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Q: I filed a Child Support modification (downward) to Family Court and submitted a thorough and accurate financial disclosure using the latest, most comprehensive financial disclosure form provided by the court. My ex used an old version of a “short form” (from 2018) and did not provide W2s or up to date pay stubs (they were a few months old). Because my ex is a state employee, her income is public record, but the gross pay / income reported in her IRS tax return did not match the gross pay / income her employer reported to the state (it was significantly higher in the state’s data). Also, in Supreme Court I have alleged my ex has alienated my child from me for the past 9 months (i haven’t seen my child who has rejected me for no apparently justifiable reasons – i.e. I did not take her home to the other parent when she asked during my parenting time). Can a child support magistrate make a negative inference of my ex? Will this make me more likely to win my downward modification? I am a father and my ex is a mother – does that have any bearing on my CS modification case?
A: Potentially the Magistrate can draw a negative inference against a party for failing to produce the complete mandatory disclosure. The next issue is whether it will affect your case. First, you’d need to satisfy your “prima facie” burden to modify support. Only when you do so would the Court then consider both parties’ incomes & then consider whether a deviation from guidelines is warranted – considering all 13 statutory factors in its analysis. For a full assessment, schedule a consultation with a White Plains Child Support attorney.