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Can an upward oral agreement for child support be enforced when years later the parent stops paying the agreed amount?

Flushing, NY |

In 1998 an order was entered in NY granting $38 a week in child support. A week later an oral agreement was made increasing the amount to $75 a week. 4 years later is was again agreed to increase to $100 a week. In 2006 another oral agreement was made to increase to $125 a week. 2 years ago he decided to start sending only $38 a week as per the original court order. Can I sue in small claims? I now live in Florida and he lives in Nassau County, NY. The original order came from Queens Family Court. I don't know who to turn to!

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Attorney answers 3


Oral modification is not enforceable in NY. You an file for an upward modification in either Queens or Florida ase upon either a change of circumstances such as expenses up from 1998 or father's income up. Consult with a family law attorney.

If this answer is helpful, then please mark the helpful button. If this is the best answer, then please indicate it. Thanks. For further information you should see an attorney and discuss the matter completely. If you are in the New York City area, then you can reach me during normal business hours at 718 329 9500 or


The original order rules. You will need to modify the order formally in court if you think you are entitled to more support and want it to be enforceable.

Disclaimer: This email message in no way creates an attorney client relationship between Majeski Law, LLC and the recipient. Responses are general in nature and do not constitute legal advice. You should consult a lawyer regarding any specific legal matter.


Unfortunately you cannot enforce an oral agreement to pay more than the $38 a week that was ordered by the Court in 1998. An application for an upward modification can be filed on your behalf in the Nassau County Family Court. New York will retain jurisdiction over the child support case so long as one party still resides in New York, and the fact that he moved from Queens County to Nassau County does not deprive New York of jurisdiction. If however, he moved out of New York, New York would then lose Jurisdiction over the case. At the present time, it would be beneficial for you to apply for a modification in New York because under New York law child support payments are required until the child reaches the age of 21, whereas my understanding is that Florida law only requires payments until the age of 18. If you would like a further consult we can speak over the telephone or via Skype.

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