Thursday, February 13, 2014

Valid Reasons for reducing child support payment

Q:  I want to modify my child support monthly payment amount since I can no longer able to maintain my current basic expenses (rent, food, car payment) and keep up with the demands of the child support payments. I want to know what I can expect from the court and if this is a valid concern that would help me lower the payments just a little bit below the standard percentage that's apply to everyone (ie I pay 25% for two kids and I want to lower my payments to about 22% or 20%). Again, I'm struggling to make ends meat and this is the reason for trying to lower the payments but want to make sure I take all the necessary backup if needed.

A:  First, the Court cannot generally change the percentage, unless the combined parental income exceeds $141,000 (as of 2014). Second, how likely the court will reduce the support may depend more on how substantial a decrease of income you've had & the reasons for the decrease. Third, I'd need to know whether the original support was done pursuant to a stipulation of settlement or mere order - and whether it's more than 3 years old. You're thus best advised to schedule a consultation with a Westchester Child Support attorney for a full assessment.  -- David Bliven, Westchester Child Support attorney (

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