People are free to make arrangements in their settlement agreements concerning the circumstances that would allow for child support to be changed as time moves on from their last child support order. Absent an agreement, however there are two different methods to try to change child support. The first, which most people know about, is filing a petition, application, or motion in the Family Court or Supreme Court to modify child support. The second method, not as widely known, is to serve and file a timely written objection to a notification by the Support Collection Unit of a Cost of Living Adjusted Order. If a timely written objection is properly made to the notice of the COLA increase or Cost of Living Adjusted Order, the court is required to then determine what child support would be based on current income or circumstances. This is called a “denovo” hearing on child support. This blog entry is intended to provide a general outline of these two different techniques. I am a Long Island Child Support Lawyer that handles cases on Long Island and all around the New York City area. Through experience, research and education, I gained my knowledge and experience with child support.
The law in New York regarding child support is commonly referred to as the Child Support Standards Act and is set forth in both the Domestic Relations Law and the Family Court Act. As the law stands in New York today, the default rule is that a party to a support order may seek to modify child support if since the last order: there exists a substantial change in circumstances; three years or more elapsed since the order was entered, modified or an adjustment made; or since the entry, modification, or adjustment of the order either party to the order has had a change to their gross income of fifteen percent or more. This is the law for cases filed subsequent to the law change in 2010. For orders that were before the law change, the old standard applies which was that absent an agreement for modifications otherwise, there would need to be a substantial change of circumstances. It was more challenging to obtain modifications under the old law. Continue reading →