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Cost of living and child support in New York

A big part of a child support agreement is the cost of living for the parents of the children. Cost of living increases every so often, especially in the state of New York, so it’s important that parents headed for child custody battles understand how it plays a major role in the child support amount.

When the cost of living increases in New York, you can file for a cost of living adjustment (COLA). This is a document that helps get the child support amount increased because of the increase in cost of living. You are not required to show any changes in your personal circumstances for this to be approved by the court. This can be acquired once per year, but cannot be acquired the first time until the original child support order is two years old.

A COLA can be requested by either the parent who pays the child support or the parent who receives the child support. A COLA is not automatically approved each year either. There had to have been a significant change in the cost of living in your area for it to be approved. The change has to be at least 10 percent from the year of the most recent order or the year 1994, whichever is the later year.

Any child support order that is paid using the Support Collection Unit can receive a COLA. These become invalid when the Support Collection Unit does not have a valid address for the person paying the child support or when the person paying the child support receives public assistance or Social Security Insurance.

A review of cost of living is automatically done when the person requesting it is on public assistance. A notice is issued to both parties by the Support Collection Unit that a review is possible and either party can then request the review.

Having trouble agreeing to a child support amount in New York? Contact our firm to discuss your situation and gain insight on the cost of living portion of child support.