New York Spousal Support Modifications Lawyer
A child support order is legally binding. There are instances when one or both of the spouses may wish to change the order. It is important to note that it is not easy to make modifications to the support order in New York and other states as well. There are certain pertinent issues that must be explained before the courts can grant such an order. If you wish to make a spousal support modification, it is important to consult with a New York spousal support modification lawyer. The lawyer will begin by assessing the merits of your modification and advise you whether your reasons are valid before a court.
Making a case for spousal support modification
For you to be granted a modification order, you must demonstrate a significant and substantial change in your circumstances. This means that certain pertinent issues have changed since the order was issued. It is important to note that different states have different interpretations on what they consider to be a “substantial” change. However, the following reasons are generally acceptable:
• Recent changes in the medical needs of the child
• A disability or illness on the spouse providing the financial support
• A substantial decrease or increase in income
• Change in residence arrangements. For instance, if the child has moved to live with the parent paying for the child support.
Proving changes in income
Ideally, parental support is calculated based on the income of the parents. If this changes, then you must provide evidence of the same. For instance, a job lay off, or a demotion can be good grounds to ask for a modification in the amount you pay. An increase in income can also prompt the court to increase the spousal support. It is important to establish that small changes in income will not be considered. In New York, for example, the income must have increased or decreased by at least 15 percent. The reason for the changes in income will also be considered. These changes cannot be deliberate. For instance, simply quitting your job with no good reason will not hold. If you voluntarily leave your job, you are still expected to provide spousal support as per the previous arrangement. Articulating your reasons in court needs the expertise of a spousal support lawyer. These lawyers have the experience and an understanding of the reasoning behind such modifications. They can help you convince a judge that a modification is warranted in your situation.
Modifications are bound by time limits
When seeking for a spousal modification order, you need to know that time limits may apply. Again, this depends on your particular situation. In some cases, the court may not grant a modification before 3 years have passed since the last order was made. This is not cast in stone. You can still present your case. For instance, the court may be more lenient in the case of a disability.
Seeking legal expertise
Spousal support changes can still be contested by the other parent. This is why you still need the services of a lawyer. If the two of you can agree on new terms, well and good. However, for your own good ensure that any agreements made are updated at the court. This is because it is very easy for one of the parents to go back on their word. To avoid future complications, seek the expertise of a lawyer and ensure that the agreements made are legally binding.