I recently attended the New York State Council on Divorce Mediation annual conference in Saratoga Springs, New York, and had the opportunity to listen to attorney Bill Hoefer talk about modifying child support.

The salient points regarding Domestic Relations Law Section 236 Part B(9)(b)(2)(ii) and Family Court Act Section 451(3) are the following:

Each party has a right to seek a modification of the child support order upon a showing of:

(i) A substantial change of circumstances; or

(ii) That three years have passed since the order was entered, last modified or adjusted; or

(iii) There has been a change in either party’s gross income by fifteen percent or more since the order was entered, last modified or adjusted.  A reduction in income shall not be considered as a ground for modification unless it was involuntary and the party has made diligent attempts to secure employment commensurate with his education, ability and experience.

However, if the parties have specifically opted out of subparagraph (ii) or (iii) of this paragraph in a validly executed agreement or stipulation, then that basis to seek modification does not apply.

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Image: CIA DE FOTO  on Flickr. Used and modified with Creative Commons license.