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Modifying Child Support Agreements Is Possible, But with Strict Conditions

Child Support Lawyer long Island

Life after a divorce can be difficult, but former spouses must continue living their lives after their divorce is final — separately, this time. There could be an adjustment period, especially if both parties had to make concessions to make the separation as amicable as possible. They might have agreed to pay for spousal and child support or moved to a smaller residence. They could also be getting used to living on a smaller income or giving up weekends with the kids to grant the other party his or her visitation rights.

There is, however, a silver lining for individuals who’re having a hard time adjusting to the circumstances they’ve found themselves in following a divorce, and it’s called post-judgment modification.

Modification in Family Law

The terms of a divorce settlement are enforceable until a judge decides to change them Either party can petition to change the terms of their divorce. Still, they must first provide sufficient proof and meet certain conditions before a judge would even consider a modification request.

If you are a divorcé or divorcée living in Long Island, and you think you have enough grounds to justify a modification request, we’ll be happy to offer our services. The Law Offices of Ian S. Mednick, P.C. focus on areas related to Family Law, and our divorce attorneys in Long Island have been representing clients from Nassau and Suffolk Counties for years. We can answer your questions about the criteria and application process for post-divorce modifications in New York.

Do You Have Proof?

The state of New York allows modifications to the court order or any agreement made by both parties that are not merged into the judgment of their divorce. It is crucial, however, for the requesting party to present substantial evidence proving the need for the modifications.

Most of the time, applicants file to reduce monthly support payments or to increase child support payments. Parties filing for the modifications must provide irrefutable proof of the change in their living circumstances. For example, the party requesting for more financial support should provide evidence justifying the increasing needs. Below are examples of conditions that could hold water in court:

  • Loss of employment disability or other conditions
  • The children are about to start school and their needs have changed
  • The school where both parties chose to enroll their children raised their fees
  • A child has contracted an illness that requires long-term treatment
  • Unanticipated expenses have arose

Ex-spouses who want to reduce his or her monthly payments must also show proof that the circumstances are now different from when the decision was first made and they must provide what is known as extreme hardship. Valid reasons for alimony modifications could be:

  • A change in employment
  • Job loss
  • Reduction in regular income
  • An illness or disability prevents the ex-spouse from earning as much
  • An illness or disability requires the ex-spouse to spend for expensive, long-term treatment
  • Higher cost of living due to inflation
  • The recipient is experiencing a substantial increase in income or remarries/cohabits with a new partner who can provide for his or her needs

Requirements for Modification

The New York City Bar cites three qualified circumstances that will justify a modification in child support payments:

  • There’s been a substantial change in circumstances for either party.
  • It’s been at least three (3) years since the spousal support order or the last modification.
  • There’s been at least a 15% decrease or increase in either ex-spouse’s income.

Take note, however, that nothing is cut-and-dry in family court. You could meet all three requirements, but that’s still not a guarantee that the Long Island family court will grant your request.

Boost your chances of having your petition approved by consulting with our divorce attorneys on the matter. We’ll assess your case, provide honest feedback on the odds of your request getting approved, and guide you through the process from collecting documentary proof to submitting the petition to your local clerk of court.

Get in touch with The Law Offices of Ian S. Mednick, P.C. today.