“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.
The actual determination of a proper child support award is a multi-part process. The initial factors assessed by the court, according to Connecticut General Statutes Section 46b-84(a), are the needs of the child and the respective abilities of the parents to provide for the child per Connecticut General Statutes Section 46b-84(a)ENTER LINK HERE.
While at first glance this may seem straight forward, there are a multitude of considerations under CGS section 46b-84(d) ENTER LINK HERE that the court uses to determine if in fact there is a need for support and a parent’s ability to provide that support. For example, the court may look at a parent’s age, health, employment, sources of income and education. Top divorce attorneys in Greenwich, Stamford, Darien, New Canaan, and Westport understand the numerous factors put forth in Connecticut General Statutes Section 46b-84(d).
Additional factors taken into consideration by the courts are the Connecticut Child Support Guidelines, which consist of multiple components and will be discussed in further detail in the next article in this series. At their most basic level, the Guidelines are a mathematical process created to provide some predictability and uniformity when determining child support. The Court must consider the guidelines when making a child support determination, however the guidelines must be considered in addition to, rather than in lieu of, the statutory criteria listed above.
If your case involves child support, the experienced attorneys at Broder Orland Murray & DeMattie, LLC, understand the multitude of factors taken into consideration under Connecticut law and know how to design child support in a manner that will serve the best interests of your children. More on Child Support