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What to Do if Revised Income Levels Affect Child Support Obligations

Divorce law is constantly in flux, especially on the state level. It’s one of the chief reasons you should not try to tackle a divorce without a highly-experienced lawyer. There’s simply no way a layperson can keep up with all the changes affecting NY divorce law, including alterations affecting the three major concerns affecting most couples: division of marital assets, child custody and child support.

Child support standards

A parent’s child support obligation is usually based on a total of the adjusted gross income of both parents and then calculating a percentage of that sum, based on the number of children requiring support. From now until April 2014, the income levels of parents used to determine their annual child support requirement are as follows:

  • Combined Parental Income of $136,000
  • Self-Support Reserve of $15,512
  • Poverty Income Guidelines (for a single person) of $11,490

These figures may change in April as New York updates income tables every two years. Unfortunately, these revisions could leave you in a bind, whether you are the parent receiving child support or the parent who pays. What can you do if your obligations change?

Modification of child support obligation

Child support orders can be changed by requesting a modification for either an increase or decrease, depending on parental financial circumstances. Modifications may be granted under the following circumstances:

  • A significant change in either parent’s income (15 percent or more)
  • Three years have passed since the original order or earlier modification
  • A substantial change in circumstances

If changes to New York divorce law or other factors affect your child support payments, whether as the custodial parent or the parent paying child support, contact our law firm for assistance in requesting modification of child support payments.

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