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What are cost of living adjustments to child support?

Things can become more expensive over time. This is due to a number of factors, but at the end of the day, what may have cost $5 a few years ago now may cost $7 now. While that does not seem like a very big change by itself, that small amount can add up quickly when everything one buys is a dollar or two more expensive. Parents especially realize this as they are paying for everything for their children. It may be even more true for a parent who is receiving child support from the other parent.

The law also understands that the cost of living increases over time. That is why built into every child support order, whether the parent paying it realizes it or not, there are cost of living adjustments. Every two years the child support agencies review child support orders. If the cost of living has increased in general, one's child support order will be increased automatically according to the overall increase. So, if there is a 10 percent increase in cost of living, then the child support obligation will be increased by 10 percent. This is done without any further court action.

There are many parents in New York who either pay or receive child support. One may think that the child support obligation will not change unless the parents go back to court, but this is not the case. There are cost of living adjustments that are automatically added to child support obligations to keep up with the overall cost of living. Child support orders can be more complicated than they may seem and experienced attorneys may be able to guide one through the process.

Source:, "Noncustodial parent information" accessed on Dec. 26, 2017

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