Child Support Modifications and New Calculations
Since Darren M. Shapiro, Esq. is a mediator, family lawyer, divorce lawyer and collaborative law attorney, this office can work with you using different processes regarding a child support modification. Mediation, litigation, negotiations, and collaborative law are all available routes. Parties interested in mediating their child support modification matters can work with Darren M. Shapiro, Esq. to facilitate a solution that is agreeable and makes sense to all sides of the issue. As a mediator, Darren does not represent either side of the case, rather he is a neutral professional there to help fashion an agreement. Likewise, collaborative law can be utilized in which everyone agrees to use their best efforts to resolve the matter using collaboratively trained lawyers and professionals to settle the case without litigation. Please call to find out what method is right for your situation. Our office is conveniently located in Nassau County New York close to both Suffolk County and Queens County.
Your settlement agreement, or consent order, may have language that guides on when and how child support modifications may be made in your case going forward. Generally, if there is not an agreement to work on a child support modification, there are two procedures that can be utilized to attempt to change the last child support order. Mr. Shapiro has represented mothers, fathers, husbands, wives, custodial or non-residential custodial parents either requesting or opposing child support changes. The most common method is initiating a petition or a motion for a child support modification. These applications may be brought in either the Family Court or Supreme Court usually, except if a specific reservation has been made for exclusive jurisdiction in the Supreme Court then the Family Court would not be available. Another technique, which is available when the timing is right, for orders that are paid through the Support Collection Unit is making timely written objections to a COLA, or cost of living adjustment to get a new calculation or child support based on the current financial circumstances. During your free initial consultation, we can explore how to best handle your case under any of the processes used.
The law in effect for cases started after the November 2010 law change is that child support modifications may be sought, absent an agreement that dictates otherwise, if there is: a substantial change of circumstance; if gross income has changed for either party by fifteen percent or more; or three or more years has elapsed since the order was last modified, adjusted, or entered. Prior to the 2010 law change, the default rule standard was there needed to be a substantial change of circumstances. Child support modifications were more challenging to obtain under the old rule. That is not to say, however, that it is easy to modify child support under the new law, but there are more reasons available under the law to allow for a change in the support amount. The papers must properly set forth one of the available reasons in order for the case to be able to proceed. Our office can help ensure the language used in the papers is appropriate to best represent your interests when we are working with you as a lawyer. If your case proceeds, whether you are the custodial or non-custodial parent, this office will make sure you are aware of everything to which you are entitled in order to help you obtain the best support order for your circumstances.
We will talk to you about the possibility of seeking to change child support by utilizing timely written objections to a notice of a COLA adjustment. If we cause a notice to be sent by the Support Collection unit of a Cost of Living Adjustment, even if you were the one who requested that the notice be sent, timely objections can be served and filed. This technique requires the court to schedule and hold a hearing regarding what the Child Support Standards Act would dictate for the support order based on current numbers. This is often an easier way to change child support either upwards or downwards than a support modification. When in court we can try to attempt to obtain a favorable settlement as quick as possible.
As your lawyer Darren will work with you throughout the process to make sure that you understand the applicable law and that you make informed choices about your case. As with every case, Darren will seek to expedite the resolution of the matter if he can obtain a favorable settlement early on. Although Mr. Shapiro has a great deal of trial and hearing experience, even if the case if headed to a trial, we will remain on guard for the chance to resolve it by the right agreement at any time. Some cases just will not settle, however, and we will fight hard to persuade court that your position is the right result.
Mr. Shapiro handles cases in the Supreme Courts and Family Courts in Nassau County, Suffolk County, New York City and the surrounding areas. We are familiar with the nuances applicable to cases under the current law as compared to the old standard. After a divorce, if the Judgment and Stipulation are silent on where future matters involving child support need to be started for the parties, both the Supreme Court and Family court would have jurisdiction to handle the new case. The Supreme Court, however, can reserve exclusive jurisdiction so this is one of the first aspects of the divorce papers that we will need to examine. If there is a choice as to the forum, there are advantages and disadvantages to each which we can explore with you.
The Law and Mediation Office of Darren M. Shapiro, P.C. is here to work with mediating couples to obtain agreements acceptable to all sides. As a lawyer, Darren works to best protect your financial interests. He tries to remain patient and available for his clients. Feel free to call to speak with an experienced child support, divorce and family law lawyer. It would be our pleasure to talk to you about your case.