For New York couples who are getting or have gotten a divorce and are dealing with child and spousal support issues, the concept of a cost of living adjustment is relatively straightforward. The amount that the paying former spouse and parent is ordered to pay can be changed based on how much it costs to live. However, people might make the mistake of thinking that there is no recourse when there is a request for a COLA. The law does allow for an objection to a COLA. For parents who are objecting and the parent who is seeking to receive COLA, it is imperative to understand the law in these circumstances.

Either party can object to a COLA whether the order is made by the court or by the support collection unit. This must be done in writing within 35 days from the date the adjusted order was mailed. The other party must also receive a copy of the written objection. When the objection has been filed in a timely manner, the COLA will not go into effect until there is a hearing.

When there is a hearing, the court will either make a new order that accords with the law that there be a COLA when it is needed; or it can decide that there should not be an adjustment based on COLA and the child support order will remain the same as it was before. There does not need to be proof that there was a change in circumstances. The hearing will be held within 45 days from the date the objection to the COLA is received. If there was no objection within the necessary timeframe, the adjustment will be made and there will not be a further review.

For parents who are concerned about COLA from either perspective, it is imperative to understand when there can be an objection to the order. A law firm that understands all areas of family law including divorce legal issues, child support and other considerations after the end of a marriage can help. Since there are time constraints with COLA and lodging an objection, it is important to act quickly and get legal advice on how to proceed.