Perhaps. There are two basic approaches to upward modification of child support. The first method is only available to custodial parents who receive services of the NY Support Collection Unit (SCU). If the custodial parent receives child support through SCU, the non-custodial parent may be required to pay a cost of living adjustment (COLA), equal to approximately 10% of the existing obligation, added to it. Either parent may file objections to the COLA adjustment, which causes a Family Court hearing to be held to determine a new child support obligation employing the percentage of income method of the CSSA, if the court believes this adjustment to be “appropriate.”
The other method by which child support is modified – upward or downward — is by petitioning the court. Effective October 13, 2010, under the “Low Income Support Obligation and Performance Improvement Act,” the court may modify child support where (1) three years have passed since the order was entered, last modified or adjusted; or (2) there has been a change in either party’s gross income of at least 15%. However, a party claiming a reduction in income must show that it was involuntary and he/she has made diligent efforts to secure employment. If less than three years has passed or there has not been a 15% change in income, the court is nevertheless empowered to modify child support based on a substantial change of circumstances.