Raising a child is expensive, and few people can afford to do it alone. Further, even if a parent can bear the costs of raising a child independently, both parents have an obligation to provide a child with financial support. Thus, under Connecticut law, parents can seek monetary payments from their child's co-parent to help a child receive the funds needed to provide food, shelter, and other necessities. If you share custody of a child and you or your child's other parent intend to seek financial support via the courts, it is prudent to speak to an attorney to discuss your case. Kevin L. Hoffkins is a knowledgeable Westport child support attorney who can inform you of your options and help you strive for the best outcome possible under the circumstances. He regularly assists parents in child support matters in Westport and other cities throughout Fairfield and New Haven Counties.Connecticut's Child Support Laws
Under Connecticut law, parents must provide monetary support for their children. Child support is not only meant to provide a child with food, shelter, and clothing but also with health care and educational expenses. Generally, child support obligations will continue until a child reaches the age of eighteen, but in some cases, the court may extend an obligation beyond that date. Notably, either parent can seek support, and the courts do not consider a parent's gender in determining if they should grant support.
No set amount is considered adequate support. Instead, the courts will turn to the Connecticut child support guidelines to determine an appropriate award. The guidelines employ what is known as an income shares model to calculate an obligation, which means that the court will evaluate the parents' combined income and then assess what portion of that income a child would receive if the parents still lived in the same household. An experienced Westport child support attorney such as Kevin L. Hoffkins can help you navigate the technicalities of the Connecticut Child Support Guidelines.
In determining the parents' income, the court will look at affidavits submitted by the parties, outlining their expenses and earnings. After the court establishes a parent's gross income, it will deduct expenses for certain things, such as income taxes, specified benefits, and court-ordered child support for other children. The court will then use the parents' combined net income in combination with the number of children involved to determine the support obligation. While the guidelines should be used to calculate support, in some cases, the court may deviate from the guidelines. Westport child support attorney Kevin L. Hoffkins can help you make sure your child support amount is calculated correctly.Modifying and Enforcing a Child Support Order
In many instances, what the court determines to be a suitable support amount will no longer be ideal as the child's needs or the parents' financial status changes. Thus, either party can seek a change of an existing order if it is warranted. A party seeking a modification generally must show that there has been a significant and lasting change in a material circumstance. In other words, the party must show that the change is not temporary and that it affects one of the elements used in determining the initial order, such as the income, debts, or assets of either parent, the division of custody, or the child's needs. If a parent refuses to pay support despite an order, the court may hold the parent in contempt. It is important to note, however, that the party entitled to receive support cannot withhold access to the child from the other parent due to the lack of support. Kevin L. Hoffkins is a skilled Westport child support attorney who can help you get a modification of child support.Meet With a Trusted Connecticut Child Support Attorney
Children have the right to receive financial support from both parents, but legal action must be taken to obtain adequate funds in many cases. If you or the co-parent of your child intend to file an action seeking support, it is essential to understand your rights and obligations. Westport child support attorney Kevin L. Hoffkins is proficient at helping parties fight to protect their interests in family law cases, and if you hire us, we will work diligently to help you pursue your desired outcome. Mr. Hoffkins has an office in Westport and regularly assists people in family law cases in Norwalk and in Fairfield and New Haven Counties. You can contact him to set up a meeting by calling him at (203) 612-7015 or by using our online form.