Connecticut Child Custody & Connecticut Child Support
`Connecticut courts, like family courts in all states, strongly encourage divorcing parents to come to a cooperative agreement on the terms of raising their children after a divorce because such agreements are usually reflective of the best interests of the children. If the parents are unable to agree, the court will step in to decide issues of child custody, support, and visitation, always with the best interests of the children in mind. The following are the laws governing Connecticut child custody and support.
Connecticut Child Custody:
Similar to the approach the courts take in determining the existence and amount of spousal support, many factors are considered and weighted in particular ways when determining child custody and child support issues. Ultimately, Connecticut courts determine ALL custody issues as a function of the best interests of the children. No other interest is more fundamental, so your judge will consider everything relevant, including children’s age, their health, their wishes, the parental roles, and other needs of the children. Either a sole or a joint custody decision will likely be reached. Participating in and completing a Parenting Education class is also sometimes a component of this process.
Connecticut Child Support:
Child support in Connecticut is determined in accordance with the Income Shares Model for child support, where each parent's income is considered in relative proportion. The support amounts calculated from each parent then help decide which parent must pay the other in order to maintain the correct proportion and provide for the needs of the child.
These guidelines are not always followed, but a decision to follow a different standard will require supportive evidence showing 1) all the factors that affect the parties financial obligations differently, and 2) how applying a standard other than the Income Shares Model will more effectively preserve the best interests of the child.
The factors that can be considered here are numerous, and include but are not limited to the following:
- Pre-dissolution or pre-separation standard of living that the child enjoyed
- Monetary support provided for other family members
- Debts arising during the marriage for the child’s benefit
- Imputed income to a party who is voluntarily unemployed for the child’s benefit
- Court-ordered payments for health care and education for the child’s benefit
- Children’s independent financial resources, if any
- Education, training, and/or career opportunities of the parties and/or ability to pursue those things
A lawyer can help you sort through your rights and responsibilities when it comes to raising your children after a divorce, and can also serve as your advocate and/or counsel when negotiating a parenting agreement. You can find a lawyer at:
Connecticut Divorce/Child Support/Child Custody Lawyers:
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