After your divorce, a judge may have approved a child support payment plan that took a variety of factors into account. In addition to your respective incomes, the court may have considered your health, ages and the needs of your children.
However, as life brings change, you may find that your original child support agreement is no longer working. In Connecticut, you may be able to modify payment amounts to be higher or lower if your family’s circumstances have changed significantly.
1. When might the court agree to change support amounts?
Generally, the court may allow you to modify payments if your current order deviates from Connecticut’s child support guidelines by a significant margin. Examples of substantial life changes that may justify a change include a job loss, a significant raise or increasing/decreasing costs related to caring for your children.
2. Which parent can request a change?
Either you or your ex-spouse can ask that the court review your current order. As the paying parent, you may request lower amounts if you can no longer cover the cost. Additionally, as the receiving parent, you may request higher payments if your children’s needs have increased.
3. Must you make support changes through the court?
In order to modify child support amounts, the court must agree that the change is being made for good reason and is in the best interest of your children. Failing to request official approval for modification may result in wage garnishment, withheld tax returns or even imprisonment.
You and your ex-spouse may want to adjust monthly payments without creating extra conflict. If you have a relatively amicable relationship, you may be able to create a new support agreement by meeting with a third-party mediator who can help you find a workable path forward.