Help! My Child Support is Too High

November 25, 2009

Child support in the State of New York is paid by the non-custodial parent to the custodial parent. The amount of child support is usually set in a Judgement of Divorce, a Separation Agreement or by the Family Court. In most instances, the child support is paid by the father of the child to the mother of the child.

Daddy Loses His Job

What happens if Daddy loses his job? Unfortunately for Daddy, the answer to this question is that the child support stays the same. In a perfect world the father can call the mother and advise her about his loss of employment and the mother could stipulate to the reduction in child support. This stipulation could thereafter be submitted either to a Family Court judge or a Supreme Court judge to modify the prior order or judgmentregarding child support. In the real world, this doesn’t happen.

Downward Modification of Child Support

A parent who loses his job must bring an application either to the Family Court or the Supreme Court for a downward modification of his or her child support. After several conferences, there will be a hearing before a Support Magistrate or judge. The parent having the obligation of paying the child support will have to show that the loss of employment was not the fault of the non-custodial parent. He or she will also have to show this was an unforeseen change in circumstance and that he or she has used due diligence to obtain other employment. 

This process can take many months. In theory, the child support obligation continues to remain the same until there has been a decision by the Support Magistrate or judge after a trial. Thereafter, the child support modification is made retroactive to the date the initial petition was submitted to the court. The problem with this procedure is that the Support Collection Agency is not geared up to give the parent who pays the child support the credit for his or her overpayment during the months the downward modification was pending, unless you can bring it to the court’s attention.

Restitution for Overpayment

Due to the current economic crisis and the numerous applications by non-custodial parents to reduce their child support obligations, the procedures of support collection agencies need to be modified to provide restitution or credits to the parent who has overpaid his or her child support.

Reduce your child support! If you feel that your child support is too high, contact the child support attorneys at the Law Office of Elliot Schlissel at 800-344-6431.

Elliot S. Schlissel, Esq.


6 Responses to “Help! My Child Support is Too High”

  1. ourdreamfield Says:

    As someone so rightfully commented on a blog of my own, I will quote her:

    “…not such a good idea. Just because a non-custodial gets laid off doesn’t mean that the cost to raise a child decreases. If the custodial gets laid off, do you think the cost she/he has to continue taking care of a child is lowered? The answer is NO. Besides, so many people take advantage of unemployment anyway, by living off it until it runs out and they are forced to go back to work.”

    I completely agree with that statement. However, I think that if the two parents can come to an agreement ON THEIR OWN to allow the non-custodial to pay less while unemployed, then fine, but making this a legal option for ALL non-custodials is a VERY BAD IDEA. Too many, WAY too many non-custodial parents purposely evade child support (successfully) and too many children are DOING WITHOUT.

  2. misspeggy767 Says:

    Lawyers like you are what give the world of lawyers a bad name. I can guess you’re either a man/lawyer who has never tried raising a child on his own, or you’re one that has been a non-paying ‘parent’ and looked for any excuse not to have to pay. Appalling!

  3. Irina Says:

    So ourdreamfield you say that divorced mothers should be totally immune to the crisis? what about the other kids of the father? they might lose their home and their dad might go to jail for money that he has to pay that he doesn’t have, that’s a very good idea, it’s going to do very good for the child.
    This are hard times and enforcing child support by leading the father to banckrupcy is not doing anyone any good

  4. In an intact family the entire family cuts back. Under the lawtoday only the father suffers.

    Visit the Elliot Schlissel New York Law Blog!

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  5. A father Says:

    What about the father that pays really high child support and lives on his own and and can’t afford his own bills such as rent? I’m dealing with that now I work hard and there’s times when I get paid it goes right to my rent..then I have to wait for another two weeks to get paid again only to catch up on bills that are late…don’t seem fair to me? How about you?

  6. Shawn Stansberry Says:

    My ex wife is trying to lock me up on September 7. I just got a job. They want me to pay 800.00 monthly. I’m only making 9.00 per hour and my new wife and have a child due September 18. I have rent and so many bills. I’m going to have to file bankruptcy. And I need advice.

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