S T A T E O F N E W Y O R K
I N S E N A T E
May 15, 2014
Introduced by Sen. BONACIC -- (at request of the Office of Court Admin-
istration) -- read twice and ordered printed, and when printed to be
committed to the Committee on Judiciary
AN ACT to amend the family court act, in relation to applications to
modify orders of child support in the family court
THE PEOPLE OF THE STATE OF NEW YORK, REPRESENTED IN SENATE AND ASSEM-
BLY, DO ENACT AS FOLLOWS:
Section 1. Section 451 of the family court act, as amended by chapter
182 of the laws of 2010, is amended to read as follows:
S 451. Continuing jurisdiction. 1. Except as provided in article
five-B of this act, the court has continuing jurisdiction over any
support proceeding brought under this article until its judgment is
completely satisfied and may modify, set aside or vacate any order
issued in the course of the proceeding, provided, however, that the
modification, set aside or vacatur shall not reduce or annul child
support arrears accrued prior to the making of an application pursuant
to this section. The court shall not reduce or annul any other arrears
unless the defaulting party shows good cause for failure to make appli-
cation for relief from the judgment or order directing payment prior to
the accrual of the arrears, in which case the facts and circumstances
constituting such good cause shall be set forth in a written memorandum
of decision. A modification may increase support payments nunc pro tunc
as of the date of the initial application for support based on newly
discovered evidence. Any retroactive amount of support due shall be paid
and be enforceable as provided in section four hundred forty of this
article. Upon an application to [modify,] set aside or vacate an order
of support, no hearing shall be required unless such application shall
be supported by affidavit and other evidentiary material sufficient to
establish a prima facie case for the relief requested.
2. A PROCEEDING TO MODIFY AN ORDER OF SUPPORT SHALL BE COMMENCED BY
THE FILING OF A PETITION WHICH SHALL ALLEGE FACTS SUFFICIENT TO MEET ONE
OR MORE OF THE GROUNDS ENUMERATED IN SUBDIVISION THREE OF THIS SECTION.
3. (a) The court may modify an order of child support, including an
order incorporating without merging an agreement or stipulation of the
EXPLANATION--Matter in ITALICS (underscored) is new; matter in brackets
[ ] is old law to be omitted.
S. 7535 2
parties, upon a showing of a substantial change in circumstances.
Incarceration shall not be a bar to finding a substantial change in
circumstances provided such incarceration is not the result of non-pay-
ment of a child support order, or an offense against the custodial
parent or child who is the subject of the order or judgment.
(b) In addition, unless the parties have specifically opted out of the
following provisions in a validly executed agreement or stipulation
entered into between the parties, the court may modify an order of child
(i) three years have passed since the order was entered, last modified
or adjusted; or
(ii) there has been a change in either party's gross income by fifteen
percent or more since the order was entered, last modified, or adjusted.
A reduction in income shall not be considered as a ground for modifica-
tion unless it was involuntary and the party has made diligent attempts
to secure employment commensurate with his or her education, ability,
S 2. This act shall take effect on the ninetieth day after it shall
have become a law.