Posts tagged with "child support"

Special Education Law – Relevant Terms

Within the realm of Special Education Law there are several relative terms one should be familiar with. Below are some of these key terms.

Applied Behavior Analysis (“ABA”):

An intensive, structured teaching program in which behaviors to be taught are broken down into simple elements. Each element is taught using repeated trials where the child is presented with a stimulus; correct responses and behaviors are rewarded with positive reinforcement, while when incorrect responses occur, they are ignored and appropriate responses are prompted and rewarded. Continue Reading

Can I Obtain Alimony or Child Support While My Divorce Is Pending in Connecticut?

A spouse may obtain alimony and child support while a divorce action is pending, which can be requested by filing a motion with the court.  The court has the authority to make temporary orders for the payment of child support and alimony while the case is ongoing.  These orders may be modified, if there is a substantial change in the financial resources or income of one of the parties, such as a loss of employment, requiring a change in the alimony or support orders.

If you have any questions related divorce or alimony and child support in Connecticut, please contact Joseph C. Maya, Esq. at (203) 221-3100 or e-mail him directly at JMaya@Mayalaw.com.

How is a High-End Divorce Different from a Regular Divorce?

In many ways high-end divorces and lower asset divorces are very similar. Basically, a divorce involves child custody, property division, and alimony. But, there are various factors that complicate a high-end divorce. When spouses have a high net worth, own a business, or own significant assets, property division becomes much more difficult and complex. Often, individuals with large assets own various investment properties, residences, and/or corporations which hold that property. Unlike with a lower income divorce, these assets are much more difficult to divide appropriately and distribute.

It is also important to mention that with many couples, one spouse has significant assets tied to his or her career or passed down from his or her family. In many cases, a complete financial analysis may require that these assets be considered in arriving to an equitable settlement. Our attorneys make sure that a full and complete inventory of all assets of the clients is prepared, including cash, checking accounts, savings and money-market accounts, Children’s Bank Accounts, retirement accounts, non-retirement investment accounts, client debts, deferred pay-raises or bonuses, etc.

Unfortunately, in high-end divorces assets have tendency to disappear once the divorce proceedings have commenced, and it is vital that an attorney working with a high net worth client have knowledge of finance and tax laws in addition to legal knowledge in order to be able to discover these hidden assets, present a full and complete financial picture of the couple and most importantly, address concerns such as future payments of alimony, “maintenance” of the lifestyle a non-working spouse is accustomed to, disparity of income and others. Our own experience illustrates that financial planning is a means of reaching a more equitable divorce settlement. In essence, analyzing the marriage as if it were a financial contract when it comes to division of property makes it possible to achieve best possible results for our clients.

To reduce stress levels and to ensure that your assets are protected, an attorney of Maya Murphy will provide you with the following services for your high-end divorce:

  • Valuation of your business: Before dividing up assets, the full and fair value of the business must be determined. A high-end divorce attorney will work with business valuation experts to evaluate accounts receivable, debt, and business assets.
  • Investigation of hidden assets: In a high-end divorce, there is the potential for one of the parties to hide assets. An investigation is often needed to determine if any stocks, mutual funds, insurance policies, bonds, and unreported income have been held back.
  • Negotiation of alimony agreement: When one spouse is financially dependent on the other, he or she may require help securing a fair alimony agreement for life after the divorce.
  • Division of stock options: Many high-income families in Pennsylvania have vested stock options that will have to be divided up during the divorce. It is necessary not only to divide up the stock options but also to determine who will pay taxes on the stocks.

These are just some of the many services that one of Maya Murphy’s high-end divorce attorneys will provide you with to help complete your divorce efficiently and in your favor. If you are in the middle of a divorce, or even if you are contemplating a divorce, it is critical to have a fair and accurate assessment of your assets. Contact an experienced high-end divorce attorney who will work diligently to protect your rights and best interests. Call Maya Murphy today at 203-222-MAYA or email at Ask@mayalaw.com.

How Long Can I Be Incarcerated for Contempt of Court in a Divorce Case for Failure to Pay Support?

Incarceration depends on what the contempt involves and the specific facts of your case.  Every state has a strong interest in ensuring that child support is paid and may impose strict punishments for failure to comply with a court order for child support.  If a judge finds contempt for separate issues, such as failure to pay child support and failure to pay alimony, then the judge may impose jail time for each instance until you comply with the support.  If you cannot comply with the support order because your finances have changes since the order was issued, you may modify the order.

If you have any questions regarding divorce or family law in Connecticut, please contact Joseph C. Maya, Esq. at (203) 221-3100 or e-mail him directly at JMaya@Mayalaw.com.

What Is a Parenting Plan in Connecticut?

A parenting plan is an agreement between the parties to a divorce action that sets out how the children will be taken care and how they will co-parent their children following a divorce.  Parenting plans include a plan for custody and visitation, as well as a schedule for holiday and vacation time.

If you have any questions related to divorce or parenting plans in Connecticut, please contact Joseph C. Maya, Esq. at (203) 221-3100 or e-mail him directly at JMaya@Mayalaw.com.

