When parents go their separate ways, they divide up many things between them, including the financial costs of raising their child. To make the costs fair for both parents, a court will issue a child support order that takes the child’s needs and each parent’s finances into account. In Connecticut child support cases, each party must submit a Connecticut Child Support Guidelines Worksheet to the court. This form calculates child support according to a formula that considers the parents’ respective incomes.
When a court orders child support, the parent who does not have primary physical custody of the child must pay the primary custodial parent a weekly support amount, as well as being responsible for a specific percentage of unreimbursed medical expenses and work related child care expenses. However, these amounts and percentages are not set in stone, and can be recalculated upon the filing of the appropriate motion in the event there has been a substantial change in circumstances. Parents seeking a change to existing orders can and should consult an experienced child support attorney. A Hartford child support modification lawyer at Dolan Divorce Lawyers can help you navigate this legal process and present your case in court.
While child support payment orders are not permanent, anyone seeking a modification must do so through following the court process, and their claim must be supported by a substantial change in circumstances. A judge ultimately has the authority to decide whether a valid reason exists to adjust existing child support orders. Some common bases for child support modification include:
In Connecticut, parents must provide for a child until they turn eighteen years old or finish high school, whichever occurs later. In cases where a child has documented mental or physical disabilities that necessitate continued parental care, child support may be extended until the age of twenty-one.
As noted by the State of Connecticut Judicial Branch, where a change in income or circumstances would result in a child support calculation that is at least 15 percent higher or lower than the current support amount, such a change may qualify for a court ordered modification.
If both parents live in Connecticut, they can file a petition with a state court to change their child support payment agreement. A court must formally approve any changes made to the payment amount. If one parent lives outside of Connecticut, an experienced family attorney can explain how to handle any child support matters, including child support modification.
There are several steps that a parent, with the help of skilled legal counsel, must take in order to adjust a child support order.
First, an attorney will file a motion for child support modification on the parent’s behalf. This motion addresses why the parent is requesting the change, which may be one of the reasons listed above or another reason unique to their situation.
A lawyer can review the grounds cited for requesting a change in child support and advise the parent as to whether their request meets the standard for a modification under the state of Connecticut’s Child Support Guidelines. A dedicated Hartford child support modification attorney can help a parent prove to the court why the sought increase or decrease from the initial award is in the best interests of the child.
Once a motion to modify child support is filed, the filing must serve the other parent with a copy of the Motion for Modification, as well as an order issued by the clerk’s office compelling both parties to appear in court on certain date. A family lawyer can ensure the appropriate procedure to correctly file and serve the motion is followed, and prepare the parent for their first court date.
To build the strongest possible case, a Hartford child support modification attorney at Dolan Divorce Lawyers can:
The list above contains only some of the services that a child support modification lawyer in Hartford can provide. A diligent attorney will thoroughly review the circumstances of your case and take all necessary steps to ensure you are best positioned to succeed in obtaining the requested modification.
Once there is a hearing date, the case will be presented to the judge, who will listen to both parties’ evidence. Following an evidentiary hearing, the judge will issue a ruling as to whether changing the child support order is warranted. If the ruling is not in a parent’s favor, in certain circumstances they may be able to appeal the judge’s decision. A lawyer can provide further guidance about what if any additional avenues exist to modify the order.
Working with a Hartford child support modification lawyer not only saves you time and worry, but it also ensures that you have someone looking out for you every step of the way. While our firm cannot make any guarantees about the outcome, our dedicated attorneys can make sure your bases are covered and present the strongest possible case for changing your child support payment amount. To learn more, call Dolan Divorce Lawyers for an initial consultation.