A finalized divorce decree might seem like the ending to the long and arduous process of officially separating from someone. However, life goes on after a divorce, and both you and your ex-spouse might go through hard times, financially, especially soon after the split. One of the things that happens all too often after a divorce is someone loses his or her job. When times get as tough as this, a child support obligation can become more and more difficult to manage. Knowing this, courts provide the option for a child support modification if you can prove that there have been “substantial changes” to your living circumstances since the decree went into effect.
The “Substantial Changes” Must Be Beyond Your Control
One of the things that courts will look at, if you try to get a child support modification on the basis of a “substantial change” to your living situation, is what brought about the change. Courts are wary of divorced parents making financial decisions or job changes that are highly likely to impact their ability to pay child support. Therefore, courts will often refuse to grant a modification request, if they determine that your unemployment has not made you truly unable to meet your child support obligation.
Two cases have happened in New York that brings out how this can work.
Not Aggressively Seeking New Employment After Losing a Job Will Prevent a Modification
Courts in New York have refused to grant a child support reduction to someone who has lost a job, but hasn’t satisfactorily sought out a new one to replace the lost income. In one case, a child’s father lost his position through no fault of his own. However, the court determined that he did not prove that he was active enough in finding a new one to warrant a child support modification. Because he did not show a true inability to earn enough to make his obligation, his modification request was denied.
How Aggressively You Look for a New Job Can Help Your Modification Request
On the other hand, diligently trying to get a new job can go great lengths to a successful modification request. After losing his job through no fault of his own, a child’s father sent out over 200 resumes and registered at 15 employment agencies to make his obligation. When he requested a modification to lower his payment, the court granted it, citing his diligence in getting a new job.
Family Law Attorneys Can Help
Contact the Bombardo Law Office online if you need to lower your child support obligation. We have successfully represented clients in similar positions in the past, and will continue to in the future. Call us today at (315)488-5544.