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If the IRS is garnishing my paycheck, am I eligible for a child support decrease?

Yonkers, NY |

I've been paying child support for 13 years, my ex requested an increase in court, I'm already giving her 852$ per month, and now because I owe 58,000$ in back taxes, the IRS is garnishing my paycheck for 800$ per month, now that's over 1600$ per month, between child support and IRS garneshment on a 95,000$ per year salary and I still have my regular bills to pay. Now I cannot survive financially, so am I eligible for a decrese in child support payments due to this hardship? My family court is in Brooklyn NY.

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Attorney answers 4


You generally would not be eligible for a decrease, as usually support is based on a percentage of your income. Nevertheless, you may be able to defeat the upward modification application by arguing that you have an "extraordinary expense." To reserve your right to proceed on a downward modification application, you'll need to file & serve your own counter-petition. That said, I highly encourage you to schedule a follow-up consultation with a Westchester Co. Child Support lawyer.

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Generally, that IRS is garnishing your paycheck is not a deduction for purposes of CSSA calculations. However, it may be a substantial change in circumstances to permit you to move for a downward modification. Because your ex has already requested an increase, you should attempt to move for a decrease - you can file the petition yourself on the sixth floor of Kings Family. The clerks will help you. If your ex- retains a lawyer, you should consider getting your own attorney.

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


The fact that you did not pay your taxes is not a reason for a decrease in child support. It may help with the request for an increase of support. Speak with a family law attorney ASAP.

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You are not eligible for a reduction in child support based on the IRS garnishment. The fact that you owe the IRS money, has nothing whatsoever to do with your obligation for child support. It's like any other debt that you have. That particularly debt was self imposed, you don't get a break from child support because of that obligation. A reduction can be requested, if you lost your job through no fault of your own, but not for increased debt.

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