Category: Child Support

CHILD SUPPORT PART III: DEVIATING FROM THE GUIDELINES

As discussed in Part I and II of this series, child support in Connecticut is determined by the Child Support Guidelines and numerous statutory factors. In the Connecticut court system there is a presumption that the amount of child support as calculated by the guidelines is the correct amount to be ordered by the court. However, in some cases, either an upward or downward deviation from the guidelines may be necessary or appropriate for certain families, including those who live in the towns of Greenwich, Stamford, Darien, New Canaan and Westport.

The presumptive amount of support as determined by the guidelines may be rebutted by a specific finding on the record that such amount would be inequitable or inappropriate. Parties may also enter an agreement that rebuts the presumed amount so long as the agreement cites or more deviation criteria as outlined by the Connecticut Child Support Guidelines. In order to deviate from the presumptive amount of support as determined by the guidelines, the presumptive amount of support must first be stated and specific deviation criteria must be cited. Connecticut case law emphasizes that all child support awards, including those resulting from agreements of the parties, must be made in accordance with the Child Support Guidelines.

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CHILD SUPPORT PART II: THE CONNECTICUT CHILD SUPPORT GUIDELINES

As discussed in Part I of this series, child support is the obligation that a parent has to contribute to the financial costs of raising their child. Child support must be determined in the following actions in which the parties have minor children: dissolution of marriage, annulment of marriage, legal separation, or child custody proceedings. A court is required to consider a multitude of factors as listed in Connecticut General Statutes Section 46b-84(a). In addition to these factors, Connecticut has adopted the Child Support Guidelines, which must also be considered by a court.

Divorce attorneys in Greenwich, Stamford, Darien, New Canaan and Westport, are familiar with both the statutory criteria and the Child Support Guidelines, and at Broder and Orland, LLC, our attorneys are skilled at understanding and applying the law and the nuances of determining child support.

At their most basic level the Child Support Guidelines are a mathematical formula based off of the Income Shares Model. The Income Shares Model takes into account the incomes of both parents and presumes that a child in a divorcing family should receive the same portion of parental income that he/she would have received if the parents had continued living together. The Child Support Guidelines use the Income Shares Model to determine an appropriate amount of the parents’ combined income that should be designated as child support.

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CHILD SUPPORT PART I: A BRIEF OVERVIEW

“How can I ensure the financial well-being of my children?” is one of the most frequent questions posed to divorce lawyers in Greenwich, Stamford, Darien, New Canaan, and Westport. Divorce is a difficult time for families and all parents want to know that their children will be taken care of both during the pendency of the litigation and long after the final papers are signed. Obtaining support for minor children is therefore one of the most significant issues in a divorce or separation proceeding, and Connecticut courts take the matter very seriously.

Child support cases can sometimes become difficult, depending on the particular circumstances of a given case. This multi-part series will discuss some of the major issues and considerations associated with child support in Connecticut.

Child support stems from a parent’s statutory and common law duty to support his or her minor children. Support payments are meant to cover a broad range of expenses for the minor child, including but not limited to basic necessities such as shelter, food and clothing. Under most circumstances a parent has a duty to support his or her minor child until that child is emancipated or reaches the age of eighteen; in the case where a child does not graduate high school by the age of eighteen, child support payments typically continue until the earlier of the child’s graduation from high school or the child’s nineteenth birthday. Child support is typically paid from one parent to the other parent on a monthly or weekly basis. Payments can be made via cash, check, direct deposit or through a wage withholding order on the payor’s earnings.

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