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I was just layed off, how do i go about reducing my child support payment?

Mount Vernon, NY |

what ill b getting from unemployment is 1/3 of what u used to make. the children im paying child support for are 20 years old. i have 10 and a 11 years old with my wife. i cant afford to payment that much. im currently payin $250.00 oer week.

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Attorney answers 4


You must file a petition in family court for downward modification of child support. Consult a lawyer


You must immediately go the the Family Court and file a petition for a downward modification of your child support obligation. You will need to provide evidence that your decrease in income occurred through no fault of your own and that you are doing everything possible to find employment now. Do not wait to file this petition because any modification the court approves will only go back as far as the date you filed the petition, not the date you lost your job or some other date. Good luck!

Ms. Brown may be reached at 718-878-6886 during regular business hours, or anytime by email at: All of Ms. Brown’s responses to questions posted on AVVO are intended as general information based upon the facts stated in the question, and are provided for educational purposes of the public, not any specific individual, and her response to the question above is not legal advice and it does not create an attorney-client relationship. Ms. Brown is licensed to practice law in New York. If you would like to obtain specific legal advice about this issue, you must contact an attorney who is licensed to practice law in your state.


Being laid off and out of work is not enough under New York Law to get your child support reduced. The law in New York is that a parent seeking modification of child support provision of prior order or judgment must demonstrate substantial change in circumstances that warrant such a modification.

When a parent seeking downward modification of child support based upon his or her loss of employment, they must demonstrate that loss of employment occurred through no fault of their own and that he or she diligently has sought re-employment. Although practice varies from court to court across New York State, as a general rule, if a parent qualifies for unemployment benefits, the court most likely will accept that their loss of employment was not their fault.

It is the second part of this rule that usually presents the problem for many litigants. The unemployed, or occasionally under-employed, party must prove that he or she diligently sought re-employment. This means more than just saying that "I looked for a job." A diligent job search in the information age means looking on-line, posting a resume on-line, following up on applications or resumes submitted. It requires being proactive. The efforts made in this diligent search can be written or typed up into a nice neat chart, with the names and addresses of employers as well as the contact made and the dates for such. This then can be presented in Court as detailed proof of a diligent job search that satisfies the legal requirements.

You should consult with a local attorney who concentrates in custody and Family Law matters. On-line advice is no substitute for an in-person attorney consultation.

Attorney at Law
Valatie, New York

The information offered at this website is not, nor is it intended to be, legal advice. You should consult an attorney for legal advice regarding your individual situation. This answer does not create an attorney-client relationship.


You need to file a downward modification petition. In Westchester that's done at SCU, 100 E. 1st St., Mt Vernon. You also need to conduct a "diligent search" to find another job & document that job search in a job search diary. You should also consider consulting a Westchester Co. Family Law attorney.

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