A significant concern among non-custodial parents after a divorce is how much child support they are required to pay. The state of New York, like most other states, determines the level of child support based on the amount of money made by the non-custodial parent. However, life circumstances can change, leaving parents with a bigger child support bill than they can afford. Here’s what to do if you think you may be paying too much child support.
Never Reduce or Stop Making Your Payments Without Consulting an Attorney
Most often, the reason needed for lowering child support payments is demotion or job loss. However, it is against the law to reduce or stop making your child support payments without consulting an attorney and having your original court order modified. This is true even if you suddenly cannot afford to make those payments. If you stop payments without first going through the proper channels, you could be held in contempt of court and face fines and jail time.
How Your Attorney Can Help
If a job loss, demotion, or even an accidental injury or illness has changed your financial situation, your attorney can help you petition the court for a change in your child support orders. Typically, with sufficient evidence of your new income, a court can lower your child support payments to an affordable level until your circumstances change again.
Be Aware That Child Support Changes Can Go the Other Way Too
In much the same way that you can request the court to re-evaluate your finances to determine if you qualify for a lower child support payment, your ex may also petition the court for a raise in child support if you received a substantial pay increase. However, if your ex is asking for more child support without adequate grounds, you’ll need to defend yourself. Again, evidence of how much money you make is typically all that is required.
At the Law Offices of Mary Katherine Brown, we can help you navigate the challenging waters of child support and other family law matters, including child custody, divorce, and more. Contact our office today to learn more about how to reduce your child support payments without penalty and to schedule a consultation by calling (718) 878-6886.Posted in : Divorce ,