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Avoid defaulting through child support modification

New York has one of the lowest divorce rates in the country. Despite that fact, divorce is not an uncommon phenomenon. The split of a married couple signals certain changes as far as finances are concerned. Child support is one of the more important issues to focus on for couples seeking to end their marriage.

The arrest of a child support defaulter by Federal authorities was in this week's news. He had failed to pay $158,708 for his children. The New York State Supreme Court had initially asked him to pay a minimum of $3000 every month, beginning in the month of February 2008 and was expected to end somewhere around April 2014.

The 51-year-old man was charged with one count of failure to pay child support. The penalty can be as much as 2 years in a Federal prison. In such a case, a child support modification might be able to provide much needed financial relief for non-custodial parents.

The court allows either parent to request child support modification by submitting a petition. A parent may seek child support modification in case there is a "substantial change of circumstances." One of the more common examples may include situations wherein the custodial parent's income has decreased.

As of October 13, 2010, a parent may request modification after 3 years have passed, and either parent's income has changed. A paying parent may also petition the court for a downward modification in case his or her income has decreased by 15 percent or more.

Considering that defaulting on child support payments may culminate in a prison sentence, it might be wiser to seek child support modification in order to reduce financial hardship. An experienced divorce attorney may be able to provide a legal recourse for tackling such a situation.

Source: Mid Hudson News, "Florida man arrested as deadbeat dad in Orange County, NY child support case," May 9, 2014

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