As a parent, you have a moral obligation to provide for your children. After going through a divorce, though, you may also have a legal obligation to provide. That is, a court may have ordered you to make regular child support payments. If you fail to do so, officials in New York have a variety of options for forcing your compliance.
While complying with your court order is a good strategy, it is possible to seek a modification of your support order. Here are three ways to argue for modification of your financial obligations:
Change in circumstances
Your circumstances may have changed considerably since you received your support order. If there has been a substantial change, a judge may decrease or increase your payment obligation. Not every change qualifies for a modification, however. Typically, you must show either a significant change in income or in the cost of raising your son or daughter.
Involuntary change in gross income
Individuals sometimes lose their jobs or otherwise experience a loss of income. If your gross income has dropped by at least 15 percent, you may be able to obtain a modification of your support order. If you choose to go this route, though, you must be actively looking for a better-paying job or another type of meaningful income increase.
Passage of time
Finally, it is possible to pursue a modification of a support order after three years have passed. Therefore, if it has been more than three years since an initial order or a modification, a judge may agree to change your support obligations after reviewing your current finances.
If you have an existing support order, you must continue to comply with the order until a judge agrees to modify it. Nonetheless, by understanding the reasons a judge may grant changes, you can plan for your financial future.