Sunday, September 7, 2014

Downward modification. How can I get a downward modification of child support?

Q: Let me say I am not looking to get out of paying child support, I only have 1yr to go. I was unemployed for awhile - plant closed and I tried to get a downward modification after that happen to no avail. The Support Magistrate denied it, several times. I recently became employed and my earnings are much less & again I wish to take my paycheck to show that a downward modification is necessary. Plus, my son is now in college full-time living at school. Since my ex is not paying for the incidentals that were normally paid for, lights, food, water bill etc. Does this change also effect support? My child will be 20 this December. So I have been paying the current support even though the last two years he has been away at school and I have been unemployed. They reside in New York State.

A: David's Answer: The issue is whether you are able to document your prior "diligent job search" so as to prove the job you did get was commensurate with your prior earnings (i.e., it was the best job you could get under the circumstances). Moreover, since you'd be liable for your share of college expenses, the fact that your son is attending college won't help you & could indeed result in a higher order. - David Bliven, Westchester Child Support attorney (

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