How Do I Get Child Support from Someone Who Is a Subcontractor?

Obtaining child support may be a complicated task if you do not know the name of the company employing the person you are seeking child support from.  If the court has not ordered support, you may go to court and obtain an order.  Once you have obtained a court order, if the subcontractor still has not paid support you may file a petition to show cause.  This will hold the subcontractor accountable to the court.

 

This may be overwhelming without the assistance of an attorney.  If you have any questions related to family law or obtaining child support in Connecticut, please contact Joseph C. Maya, Esq. at (203) 221-3100 or e-mail him directly at JMaya@Mayalaw.com.

Court Decides Issue of First Impression Regarding Payment of College Expenses

In a recent decision, a Connecticut Superior Court addressed an issue of first impression regarding the payment of college expenses, namely whether the Connecticut Superior Courts have the authority to enter an educational support order for a child that has reached the age of majority when entering a child support order for a minor child.  The parties in this particular case were married in Chile and had two children before obtaining a divorce (also in Chile) in 1991.  The Chilean divorce decree did not contain any provisions regarding child support or the payment of college expenses.

The parties subsequently moved to the United States, and in February 2012, the children’s mother filed a motion requesting that the father pay child support for their minor son and also contribute toward the cost of their older daughter’s college expenses.  When the mother filed the motion, the parties’ son was fourteen and the parties’ daughter was eighteen.

Generally speaking, C.G.S.A. 46b-56c authorizes a court to issue an educational support order requiring a parent to provide support for a child or children to attend for up to a total of four full academic years an institution of higher education or a private occupational school for the purpose of attaining a bachelor’s or other undergraduate degree, or other appropriate vocational instruction.  The statute provides that a court, on motion or petition of a parent, may enter an educational support order at the time of entering: a decree of dissolution, legal separation or annulment; an order for support pendente lite; a support order where parents of a minor child live separately; or a judgment of paternity.  However, the statute also provides that, “On motion or petition of a parent, the court may enter an educational support order at the time of entering an order pursuant to any other provision of the general statutes authorizing the court to make an order of support for a child…” As the Court in this case explained, at any of those points, “[a]n educational support order may be entered with respect to any child who has not attained twenty-three years of age . . .”

In the aforementioned case, the Court held that the provisions of §46b-56c clearly provide that an educational support order may be entered with respect to any child who has not attained twenty-three years of age at the time the court enters an order of support pursuant to any provision of the General Statutes.  According to the Court, nothing in the plain language of §46b-56c requires that the educational support order be issued for the same child for whom the support order is being entered.  Additionally, nothing in the statutory language suggests that the court’s authority to enter an educational support order for a child that has reached the age of majority is limited in cases where a parent’s younger child qualifies for support.

Litigants should be aware of the fact that the foregoing decision is persuasive (as opposed to binding authority) at best, and contains facts that may distinguish the case from their own.  Indeed, it is important to have a comprehensive understanding of the statutes and case law governing the payment of college expenses, particularly because parties are generally precluded from seeking post judgment orders regarding college expenses unless the court specifically retains jurisdiction over the issue during the final dissolution hearing.

Should you have any questions regarding educational support orders, or divorce matters in general, please feel free to contact Joseph Maya.  He can be reached in the firm’s Westport office at (203) 221-3100 or by e-mail at JMaya@gmail.com.

Decision Suggests Educational Support Orders May Not Be Applied Retroactively

A case decided by the Connecticut Appellate Court, suggests Educational Support orders entered pursuant to Connecticut General Statutes § 46b-56c may not be entered retroactively.  In Kleinman v. Chapnick, 131 Conn. App. 812 (2011), the parties had two children who were over the age of eighteen and enrolled as full-time college students.  During the divorce proceedings, the parties’ older daughter was a senior and their younger daughter was a freshman.  In February 2010, after the parties entered into a final agreement on custody and visitation, a two day trial ensued regarding financial issues.

As part of its decision, the Court ordered the husband to pay 100 percent of the statutory expenses for the education of the parties’ younger daughter beginning with the 2010-2011 school year.  As the Court did not enter an order with respect to the 2009-2010 school year, the wife filed a Motion to Clarify, Correct and/or Reargue.  The Court subsequently heard the wife’s motion, but declined to change its position.

On appeal, the Connecticut Appellate Court found that the husband made voluntary payments for the 2009-2010 school year that exceeded his statutory obligation under Conn. Gen. Stat. § 46b-56c.  More importantly, however, the Court held that Section 46b-56c contains no language authorizing retroactive application, pointing out that various provisions contained within the statute suggest that it is intended to apply prospectively only.  In a footnote, the Court further explained that child support orders cannot be retroactive, and an order for post-majority educational support is in fact an order for child support for college education.

Should you have any questions regarding educational support in the context of divorce proceedings, please feel free to contact Attorney Michael D. DeMeola.  He practices out of the firm’s Westport office and can be reached by telephone at (203) 221-3100 or email at mdemeola@maylaw.com.

