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If your current child custody arrangement is no longer working, it is your right to petition the court for a modification. In order to do so, the change must be in your child's best interests, and you must be able to show that substantial change of circumstances has taken place.
In New York, physical custody of the children is ideally decided between the parents; however, it's only if they cannot come to an agreement that the courts will step in and decide on behalf of the parents.
New York State courts are open and offering limited in-person assistance for health and safety reasons. Some courts are holding virtual hearings by video or phone. If your case is going to be heard virtually, the court will contact you to let you know.
Court Hours 9 a.m. - 4:30 p.m. (or later if court sessions are protracted - doors to the courtrooms are opened at 9:15 a.m.)
The Family Court is accepting child support modification petitions by email. Petitions can be emailed to or sent by U.S. mail addressed to the appropriate county Family Court, or by calling 212-343-1122 (LIFT), 646-877-6050 (OCSS), or 646-386-5299 (Family Court) for assistance.
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Examples of substantial changes in circumstances include: There has been a significant change in the child care arrangement (such as a new full-time nanny) The child wants to change the order and is over age 12. The child is somehow endangered by a parent's actions (or inactions), or the home environment is unsafe.
In general, the child must have resided in New York State for 6 months or more before a custody petition may be filed. Forms are available at or at the Family Court Clerk's office. If you believe the child is in imminent danger, there is a place on the petition to request immediate, temporary relief.
After six months, if the child continues to live in New York and no other custody petition is filed in another state, then that temporary emergency order could become a final order.
How to Win a Child Support Modification Case 1 Take advantage of the rights you already have. 2 Reach out to your ex-partner if you think they'll be amicable. 3 Solicit free legal help if you can't hire an attorney. 4 Do it on your own only if you can't get help. 5 Determine what has changed to justify a modification.
Under New York law, you can request a child support modification if there is a 15% change either parent's income. While typically the court will entertain a child support modification only after at least 3 years has passed since the order was entered, the exception is for a 15% change in income.

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