According to lawyer Nicholas Hicks, changing circumstances can change child support payments in New York.
When parents no longer live together, or have never lived together, the New York Courts must determine which parent should have physical custody over the children and if either party gets child support.
Although the formula is complicated, lawyer Nicholas Hicks explains that essentially, each parent’s income is calculated in combination with the number of children involved. Once child support payments are set, it stays the same unless someone asks for a reevaluation. It is extremely common for New York Family Courts to reconsider child support payment amounts in light of changed circumstances.
When one parent loses their job or takes a decline in income for whatever reason, they may ask the New York courts to adjust their child support payments accordingly. On the other hand, if one parent gets a raise and promotion, the other can petition for a reevaluation. However, lawyer Nicholas Hicks notes that one of the most common questions asked is whether the income of a parent’s new spouse can be used for recalculating child support payments.
New York law says that step-parents have no obligation to support their step-children. But according to lawyer Nicholas Hicks, there are circumstances where the income of a step-parent becomes relevant to their step-children’s child support case. If the remarried parent has more children with their new spouse, their total income may be taken into consideration. Lawyer Nicholas Hicks goes on to explain by saying that their new children’s needs may be taken into account when calculating child support payments if resources are no longer split equally.
Traditionally, it has always been the court’s job to consider the best interests of the children in the child support order. However, as modern family situations change, the law must try to adapt. Attorney Nicholas Hicks notes that courts now consider the needs of other children who may be impacted by child support payments. Specifically, this modification refers to children who are born in a parent’s new marriage.
New York Family courts are allowed to impute income for the purpose of calculating a party’s share of child support. Lawyer Nicholas Hicks explains that income imputation can be from a person’s employment history, ability to earn, education, or background, as the courts see relevant. If someone is not dependable or credible, income received from family and friends may also be used.
Finally, it’s important to realize that the new spouse’s income will not automatically be used in all court cases. Lawyer Nicholas Hicks warns clients not to count on a new spouse for an increase in child support payments. Each situation is complex and unique and must be analyzed individually. For questions on your particular case, seek the counsel of an experienced New York attorney.
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.