If you’re struggling to make ends meet with child support payments, attorney Nicholas Hicks of New York is available to help.
In most cases where parents do not live together, one parent will likely be court-mandated to pay child support payments. Depending on your circumstances, those monthly payments might be a little too high for your budget. Attorney Nicholas Hicks notes that if this is your situation, there are many avenues for help. The New York court system is usually willing to help you find a solution to your payment problems.
If you are failing to make your child support payments, attorney Nicholas Hicks recommends filing a petition in family court seeking to have support lowered. This request will let officials know that you need a modification to your payment plan or schedule. Attorney Nicholas Hicks explains that many people find themselves in different circumstances from when the court order was set initially. Child support payments are calculated using financial income reports; however, when income changes significantly, you could be paying way too much.
Ideally, you should request a modification before falling behind on payments. However, attorney Nicholas Hicks notes that there are still specific circumstances that qualify you for a change in child support payment amounts. Not all conditions are eligible, so it’s best to contact a lawyer to help you with your case. Examples of qualifying circumstances may include changes in income, changing cost in the care of the child, unemployment, medical expenses, or disability. Also, a significant increase in the income of the residential parent may also result in the lowering of child support payments.
Attorney Nicholas Hicks recommends applying for a modification even if your situation is only temporary to avoid missing payments. It will help you save money when you need it most while protecting yourself legally from any negative consequences. Life can be unpredictable, and you may end up needing more time than you think to get back on your feet.
To have the modification request approved by the court system, you will need to have proper documentation of your circumstances. Attorney Nicholas Hicks suggests contacting a lawyer so they can help you document the changes and gather the appropriate materials. If you are not adequately prepared, your request may be denied and the case may be dismissed. Courts are sometimes willing to modify your order, as they prefer child payments to be reduced instead of halted altogether.
Be very cautious about making modifications outside of the court system, even if the other parent agrees to a deal. Attorney Nicholas Hicks explains that non-binding agreements leave you vulnerable to disputes. Any undocumented agreements may not hold up later in court. No matter how great you think your relationship is with the other parent, attorney Nicholas Hicks recommends making modifications legally.
Although it’s not required to communicate your circumstances to the other parent, it’s probably in your best interest to do so. Making the other parent aware of your situation may help you avoid unnecessary retaliation in the long run. If they know you applied for a payment modification and are unable to meet current payments, they may be less likely to file further legal actions against you.
If you are already behind in payments and find yourself in court, continue working on the modification and seek the advice of a lawyer. Attorney Nicholas Hicks explains that an experienced child support lawyer will work to protect you.
About Lawyer Nicholas Hicks:
Nicholas Hicks was rescued from NYC foster care as a child at the age of 5 years old. Lawyer Nicholas Hicks attended both public and private schools where he eventually graduated from ECC, UB & UB Law School. He specializes in various areas of practice, including injury cases, debt elimination, criminal defense, divorce, child support, child custody, and more.