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Temporary Alimony and Child Support – CT

Temporary (a.k.a. “pendente lite”) Alimony and Child Support in Connecticut

Westport lawyers seek fair financial terms for clients while a case is pending

If you have relied on your spouse’s income during the course of your marriage, going through a divorce might cause you to worry about paying the bills for you and your children. Even if you are confident about receiving fair financial terms when the case is resolved, marriage dissolution proceedings can last many months, or even more than a year. Fortunately, at Needle | Cuda, we have helped many of our clients obtain temporary alimony and child support in Connecticut.

What is temporary (a.k.a. “pendente lite”) alimony in Connecticut?

Temporary alimony is generally meant to aid the less monied spouse while transitioning into an independent or self-sustaining life. This temporary alimony paid by one spouse to the other ends after a set period of time based on the judge’s discretion as to when the less-monied spouse should have become self-sustaining (i.e., established their own form of financial support).

You might depend on your spouse for financial support because you devote your time to child-rearing and housekeeping, or because your job pays less. Connecticut law recognizes the financial pressure that can exist after spouses separate and allows them to seek temporary alimony while their divorce is pending. Decisions on alimony are based on the proposed recipient’s need and the ability of their spouse to make payments.

Factors the court may consider include:

  • The duration of your marriage
  • Cause of the divorce
  • Each spouse’s age and health
  • Each spouse’s income, occupation, vocational skills, employment prospects and financial needs
  • Whether child support is being paid
  • How the custodial parent’s employment will affect the children

Whether you are seeking temporary alimony or being asked to provide it, we will present the strongest possible case to support your position.

Applying for temporary child support in Connecticut

Connecticut law recognizes that child support is an obligation shared by both parents. Each parent has a responsibility to help meet the financial needs of their sons and daughters. When families occupy the same household, support is assumed. However, when the parents live apart, measures must be taken to ensure each parent shoulders their share of the obligation.

If you cannot reach an agreement on child support, our firm will file a motion seeking an appropriate rate based on each parent’s income and other factors,  along with an affidavit showing why your request is justified. The court must schedule the hearing within 60 days thereafter if the matter remains contested.

How are temporary alimony and child support payments calculated?

If the judge decides you qualify for alimony or child support, he or she will determine the amount you will get.

  • To calculate the amount of alimony, the court uses the same factors it does in determining whether to award it.
  • To calculate child support, the court first calculates the parents’ combined net income. That includes your gross incomes, not including child support, Social Security benefits or public assistance, minus insurance premiums, federal tax payments, alimony and child support payments related to children from other relationships and certain other expenses.

Deviations from CT State Child Support Guidelines

The basic child support amount will be determined from that figure using a set formula. The non-custodial parent’s basic child support obligation will be the same proportion of that amount as their individual net income bears to the combined net income figure. However, the court may deviate from that figure if it determines that doing so would be fair, based on various factors. We can explain this formula and these factors in more detail, and will seek the amount of temporary alimony or child support payments that is fairest to you.

Parents can request that the court deviate from the guidelines to increase or decrease the support obligations. Grounds for an upward deviation for any unusual but necessary expenses can be found here.

Modification and enforcement of temporary support orders

Sometimes, a modification of a temporary alimony or child support order is warranted. This requires a substantial change in circumstances, such as a sharp increase or decrease in income. Generally speaking, a change that would result in a shift of at least 15 percent up or down to the alimony or child support rate is deemed to be substantial. If you qualify for a modification, we will file a motion with the court seeking an adjustment to the temporary order.

Our firm also handles enforcement actions in cases where a former partner violates a temporary alimony or support order.

Contact a Connecticut lawyer to discuss a temporary alimony or child support order

Needle | Cuda represents clients in Fairfield County and other parts of Connecticut in proceedings related to temporary alimony and child support orders, as well as other parts of the divorce process. For a consultation regarding your case, call us today at 203-557-9500 or contact our Westport office online.

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