While child support is meant to provide financial means to care for a child whose parents do not live together, it nonetheless must be fair and reasonable. As such, if the party that is paying or receiving support experiences an event or life change that affects his or her finances, it may be grounds for the modification of a support award. In a recent child support case in New York, the court discussed when a modification of a child support obligation is warranted and what the party seeking the modification must prove. If you or your co-parent are obligated to pay child support, and either of you experienced a change in circumstances, you should speak to an experienced New York child support attorney to assess your rights.
It is reported that the mother and father married in 2002 and had a child in 2003. They entered into a separation agreement in 2014 that, in part, imposed a child support obligation on the father. The agreement was modified in 2015, and both the agreement and the addendum were incorporated into the judgment of divorce the court issued later that year.
Allegedly, in 2017, three separate actions related to child support were filed by the parties. Specifically, the father filed a request for a downward modification of his support obligation, the mother filed a pleading regarding the father’s failure to comply with his support obligation, and a second pleading asking the court to hold him in willful contempt for failing to pay. On each of the pleadings, the court found in favor of the mother. The father then appealed, arguing the court erred in denying his request for a downward modification.