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Modification of Spousal and Child Support in Westchester, NY

Modification of Maintenance and Child Support Obligations in Westchester County, NY

If my spouse refuses to allow me to see my children, can I unilaterally stop paying my child support?

No. In these circumstances it is advisable to seek the assistance of a divorce or child support attorney to assist you in filing an application with the court to suspend or terminate the child support obligation. Under the child support laws, the child's right to receive appropriate support is greater to the parent's right to access or visitation. Only in instances where it has been demonstrated that custodial parent receiving child support has interfered with or withheld visitation will a New York Family Court suspend the child support or cancel any arrears that accrued during the time that visitation rights were affected.

I can not afford to pay my court ordered maintenance. What are my options in Westchester County, New York?

The Supreme Court of the State of New York (located in White Plains, NY) and the New York Family Courts (located in White Plains, New Rochelle and Yonkers, NY) have the authority to modify maintenance awards contained in a Judgment of Divorce. Judgments of Divorce requiring the payment of spousal maintenance entered after July 19, 1980 may be modified or changed to decrease (a downward modification) or increase (an upward modification) upon demonstrating that the spouse receiving the maintenance is able or unable to support themselves financially, or showing the existence of a substantial change of circumstances, which in many cases includes financial hardship. This ability to modify a maintenance obligation also is available in circumstances where a separation/settlement agreement has been incorporated and merged into an order or judgment of divorce, thereby ceasing to exist as a separate enforceable agreement.

Will a Westchester, NY Court eliminate maintenance arrears?

Absent a showing of good cause on the part of the defaulting spouse in asking for relief from their obligation to pay the spousal maintenance, any arrears which have accrued under a judgment or order prior to the filing of a petition or motion for modification will not be modified or reduced.

I was ordered to pay child support as part of my New York Judgment of Divorce and I can no longer afford to pay. What are my options?

The Supreme Court of the State of New York and by the New York Family Court, may modify an order of child support upon demonstrating a substantial change in circumstances, which may include financial hardship.

My settlement agreement was incorporated in and survived my judgment of divorce. What can I do if I can no longer afford to pay the child support as ordered?

In such an instance, where a settlement agreement is incorporated in a judgment of divorce and continues to exist as a separate agreement after the divorce judgment is made, the Court may modify the child support obligation if there is shown an unanticipated and unreasonable change in circumstances evidenced by financial need. If the needs of the child are not being met, the Court may increase child support.

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