Wife Found in Contempt of Court’s “Automatic Orders”

In a relatively recent decision rendered in a dissolution of marriage action, a wife was found in contempt for depriving her husband of information regarding the parties’ two minor children in violation of the court’s “automatic orders.”  In this particular case, the parties were married 1991, and were the parents of two children.  At the time of trial the husband was forty-three years old and in generally good health.  He had an associate’s degree and worked for a supply company earning approximately $51,000 annually.  The wife was also forty-three years old and in generally good health.  Although she stayed home to care for the family for a better part of the marriage, in 1999 she began working as an independent contractor selling kitchen products.  Later, she worked for a local board of education, and at the time of trial, was employed with a local newspaper earning roughly $20,000, plus commission, annually.

During the divorce proceedings, the husband filed a motion for contempt claiming the wife violated the court’s automatic orders in that she left the marital residence with the children and refused to disclose their location.  In reviewing the merits of the husband’s motion, the court noted that in a civil contempt proceeding, the movant must show by a preponderance of the evidence the existence of a clear and unambiguous court order, and willful noncompliance with that order.  According to the court’s “automatic orders,” entered upon the commencement of every divorce action, neither party is permitted to remove children from the State of Connecticut without prior written consent of the other parent.  Additionally, a party vacating the marital residence with minor children must notify the other parent of the move, and must provide the other parent of an address where the relocated party can be contacted.  Finally, where parents live separate and apart during a divorce proceeding, pursuant to the “automatic orders,” they must assist their children in having contact with both parents.

In this particular case, the court found that because the wife was served in hand with a notice of automatic orders, she clearly knew she had an obligation to inform the husband in writing of any relocation.  The court found that she also knew she had a duty to assist her children in having contact with their father.  Nevertheless, the wife willfully removed the children from the home, and kept their address from the husband absent a valid reason for doing so.  As a result, the husband did not know where the children were living until the day of trial.  The court further found that the wife willfully kept the children from having contact with their father in violation of the court’s clear and unambiguous automatic orders.

Should you have any questions regarding automatic court orders, or divorce proceedings in general, please feel free to contact Attorney Michael D. DeMeola, Esq.  He can be reached in the firm’s Westport office at (203) 221-3100 or by e-mail at mdemeola@mayalaw.com.
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Our firm in Westport serves clients with divorce, matrimonial, and family law issues from all over the state including the towns of: Bethel, Bridgeport, Brookfield, Danbury, Darien, Easton, Fairfield, Greenwich, Monroe, New Canaan, New Fairfield, Newton, Norwalk, Redding, Ridgefield, Shelton, Sherman, Stamford, Stratford, Trumbull, Weston, Westport, and Wilton.

If you have any questions or would like to speak to an attorney about a divorce or familial matter, please don’t hesitate to call our office at (203) 221-3100 for a free consultation. Divorce is difficult, education is power. Call today.

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Court Awards Wife Alimony for a Period of Ten Years with Safe Harbor for Husband Up to $250,000 Annually

In a recent dissolution of marriage action pending in the Judicial District of Fairfield at Bridgeport, the Court awarded the wife unallocated alimony and child support in the amount of $1,000 per week.  The parties were married in 1999 and were the parents of two children, both of whom were minors at the time of trial.  The Husband was thirty-eight years of age, had a degree in engineering, and worked for a family business owned by his father.  The wife was forty years of age.  She did not have a college degree and worked only seven hours per week.  The parties both alleged that the other caused the breakdown of the marriage by abusing drugs and alcohol, although the Court questioned the wife’s credibility on that topic.  The wife also claimed that the husband expressed he wanted to end the marriage because he had met another woman.  Despite the parties’ allegations, however, the Court found them equally at fault for the breakdown of the relationship.

At trial, the wife also claimed that the husband underreported his income on his financial affidavit, although the Court noted that she presented no evidence to support the allegation.  The Court ultimately reviewed the parties’ joint tax returns and found that the husband’s gross income at the time of trial was $140,000 per year, exclusive of any bonus and that the wife was earning $100 gross per week.   Based on those figures, the Court determined that the presumptive child support award under the Connecticut Child Support Guidelines was $392 per week.  However, at the parties’ request, the Court entered an unallocated alimony and child support order, awarding the wife $1,000 per week for a period of ten years, with the full amount deductible by the husband and taxable to the wife.  The Court further ordered the husband to pay the wife 50% of his bonus each year within ten days of his receipt of the same.  The Court specified that said sum shall also be paid to the wife as unallocated alimony and child support, and therefore was also deductible by the Husband and taxable to the wife.  The Court allowed the husband a safer harbor up to $250,000 per year, and the wife a safe harbor up to $10,000 per year, thereby precluding future modifications unless and until their respective incomes exceeded the aforementioned amounts.

If you have questions regarding alimony or any family law matter, contact Joseph Maya at 203-221-3100 or by email at JMaya@MayaLaw.com.