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Setting your child support expectations

If you're considering a divorce in Connecticut and children are involved, you are probably wondering what the outcome of child support payments will be. You might even be wondering what it will take to either not have to pay, or to make sure you are paid.

Fortunately, in Connecticut, there are specific factors and calculations used to determine how much is paid and by whom. The child support guidelines are cut and dried. Your divorce attorney can tell you what the outcome will be if you already know what the child custody agreement will be between you and your spouse. Visiting your attorney and discussing this ahead of filing for a divorce may help set your expectations.

Also, just because the guidelines are based on solid calculations, that doesn't mean that couples cannot have different child support arrangements. While the standards set by the Connecticut courts are what is normally ordered, if you have good reason why you and your spouse need exceptions, speak to your attorney.

Exceptions can be accepted in an initial order or a later modification if a good argument is presented. The exceptions also must be agreed on by all parties involved. The Office of Child Support Enforcement must also be agreeable.

Child support factors that determine the calculated payments are the number of children, amount of time each parent has the children and the income of both parents. If divorce is in your future, it is never too early to talk to an attorney about what your child support orders might be in different scenarios. For instance, you could see what the payment amount would be if you have the children three-quarters of the time and your spouse has them one-quarter of the time. Change the factors around and work toward what you know you can live with.

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