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Modifying child support orders

When a court enters in a child support agreement on the record, it is not necessarily final. Instead, a child support order can be modified under several circumstances.

If the circumstances have changed since the final orders were recorded, a parent may be able to petition the judge for a modification hearing to make adjustments to it. Situations in which a parent's income or the cost of caring for a child have changed substantially are two examples of why a parent may seek such a hearing.

In reviewing the specifics regarding the request for modification, contributing factors such as a child's tuition increasing or a parent's hours at work decreasing will be taken into consideration. In doing so, the court may raise or lower the child support obligation the non-custodial parent must pay accordingly.

Additionally, either parent can request a modification of child support to be lowered or increased if at least three years have gone by since the last computation. A parent can also seek to have child support lowered if his or her income has involuntary been reduced by 15 percent or more since the last calculation.

In order to have an order modified, the parent must file a petition for modification with the court of jurisdiction. Even if the parent has lost his or her job or his or her income has been substantially reduced, a parent is liable for any back child support and the penalties attached until the new modification order has been put into effect.

The provisions of the Uniform Interstate Family Support Act mandates that the issuing state of the child support order retains jurisdiction. However, there are exceptions to this rule in cases in which one of the parents has moved from the state.

In these cases, the onus falls on the parent seeking enforcement of the order to seek out a withholding order. It is only when this order is sent to the other parent's new state of residence that the order will then be administered.

If you or someone you know has a current child support agreement that needs modification, a New York child support modification attorney can provide advice and guidance in your legal matter.

Source:, "Modification of child support order," Jody Gerber, accessed Feb. 03, 2017

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