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Increases in earnings leads to review of child support levels

Families in New Haven can turn to the courts for assistance if they believe that a former spouse is hiding income in an attempt to make lower child support payments. In a heavily publicized case, a man earning millions of dollars a year has tried to have his income information shielded through the courts. However, the courts have sided with the man's ex-wife that determined that his financial information should be made public and introduced at trial.

It is reported that the man has substantial liquid assets in addition to a sizeable annual income through his position as a banking executive. It is expected that his earnings will rise by 25 percent this year. At the time of the divorce, the couple agreed on a certain level. However, the former husband is now earning substantially more money, and his ex-wife believes that his children should benefit from his increased earnings through higher child support payments.

The father is fighting this increase in child support. The support agreement has already been amended once in 2008, and the ex-wife is now seeking another amendment to increase the support amount for two children to $25,000 per month.

When determining who will receive physical custody of the children in a divorce, it is important to review the financial aspect of raising children and ensure that both parties are meeting their obligation. Couples are encouraged to look at the situation today and how that can change in the future. Partners who are expecting to drastically increase their earning potential may want to protect themselves through careful wording of the divorce decree and original agreements. Likewise, the custodial parent can also ensure that the needs of the children are met by asking to have the agreements reviewed every few years to see if it is time to make adjustments based on higher earning levels.

Source: Politico, "Peter Orszag riches public in child-support trial", Lucy McCalmont, March 12, 2014

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