Are you paying or receiving child support? Have your financial circumstances changed since the court’s initial order? Connecticut family law provides for the potential modification of child support orders under certain circumstances.

Many Connecticut residents suffer unforeseen financial catastrophes that make it nearly impossible to make ends meet. A job loss, serious injury or illness, or some other calamity could have a significant impact on one parent’s ability to pay, or the other parent’s ability to support the children with the current amount of child support. Child support calculations are based on the financial circumstances of both parents at the time an order is entered.

However, this only provides a snapshot of their lives, and as you already know, your financial picture can change in the blink of an eye. You might need to reduce the amount of child support you pay, or increase the amount you receive. The courts will consider a modification if your circumstances change significantly. Proving that often requires a substantial amount of evidence, especially because the other party has the right to object. If you need a modification of your child support — regardless of whether you pay or receive it — you would more than likely benefit from talking to an attorney.

If you make payments, the sooner you seek some relief from the court, the better. Getting too far behind on your payments has serious consequences that you will want to avoid. If you receive child support, and your child’s expenses have increased such as through an injury or illness, you may want to request an increase in your child support.

Do not attempt to make an agreement with the other parent without receiving a child support modification from the court. Regardless of your “off the books” agreement, you remain responsible for the amounts previously ordered. On the other hand, if the other parent agrees to give you more in child support without a corresponding court order, he or she may not be legally obligated to do so under current family law, which could jeopardize your ability to support your children if that extra support stops.