In the scope of family law, there are few court orders that cannot be amended. You cannot undo a divorce or decide you really didn't want to adopt the beautiful baby that has grown into an unruly teenager. But when appropriate, you can seek a post-judgment modification of child support or spousal maintenance orders or agreements if there has been a substantial, unforeseen change in circumstances. It is also possible to enforce these orders or agreements if your ex-spouse or your child's other parent has failed to live up to his or her end of the bargain.
At The Mandel Law Firm, our representation of you and your needs doesn't necessarily stop the day your child custody and support agreement or divorce decree is finalized. Sometimes it becomes necessary to go back to court to seek a child custody modification, contest a child support modification petition brought by an opposing party or to enforce a child support or spousal maintenance award.
Our lawyers can also represent you if you live outside of New York state but have a case pending in the New York courts. Often you can testify by telephone without ever having to travel to New York. Contact us today to discuss your modification or enforcement matter with an experienced and knowledgeable team striving to be the best family law attorneys who are here to learn how we may be able to help you without ever having to come to New York state.
Modification of Child Support — Careful Analysis of the Law and Your Circumstances
If a substantial change in circumstances, such as job loss or serious illness, generates the need to increase the amount of child support received or decrease the amount of child support paid, a modification of child support may be appropriate. It is important to handle these matters as quickly as possible because child support payments are not retroactive and refunds are not available.
If the courts determine that a child support modification is applicable to your situation, they will apply the Child Support Standards Act formula on all combined parental income up to at least $141,000. If your income exceeds this amount, the court may use its discretion to determine your needs.
If you and your child's other parent prefer to come up with an agreement outside of the court, you do not have to apply state guidelines. The attorneys at The Mandel Law Firm can simply draft the necessary documents to accomplish this for you. In any event, it is always in your best interests to consult an attorney so you will know exactly what your potential rights and liabilities are when you "negotiate" the terms of your agreement. This is a classic example of knowledge being power. You also want to be certain the agreement you establish will stand up in court, if necessary.
Enforcement of Child Support — Collecting the Right Amount
The term "deadbeat dad" is quickly becoming a thing of the past. As technology continues to evolve, it becomes easier and easier for estranged mothers and fathers to be tracked, located and forced to pay child support. Failure to pay court-ordered or legally agreed-upon child support, or being in "arrears," can have a very negative impact on your credit history, driving privileges, ability to travel and even your freedom. If you have been served with a petition for child support, whether for the first time or for "arrears," do not ignore it. The consequences may be severe.
If you are owed child support from your child's other parent, you can petition the court to take enforcement action. As your legal representatives, we will help you effectively present your case in an effort to make sure you actually receive the financial support to which your child is entitled.
Modification and Enforcement of Spousal Maintenance
Modification of an order or agreement of spousal maintenance, also known as spousal support or alimony, is completely discretionary by the court. When petitioning the court for a modification of the amount of spousal maintenance you either receive or are required to pay, your attorney serves as your advocate. It is your lawyer's job to understand your needs and convey a compelling message to the court, describing why an unforeseen, substantial change in your circumstances should necessitate a modification.
If you were awarded spousal maintenance in your divorce and your former spouse has failed to follow the terms of your divorce decree, we can also assist you in receiving the money to which you are entitled.
"Don't let their problems become your problems." — Attorney Steven J. Mandel
Schedule Your Consultation Today With a Manhattan Post-Judgment Modification Lawyer
If you need the help of an experienced New York City family law attorney, call The Mandel Law Firm toll free at (888) 2 WIN NOW (888-294-6669) or locally at (646) 770-3868, or contact us by e-mail today.