The financial impact of divorce is a common stressor in American family life. Combining that with a pandemic and economic uncertainty creates an even bigger challenge. If you currently have a support order – be it child support, spousal support (maintenance) or both, you must continue to pay the court ordered or agreed upon amount. However, given many businesses were forced to close or lay off employees, it just might be impossible.
Our initial advice is pay what you can. In the eyes of the court, any amount that you can spare is better than nothing during this economic crisis.
Our next piece of advice is to formally petition to modify your support order. A party seeking a downward modification of a child support order must generally demonstrate three things: 1) that three years have passed since the order was entered, last modified or adjusted; 2) that there has been a change in either party’s gross income by 15% or more (through no fault of his/her own and that he/she has made diligent attempts to secure employment commensurate with his/her education, ability and experience) or 3) that there has been a substantial/unanticipated change in circumstances.
Regardless of where you find yourself in these difficult times, you must make an application to the court to modify your current order. A “handshake” deal with your ex-partner will not be honored by a support magistrate if you find yourself in court in the future.
Discuss Your Case with an Experienced New York Child Support Lawyer
If you have any questions regarding child support, child custody and/or divorce during this time, our offices are still fielding phone calls and would be happy to help in any way we can. Contact The Mandel Law Firm at (646) 770-3868 today to speak with a skilled child support attorney. You can also reach a member of our legal team via online message at [email protected] or by completing one of our contact forms.