It is not uncommon for a couple to agree on one spouse paying the other some sort of maintenance or support following a divorce. The support is often alimony, child support, or both, and it depends on the circumstances and agreement in the divorce.
Orders of support are intended to be final, lasting for the duration specified in the divorce decree. Sometimes, the spouse paying the support needs to make a modification to the amount paid. Most often, this is the result of a life change that affects the spouse’s ability to pay. When this occurs, the spouse will need to petition the court for a modification of support.
Parents are legally obligated to support their children. A couple with children will reach a determination as to custody at the time of divorce. Typically, the spouse without custody is responsible for paying child support. The purpose of child support is to assist the custodial spouse with his or her financial needs in raising the child.
Child support orders issued in Connecticut may be modified if certain conditions are met. First, the requesting parent must demonstrate a “substantial change” in circumstances and that the change justifies the modification. Typically, Connecticut courts find that a substantial change has occurred whenever there has been a 15% change in the supporting spouse’s income. A motion for modification is most often filed due to a decrease in income but it may also be filed to increase support payments if a spouse begins earning more income.
Health complications or unanticipated changes to the child’s life may also merit a modification.
Alimony is a legally obligated payment one spouse makes to another following a divorce. Changes in circumstances may impact a spouse’s ability to make alimony payments, and he or she may require a modification as a result. In addition to a substantial change in the supporting spouse’s life, alimony payments may also be modified–even terminated altogether–if the beneficiary party becomes self-supporting or if he or she remarries.
Modifying an order of support is a process that is necessary to ensure that legal obligations between spouses are met despite changes in circumstances. Although some couples elect to handle these matters without involving the courts, a motion for modification helps ensure that the party seeking a modification does not suffer legal repercussions in the event that he or she cannot pay the support in full.
You should seek legal counsel if you are in need of modifying an order of support. The skilled and experienced attorneys at the Law Offices of Piazza, Simmons & Grant, L.L.C. will help you prepare and file a motion for modification. Schedule your initial consultation with us today by calling 203-348-2465 or by sending us an email through our online contact form.