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How to modify a Connecticut child support order

Divorced parents often have disputes over the terms contained in a child support order. One parent may believe that the ordered amount is too low, while the other parent may claim that the amount is too high to be feasible. In case of a change in financial circumstances, it may be possible to obtain a modification.

There are several important prerequisites before a parent can ask a court to modify a child support order. First, both parents must reside in Connecticut, and a Connecticut court must have issued the original order. Second, there must be a valid reason for the requested modification. Valid reasons include significant changes to a parent's income, significant changes to the cost of caring for the parents' children, or a variation of at least 15 percent above or below the amount required under Connecticut's child support guidelines.

If these prerequisites are met, a parent can proceed with a request to modify the child support order. The general process for that request includes completion of paperwork, service of the paperwork on the other parent and appearing at a court hearing. It may be necessary to gather additional information in advance of the hearing. At a minimum, parents should expect to submit a detailed accounting of income, assets, and debts. The Connecticut Judicial Branch maintains a detailed list of the required paperwork and filing procedures.

When considering a modification to a child support order, it may be helpful to contact an attorney who can advise whether the legal prerequisites have been met. An attorney can also prepare a parent for the eventual court hearing.

Source: State of Connecticut Judicial Branch , "How to Change Your Child Support Order", December 17, 2014

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