Are you paying too much in child support? If so, you're not alone. Many parents struggle to make their monthly payments. Circumstances such as job loss, salary reductions, or having new children all impact your ability to keep up.
There are many legitimate reasons for reducing your child support payments, and you should understand your rights when faced with financial difficulty. Child support should not be an unbearable burden on anyone.
Here are some possible scenarios that could result in lowered child support payments. Take a look and see if any of these situations apply to you.
Changes in Income
If you experience a drastic, semi-permanent change in income, you may be eligible for child support modifications.
Eligible income changes include:
- reduced work hours
- a layoff or demotion
- military deployment
- a major medical emergency or an injury impacts your ability to work
Note that these changes come through no fault of your own. If you choose a lower-paying job or position, the court may not be sympathetic to your financial needs. The same is true if you were fired or demoted because of poor performance.
If you qualify for lowered payments, you must file an official petition as soon as possible with your state family court. This allows any adjustments to the current contract to happen sooner, which will be helpful. Until your agreement is officially changed, you must keep up with your current obligations.
Filing for a Child Support Modification in New York
You will need:
- Tax returns
- Pay stubs from the last 30 days
- A copy of your current child support orders
- Proof of health insurance coverage for the child (if applicable)
- Documentation related to any other income earned (like Social Security or pension payments)
- Any other related documents that can help, such as medical records or official notices from your employer
Additionally, you need forms detailing the changes that you require. Your attorney can help you collect and file all the necessary paperwork. You must then file your petition with the court that issued the original order.
Other Avenues Available for Reducing Child Support Payments
Before your modification becomes official, or if you are denied, you still have other options. For instance, you can appeal the original decision. You may be able to convince the court to reassess the original order and make necessary adjustments. You may have always been paying too much.
You can also bypass the court altogether. If you and the other parent have an amicable relationship, you can renegotiate a new child support agreement. As long as you both agree to the new terms, you can submit them to the court, making them the new, official payment plan.
Practical Ways to Lower Your Expenses
You can take some direct steps to help lower your payments as well. For instance, you can alter the time your children spend with you. Payments are based on overnights with each parent. The court assumes that you directly spend money on the children when you have physical custody, so it bases child support on how much time you have with them. Raising or lowering that time will directly impact your support payments.
You can explore alternative payment arrangements too, such as paying for travel expenses or recreational activities. The court or the other parent can exchange such payments for portions of your support obligations.
Before attempting any such plan, contact Law Office of Tzvi Y. Hagler, P.C.. We can help you determine the strategies that will best suit your needs.
If you’re struggling to keep up with your child support payments, contact us online today. We may be able to review your case and offer solutions. You can also reach us by calling (516) 514-3868.