In this article you will learn about:
- What you can do if the court comes to an unfavorable decision.
- How to appeal if the other parent’s upward modification of support is granted.
- How support orders are enforced in New York.
Can I Appeal A Decision By The Court To Increase Child Support In New York?
Either party can appeal an unfavorable decision. In Family Court, that’s done by filing an objection appeal within 30 days of receipt of the decision from the family court. In Supreme Court, that’s done by filing a notice of appeal. It is important to know that the deadlines are strict, and they generally do not get extended by the courts except in extremely rare circumstances. If you get an unfavorable decision regarding your child support case, it is crucial to promptly file your appeal.
Can I Do Something If The Other Parent’s Petition Of Upward Modification Of Support Is Granted?
It is best advised to file an objection appeal (if done in family court) or an appeal (if done in the Supreme Court). This must be done within 30 days of receiving the decision from the court. It is worth noting that even before a modification of support is granted, you have a right to defend against it.
If you are filling out an upward modification petition, consulting with a family law attorney regarding the best way to proceed is very helpful as a preliminary measure.
Another thing to be aware of is that the Appellate Court can only look at the actual evidence and testimony entered during the trial, and they cannot consider any new evidence. Consider, for example, the following situation: An upward modification of support is granted, partially because the non-custodial parent put in a poor defense against the modification. In this case, the non-custodial parent could not reargue their case to the Appellate Court.
Anything that should have been argued or put into evidence needs to be done at the trial level. So, when it comes to the appeals process, there is only so much a family law attorney can do to create an appellate brief after an upward modification case has already been lost.
How Are Support Orders First Enforced In New York?
Support orders can be enforced administratively through the Support Collection Unit if the original order was done through that agency. Otherwise, if the support order is being violated, one would need to file an enforcement petition. If that is the only issue that is on the docket such as issues of visitation, custody, property, or assets distributions, one should do this process through the Family Court.
As an option, one may send the parent who is violating the support order a default notice letter – because there may be valid reasons why they are violating their support, and it could be beneficial to know these reasons. Take a scenario where the non-custodial parent changes employers, and they are unaware their child support income garnishment didn’t transfer to that new job. In this case, the custodial parent would have wasted their time by filing an enforcement petition because eventually, the second employer would implement a new income garnishment from the Support Collection Unit. Sometimes simply emailing or mailing a letter to the non-custodial parent to clarify these mishaps can avoid legal time and headache.
As another example, let’s say the non-custodial parent lost their job, but had a job offer lined up to start within a month – and it was explained to the custodial parent they would receive catch-up payments. If they were able to come to an agreement via negotiating amongst themselves, it would avoid going through the hassle of filling out forms and getting the court involved. A default notice letter is not required, but it can save time and money as well as decrease the gaps in payment. Furthermore, by sending a default notice letter, it sets up the non-custodial parent for an award of counsel fees. Some settlement agreements done in a divorce case will specifically articulate that default notice letters have to be sent if any aspect of the divorce settlement (including child support) agreement is being violated.
If this wasn’t done, the non-custodial parent would not automatically get an award of counsel fees – rather they would have to prove an element called a “willful violation” of the support order. If the custodial parent either didn’t want to file a default notice letter, or there was an issue that wasn’t rectified, then they would file an “enforcement petition”, which is a petition that can be found on nycourts.gov by following the link to child support (link here: https://www.nycourts.gov/LegacyPDFS/FORMS/familycourt/pdfs/4-13.pdf).
For more information on Appealing Denial of Upward Support Modification, an initial consultation is your next best step. Get the information and legal answers you are seeking by calling (347) 797-1188 | (914) 362-3080 today.
Call Now To Schedule A 20-minute Case Assessment
Or Full 50-minute Case Strategy Consultation!
(347) 797-1188 | (914) 362-3080