In this article you will learn about:
- The filing process behind a downward modification of support in New York.
- How to apply for an appeal of a downward modification of support in New York.
- What you can do if the other parent’s downward modification of support is granted.
How Do I Apply For A Downward Modification Of Support In New York Family Court?
Post-pandemic, the court system has allowed e-filing of support petitions. You can obtain a modification petition by going on nycourts.gov and accessing the “forms” link. In that link is an additional link for family, which includes a list of different types of cases that are generally handled in family court, one of which is child support. If you are looking to file a child support modification petition, you can find the form for “petition to modify support.” You can download this form and complete it without the added step of going to a courthouse. The link is here: http://ww2.nycourts.gov/forms/familycourt/childsupport.shtml.
Once you complete it, then you can just e-file it through the court’s EDDS system (link here: https://iappscontent.courts.state.ny.us/NYSCEF/live/edds.htm), which is the electronic delivery system where people can self-file petitions as opposed to paper filings done at the courthouse. Once somebody files the petition, they should hear back from the court within a week or two after filing with their court dates. The court will then send them a summons, and they can go ahead and start preparing the initial paperwork for the hearing, which will be set about two months after they file.
An alternative way a person can file a downward modification petition is to file an order to show cause in the Supreme Court. Although this is an option, it is generally better to file a downward modification petition in Family Court (if that is the only issue to address). If it’s not just a downward modification of child support that must be resolved, but perhaps issues beyond child support like visitation or asset distribution, Supreme Court is better equipped for these situations. This is because Family Court may or may not have jurisdiction for other specific issues. With all of this in mind, if it’s just a child support issue that needs to be addressed, Family Court is the most efficient option for people to consider.
Can I Appeal A Decision By The Court To Downward Modify Child Support In New York?
You can appeal a decision by the court regarding downward modification of child support if it’s a final order determining the child support issue. In Family Court, this is done by filing an “objection appeal”, which can usually be done physically at the family court. Again, post-pandemic, you have the option to file it by the EDDS system. It is important to know that you only have 30 days to file your objection appeal in family court, and that would be a brief statement to the magistrate as to why the objection is being made. In Family Court, you would generally need to file an objection brief that lays out the basic facts that you put in to support your petition (the link to the Objection form may be found here: https://www.nycourts.gov/LegacyPDFS/FORMS/familycourt/pdfs/4-7b.pdf). With these facts (that were otherwise put in by the custodial parent), you then make a legal argument as to why you’re asserting that the Magistrate made a mistake. It is also important to order transcripts of all the hearing dates in order to make your case by referencing specific statements made during the initial hearings.
The other way to appeal would be if your case was in Supreme Court. In this situation, you would file a notice of appeal. This is a different document than the objection brief done in family court. A notice of appeal is a one-page form (the link to the form for the 2d Dept. may be found here: https://www.nycourts.gov/courts/AD2/forms/noticeofappeal.pdf) that also contains attachments called the “RADI form” and “proof of service”, which must both be attached to the underlying order. The actual appellate brief won’t be due for months after you file a notice of appeal.
Can I Do Anything If The Other Parent’s Downward Modification Of Support Petition Is Granted?
If a modification is granted by the court and you disagree with it, then your only option is to appeal that decision. You have the right to oppose the downward modification case. If this is the case, hiring an attorney to assist with the process enables your case to go as smoothly as possible. An experienced attorney will know how to prove your case with the statutory factors involved. These statutory laws include a 15% difference of income, and at least 3 years passing since the order was last modified or originally set. If the non-custodial parent satisfies these standards, this reopens a new child support calculation process. In this case, you have just as much right as the non-custodial parent does to present both testimony and evidence in support of a revised calculation. In this circumstance, hiring an adept child support attorney to defend your case is a crucial step in your appeal process. If your case is lost, then you would follow the same appeals procedure (which is in Family Court), where you would file an objection appeal within 30 days. If it’s in the Supreme Court, you must also file a notice of appeal within 30 days (or 35 days if the decision was mailed).
For more information on Applying For Downward Modification Of Support, 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.