What Are The Legitimate Reasons The Court Will Consider An Upward Modification Of Child Support In New York?
The reasons the court might consider an upward child support modification are similar to a downward modification. If you have reason to believe that the non-custodial parent’s income has gone up in any substantial way, you can file a petition for upward modification. The judge will look at all the evidence. Both parties must submit income tax returns, pay stubs and proof of income since the order was entered. If there has been an increase in income, or possibly a decrease in your own income, that could result in a change in child support. This is because child care, educational expenses and medical expenses are divided between the two parents according to their respective income. Thus, if your income has gone down, and you can establish that it’s not your fault, then the judge might reallocate certain expenses so that you pay less and the other party pays more.
There’s also an automatic right to file for a child support adjustment after 3 years. This is called a cost of living adjustment.
How Are Child Support Orders Generally Enforced In New York State?
The beneficiary of a child support order has the right to file a violation petition if child support is not paid. If the support magistrate finds that the other party is willfully or intentionally disobeying a court order, they have several options. The magistrate can enter a judgment for the amount of the child support arrears. Just like any other civil judgment, this will be enforced if necessary by seizing bank accounts, garnishing wages and any other outlet available by law.
The magistrate could also place the violating parent on probation. While on probation, they’ll monitor the case, ensuring regular payments are made for a period of time. If the parent on probation complies, the case may get dismissed. If not, there could be further proceedings. In the worst case scenario for the parent in violation, the magistrate could recommend up to 6 months of jail for contempt of a court order to pay child support. A decision such as this would get reviewed by a judge, and if the judge concurs with the recommendation of the magistrate, the parent in violation may be incarcerated.
In response to a recommendation for incarceration by the magistrate, normally the judge will set a purge amount. A purge amount is a flat amount which must be paid by a specified date. If the Judge approves the magistrate’s order, they’ll set an amount that the non-custodial parent must pay to avoid the 6-month sentence. If they pay the amount, the contempt is purged and the case is dismissed. If they don’t pay it, there’s a good chance they are going to jail.
Outside of Family Court, the support collection unit in New York can also enforce judgments. The support collection unit in New York typically accomplishes this by garnishing paychecks or suspending driver’s licenses and other licenses.