Why Do Courts Deny Child Support Modification?
Child support orders in New York are created to remain effective and unchanged from the court order until the supported child becomes legally emancipated or reaches the age of 21, whichever comes first. However, most divorced parents experience a change in their finances or the material needs of their child before the child support order before the end of its effective life. When this happens, one or both of the child’s parents may believe that the child support may need to increase or decrease from the original court order.
Here are several reasons Long Island courts will refuse to modify a child support order and what you can do to improve the chances your Child Support Modification case will be successful.
Valid Reasons to Request Child Support Modification in New York
There are a number of reasons a divorced parent may want to petition the court to modify their child support order, including but not limited to:
- The payer has received a substantial increase in their income. For example, if the payer gets a raise or is promoted, a parent may request the court to re-calculate child support payments based on the payer’s new income. Most of the time, the recipient will file for a modification versus the payer when the recipient learns that their ex is earning more money.
- The child’s financial needs have increased. If your child has experienced a significant increase in their need for care, such as if they are injured or become ill, a request may be made to the court for the non-custodial parent to pay more child support to meet the child’s new needs.
- The payer has received a decrease in their income. A parent paying child support can request a modification to the court order if they suddenly become unable to meet their support obligations. Usually, in this case, the recipient will not be the one to request alterations to the child support order, since this means they will typically receive less.
- The payer has become ill or incarcerated. Beyond changes to the payer’s financial status, a support order must be modified if the parent paying support goes to jail, becomes ill, or otherwise cannot reasonably be expected to make their child support payments.
Reasons Child Support Modification Might Be Denied
Modification requests must be carefully considered by a judge and they aren’t always practical. Some reasons a child support modification might be denied include:
- There wasn’t a significant enough change in the payer’s income to warrant a modification of the original child support order. A judge will use New York’s standard support formula to calculate the amount that a payer is responsible for, but this may not necessarily result in a higher or lower child support payment. If not, the judge will not order a change to the support order.
- The child’s increased need does not warrant a change to the child support order. For example, the cost of a child’s extracurricular activities may be low enough that the amount of support already being issued will cover the costs. In this case, the court is less likely to grant a new order.
- The petitioner misrepresented their case. A child support order may not be modified if the petitioning parent was found to have misrepresented their case in order to pay less or receive more than they ordinarily would have under New York’s child support guidelines.
How a Long Island Divorce Lawyer Can Help with Child Support Modification
A Long Island divorce attorney can help you prepare a compelling case regardless of which side of the issue you are on. If you are the payer and your ex is petitioning for an increase in support, an experienced lawyer can help you show that your income does not facilitate a higher payment. If you are the recipient and your ex-spouse has gotten a new job or a raise, your lawyer can help you obtain evidence that your ex has, in fact, undergone a substantial change in material resources.
Contact Hornberger Verbitsky, P.C. Today for Help with Child Support Modifications
Don’t hesitate to reach out for legal advice when dealing with matters of family law. Your future and the well-being of your children rely on the best possible outcomes in court. You need a zealous, committed divorce attorney on your side to help you make the most compelling case. Contact Hornberger Verbitsky, P.C. today to learn more about modifying a child support order and how our office can assist you. Call now by dialing 631-923-1910 or fill out the short form on this page.
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