The number of bankruptcy petitions filed in New York has increased steadily over the past three years. According to the New York Post, household debt is $1 trillion higher than in 2008 when the nation experienced the Great Recession. Many individuals are turning to consumer debt just to meet their basic living expenses. Such an extreme change in a household income may necessitate a request for a modification or an adjustment in the amount of court-ordered child support payments.

Modifications for support may be requested by either the custodial parent who receives the payments or the non-custodial parent who provides them. Non-custodial parents may ask to temporarily provide a lesser amount of support due to extreme changes in their financial circumstances. This could include a job loss, leave of absence from work or other debilitating situation that prevents a parent from earning income. The custodial parent may request a modification for an increase because of their own loss of income or because the non-custodial parent found a better-paying job.

The support obligation generally increases based on changes in the cost of living adjustment, and an increase may reflect in the payments made. Sometimes, however, an individual is unable to maintain a standard of living even with these periodic adjustments. If an individual’s household budget requirements increase more than the COLA, a petition to request a modification of a court-ordered support may be necessary.

According to the Westchester County Government, there are specific situations which determine when a change to a child support order may be requested. Gathering up proof of any changes in the relevant financial circumstances might help in showing whether an adjustment is necessary.