The final divorce decree that officially separates you from your spouse is not necessarily the end of a divorce. Depending on your circumstances, this can be either fortunate or unfortunate. Regardless, the flexibility in a divorce decree can impact you or your ex-spouse’s child support obligations, if it can be proven that there has been a substantial change in the payor’s life circumstances.
If your life situation has changed, and it is making it difficult for you to meet your child support obligations under the divorce decree, there is a way to make things better.
Child Support Modifications
If you are going through hard times and it is making it difficult to meet your child support obligation, pursuing a child support modification is something to look into. By petitioning to modify your support obligation, you can lower your regular payment and focus on keeping your own head above water. If there is evidence that you will not be able to meet your obligations if they are not changed, then courts are likely to grant your request under the notion that it is better for everyone – you, your ex-spouse, and your children – in the long run.
Who Is Eligible for a Child Support Modification
There are several ways that you can become eligible for a modification to your child support obligation:
- It has been at least three years since the original support order was made, modified, or adjusted,
- Either you or your ex-spouse’s gross income has changed by 15 percent or more, or
- There has been a “substantial change” in your circumstances.
The first two options are straightforward, though can require some documentation to prove. The third option, however, is a very fact-specific matter that can be difficult to prove without an experienced family law attorney.
How to Request a Modification in Your Child Support Payment
If you are struggling to meet your support obligation, it is up to you to petition for a change – one will not be made for you, even if you fall behind on your payments. To help out, the New York court system has provided the petition form online.
Having a Family Law Attorney on Your Side Increases Your Success Rate
Family law attorneys like those at the Bombardo Law Office file petitions to modify child support orders all the time, and their familiarity with the process can drastically improve your chance of success. Contact the Bombardo Law Office online.