Is it possible to have the Child Support Standards Act: Combined Parental Income Cap override an existing CS agreement?

Asked almost 2 years ago - Glen Head, NY

I am the non-Custodial Parent.
1. I signed the current agreement under duress (unemployed and threatened with legal costs).
2. Custodial Parent makes 3x my salary (non-custodial parent).
3. Custodial Parent makes sufficient income, well over $200k annually.
4. Custodial Parent has repeatedly shown she does not need the extra income by delaying check cashing by months.
5. Children (2) spend 24% of their time with the non-custodial parent and DO NOT enjoy the same quality of living with me.
6. Extreme debt incurred by non-Custodial parent due to 2.5 years of unemployment, so no money is available for regular child support or for the children when with non-custodial parent.

Attorney answers (3)

  1. Lori Noel Bovee

    Contributor Level 13

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    Answered . Unfortunately, most of the things you listed are not relevant. I am assuming you signed a separation agreement that was incorporated into a judgment of divorce. If you signed the agreement before October 2010, in order to modify your child support you need to prove them that has been an unanticipated change of circumstances. This is a high burden. If you signed it after that and did not opt out of the new law, you just need to show a substantial change of circumstances. However, you should be aware that the court will order 25% of your income (or your ability to earn) less FICA and medicare taxes unless it finds its unjust (almost never happens). If you were unemployed when you signed the agreement and you are now working, its possible your child support could increase. Consult with a local attorney before doing anything. Good luck.

  2. Lawrence Allen Weinreich

    Contributor Level 18

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    Answered . Unless a reason acceptable to the court is given for deviating from the child support standards act, the courts do not have to abide by the agreement. Speak to your lawyer about an ammendment that the courts will accept.

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  3. Morghan L Richardson

    Pro

    Contributor Level 14

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    Lawyer agrees

    Answered . I agree with the first attorney regarding the standards to modify child support. You should consider whether filing a downward modification would be helpful and whether you can meet the standard. You should consult with a lawyer before you fall behind on payments because that will only make your situation much worse.

    Best Regards,
    Morghan Leia Richardson, Esq.
    Divorce Mediator and Attorney
    Richardson Legal PLLC
    31-08 Broadway, Suite 204
    Astoria, New York 11106
    www.RichardsonLegalPLLC.com
    Tel: 212-537-6744
    Fax: 212-574-3337

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