There are a lot of myths floating around regarding divorce, child custody and child support. One of the most pervasive is the idea that child support and custody arrangements are set in stone when the courts finalize a divorce.
What does not change after the end of a divorce, barring the discovery of hidden accounts or other extreme circumstances, is the property division decree. The Connecticut courts understand that life circumstances can change for your family.
It is possible for divorced parents to ask the courts to modify either custody arrangements or child support when their lives change. One of the most common reasons to modify child support is a sudden increase or decrease in income. When the income of one parent changes, the child support arrangement for both parents may change as a result.
When the parent paying support earns more, they may need to pay more
The Connecticut child support formula looks at the number of children and the income of both parents. It will also consider special expenses that children incur, such as child care or medical expenses. If there is a significant change in the income of either parent, that can also impact how much child support the Connecticut family courts order.
If the parent paying child support takes a new job or receives a significant raise, the parent who receives child support may request that the courts modify the existing child support order. The courts will look at the change in income, and, if it is substantial, they may increase the child support to reflect the new, higher wage.
If the opposite happens, and the parent paying support loses income, the courts will take that into consideration as well. Typically, the courts expect at least a 15 percent difference in the amount of support to grant a modification hearing. A parent who has lost their income or has to take a job that pays substantially less can request a modification to reduce the financial burden created by child support.
The income of the parent receiving support can impact amounts, too
The courts will also consider child support modifications in the event that the parent who receives child support has a sudden change in income. Whether their income goes up substantially or decreases, that may impact the amount of support the other parent must pay.
If you are not sure if seeking a modification is in your best interest, speaking with a Connecticut divorce attorney may help you make the wisest decision. Once you determine that a modification would be a smart move, you can file a motion asking the courts for a modification hearing.