When employment changes and other shifting circumstances affect a parent’s financial situation, it may be time to examine child support payments and increase or decrease them accordingly.
Some of the most common reasons to change child support include:
- A substantial change in income, such as that brought about by job loss or a promotion
- Change in other support, like increased health care costs or a change in the amount of physical custody and related expenses born by one parent
- Passage of time
Modifying child support can be a very fact-specific endeavor. An experienced child support lawyer can help a parent ensure all of the relevant factors are accounted for.
Options for changing child support
Child support can be changed by agreement between the parties or by asking the court to decide. In either case, the change needs to be formalized by the judge in a legally-enforceable order. The steps and requirements are different in each state so be sure that the family lawyer you retain is experienced in the state in which your original child support order was entered.
Child support modification in New Jersey
In New Jersey, a parent can request a modification at any time. The request must be filed with the court in the form of a motion or application. The court will schedule a hearing to take place about four to six weeks after the filing.
If both parties to the child support order agree to a change, they must submit a consent order to the court. The change becomes effective after the judge reviews the consent order and signs it.
Child support modification in New York
Child support modification in New York is a bit more structured than in New Jersey.
Either party can request a change based upon a substantial change in circumstance. If the prior order or agreement was not ordered before October 13, 2010, a party can also request a change if more than three years has passed since the order was entered or modified or if either party’s gross income has changed by 15% or more since the last order entry or modification.
The party seeking the change in support must file a petition for modification along with an affidavit and any documents that support the request. The court will issue a summons and serve the petition on the other parent. The length of time between filing a petition and the court hearing varies from case to case.
If the parties agree on the modification, they must stipulate to a modification petition and the judge can grant the petition without requiring a hearing.
How can a child support lawyer help?
An original child support order or a modification can reasonably be expected to impact the family for at least the following three years so it is important not to overlook any factors before reaching an agreement or taking a request to a judge. The family law attorneys at Kantrowitz, Goldhamer & Graifman have over four decades of experience in handling these sensitive family members, firmly representing clients’ rights while maintaining compassion and understanding.
Call us today to set up a consultation.
Additional “Child Support Adjustment” Resources
- New Jersey Courts, Child Support Enforcement, http://www.judiciary.state.nj.us/probchild/index.html
- New York State, Child Support Services, https://www.childsupport.ny.gov/dcse/child_support_services.html