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Child support modification: The steps you must take

There may come a point when making your child support payments is no longer feasible. While you realize your financial situation has changed for the worse, you shouldn't assume that the court will be on the same page. The New Haven family law judge who presided over your case won't know that anything has changed unless you bring it to the court's attention.

Once you decide to seek a child support modification, here are the steps you must take:

  • Act quickly. The court needs to know that you are facing financial difficulties. Until then, they expect you to make your child support payments in full and on time. The faster you take action, the better off you will be.
  • Learn more. Take the time to better understand Connecticut's child support laws, including what you need to prove in order to be granted a modification.
  • Consult with the other parent. This may be one of the more difficult things you will need to do, but it's nonetheless important. If you explain your situation to the other parent, he or she may agree to modify the child support payment amount.
  • Keep making payments. As difficult as it may be, you can't stop making child support payments. You need to keep up to the best of your ability, as you are required by the court to do so until further notice.
  • Document your financial changes. It's not sufficient to tell the court that you no longer have the money needed to make your child support payments. You need to be able to prove this, e.g., supplying proof of unemployment or the inability to work as a result of a serious illness. The more documentation you provide, the better off you'll be.
  • File your request. Again, nothing can be done to help you until you file your child support modification request with the clerk of court that issued the original support order.

In an ideal world, you would be able to make your child support payments without adding any stress to your financial life. Unfortunately, things can change as time goes by.

If you come to find that a child support modification is necessary, follow the process outlined by the court. The faster you act, the sooner you can receive a final determination.

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Nancy Noyes Engelman, Noyes & Rubin, LLP
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New Haven, CT 06510

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