it is important to understand that it can be changed and to know the circumstances when it can be done. A change in circumstances will warrant a change in the child support order. An example might be if the supporting parent lost his or her job and cannot make the payments as they were ordered in the decree. It is also possible to ask for a modification if three years have passed since the order or if there was a change of 15 percent or more in the income of either party in the intervening time from when the order was made.
It is required that there be a petition for modification with a statement that explains how the situation has changed and why the modification should be granted. The other party will receive the petition and a summons. There will be a hearing to determine if the change should be made. When an order is paid via the Support Collections Unit (SCU), it is reviewed every three years without the parents needing to do anything. This is to see if there should be a Cost of Living Adjustment (COLA). The parties can ask for the SCU to review the case. If there is a dispute over the possible new order, a hearing can be requested.
Family law can be complex and difficult and that holds true whether a couple is planning a divorce or has already ended their marriage and is still in dispute over various issues like child support. At any point in a case, legal help is imperative. This is especially true when seeking to modify a support order. Calling a law firm that specializes in divorce, child support and more is key to a successful resolution.