In addition to child custody and visitation rights, child support is one aspect of the family court process over which the Court has significant discretion and can thereby override an arrangement agreed to between the parents which deviates from the Connecticut Child Support Guidelines. All decisions related to the wellbeing of a child are made by a judge pursuant to the “best interests” standard, and anyone who wants to change a support order once it is in place must petition the court to do so.
If you want to change your parental support payments or obligations, it may be crucial to work with an experienced New Haven child support modification lawyer. Likewise, a knowledgeable child support attorney can be an invaluable ally to anyone who wants to keep their support obligations the same and needs help with contesting a modification petition filed by their co-parent.
Connecticut courts only have jurisdiction over child support orders issued in the State of Connecticut and which impose payment obligations on a parent currently living therein. Changing out-of-state orders can be a significantly more complex process, as a New Haven child support modification attorney could explain in more detail if necessary. To convince a court to modify the terms of an existing child support order, the petitioning party or parties must prove that a substantial change in circumstances has rendered the initial order untenable and potentially harmful to the child’s best interests.
This generally means a significant change in personal income for one or both parents—for example, the unexpected loss of a job, a promotion to a much higher wage or salary, newfound medical expenses, or a substantial inheritance or lottery win. However, substantial changes in the life of the child benefiting from support payments, like a sudden need for daily medical expenses, could also justify a modification.
Anyone who wants to petition for a child support order modification must submit several completed forms to the Clerk’s office at the Superior Court where the order was initially issued. These include the standard Motion for Modification, an Appearance form to notify the court where to send information about the ongoing case, an Affidavit Concerning Children, and a Financial Affidavit declaring all sources of income and all expenses.
Once the Court Clerk has signed the submitted forms, a hearing is scheduled, at which the petitioning party or parties must present their case in support of their modification request. A lawyer in New Haven can provide insight on how to effectively prepare for one of these child support modification hearings and pursue a positive outcome on a parent’s behalf.
Changing the obligations established in a child support order can be a lengthy and labor-intensive process, especially if you have never pursued this kind of petition before. Guidance from a capable legal professional can be crucial to maximizing your odds of achieving a positive case outcome.
Retaining a New Haven child support modification lawyer should be a priority for anyone looking to petition for a support order change. Call today to learn more from a seasoned legal professional.