Often a party will feel that the burden of child support or alimony payments are unreasonable and may come up with reasons for late, missing or reduced payments. Once a court order has been issued for payment of child support or alimony, it is legally enforceable. Only the courts can make changes to the payment amounts, frequency or duration. With few exceptions, in Connecticut, child support can always be modified if there has been a substantial change in a party’s financial circumstances. The state’s child support guidelines will often determine the amount of the payment based on the income of the parties. It is the basis and amount of the income that often becomes arguable in determining child support. Alimony may or may not be modifiable. Depending upon the original terms of the alimony order, it may be that only the term can be modified, or only the amount can be modified.
Case Study – Support Order Change due to Lay-Off
The firm represented two women whose ex-husbands were trying to reduce or eliminate their child support and alimony obligations on the basis of lost employment. Extensive discovery resulted in information used at the hearings in support of our argument that such reduction should be denied. In one case, it was discovered that the obligor was not a victim of a lay-off as he had claimed. Instead, he voluntarily left his employ to start his own business. Bellenot & Boufford, LLC successfully argued that the voluntary reduction in income to pursue a dream should not result in negative financial consequences for the child. Discovery included taking his deposition and obtaining Facebook posts and emails among other things.
Case Study – Support Order Change Due to Closing a Business
In the other case, extensive financial discovery and analysis revealed that the obligor did not just sell his business and become “unemployed” as alleged. He in fact continued to receive a substantial stream of income from the business.
It is in your best interest to at least consult with a child support / alimony attorney prior to agreeing to any changes of child support or alimony payments. Some orders/decisions are non-modifiable. Fixing a mistake always takes more time and effort than doing it correct the first time.
Bellenot & Boufford, LLC can assist and advise you at every stage of your dissolution of marriage. We can help as much or as little as you want. We work and collaborate with you to make sure your matter is done properly and efficiently. We are cost conscious.