When can I get a child-support modification?

Posted by Lauren S. CohenJun 29, 20210 Comments

Though there is no guarantee the court will grant it, either parent can petition for a child support modification in certain situations.

A modification may be sought when either parent has a material change in circumstances if three years have passed since the original order or last modification.

Change of circumstances

If either parent's gross income changes by 15% or more, whether up or down, either one can request a modification. However, there are other times when a child support modification is possible. For example, if a child's medical needs increase, the custodial parent could request a modification. A significant decrease in the payer's income might also justify a modification, as would a situation where the custodial parent acquires a permanent disability.

Cost of living

The New York child support agency automatically reviews the support orders every two years. If there has been a more than 10% cost of living increase since the last review, the child support amount will increase by the same percentage. The agency will send a notification to each parent if the case is eligible for the cost of living adjustment, and either of them can request an adjustment without going to court. If a child receives government assistance, the court will automatically adjust the child support payment amount without the parents' request.

It is unlikely that a child support payment will not change at some point during the duration of the order. Each case is unique, and the court will consider both parents' circumstances when responding to a request for modification.