Can I receive a cost of living adjustment with child support?

On Behalf of | Mar 19, 2019 | Divorce |

In New York, when there is a divorce and a couple has ended its marriage, children from the marriage will still need to be supported. In general, there will be one parent who has custody and the other parent will receive visitation rights. Also, the noncustodial parent will frequently be ordered to pay child support to the custodial parent. The amount, however, is not set in stone and it can be changed for various reasons.

In many cases, one parent or the other will request an agreement modification because there is some issue with making or receiving a sufficient amount. In others, the need to change the agreement is due simply to changes in the cost of living. Understanding when there can be a cost of living adjustment is critical to a case and for the child to be appropriately cared for.

The New York Child Support Enforcement Unit conducts its reviews every two years. It will use this review to decide if a COLA is applicable. There are two circumstances under which there can be a COLA. They are: if there were two years from the order being made, there being a court modification, or a prior COLA; or if the annual average Consumer Price Index for All Urban Consumers has changed by 10 percent or more from the prior order.

These adjustments will be made without the need to go to court. If the case is not one in which Temporary Assistance is being provided, both parties will be informed when there can be a COLA. Either can request the amount be adjusted. For those who are getting Temporary Assistance, the change will be made automatically as soon as eligibility comes about and no one needs to ask for a COLA.

Child support is essential for the child’s care. The amount that is paid will hinge on many factors as will an agreement modification. COLA is part of the process. When there is a desire or a need for the agreement to be modified to account for changes to cost of living, having legal assistance is wise. A law firm that specializes in divorce, child support and other family law matters can be of immense value in a case and should be called for a consultation.