CHAPTER 815j
DISSOLUTION OF MARRIAGE, LEGAL SEPARATION
AND ANNULMENT

Table of Contents

Sec. 46b-56c. Educational support orders.
Sec. 46b-62. (Formerly Sec. 46-59). Orders for payment of attorney's fees in certain actions.
Sec. 46b-86. (Formerly Sec. 46-54). Modification of alimony or support orders and judgments.

PART I
GENERAL PROVISIONS

      Sec. 46b-56c. Educational support orders. (a) For purposes of this section, an educational support order is an order entered by a court 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. An educational support order may be entered with respect to any child who has not attained twenty-three years of age and shall terminate not later than the date on which the child attains twenty-three years of age.

      (b) (1) On motion or petition of a parent, the court may enter an educational support order at the time of entry of a decree of dissolution, legal separation or annulment, and no educational support order may be entered thereafter unless the decree explicitly provides that a motion or petition for an educational support order may be filed by either parent at a subsequent date. If no educational support order is entered at the time of entry of a decree of dissolution, legal separation or annulment, and the parents have a child who has not attained twenty-three years of age, the court shall inform the parents that no educational support order may be entered thereafter. The court may accept a parent's waiver of the right to file a motion or petition for an educational support order upon a finding that the parent fully understands the consequences of such waiver.

      (2) On motion or petition of a parent, the court may enter an educational support order at the time of entry of an order for support pendente lite pursuant to section 46b-83.

      (3) On motion or petition of a parent, the court may enter an educational support order at the time of entering an order of support pursuant to section 46b-61 or 46b-171 or similar section of the general statutes, or at any time thereafter.

      (4) 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, subject to the provisions of sections 46b-212 to 46b-213w, inclusive.

      (c) The court may not enter an educational support order pursuant to this section unless the court finds as a matter of fact that it is more likely than not that the parents would have provided support to the child for higher education or private occupational school if the family were intact. After making such finding, the court, in determining whether to enter an educational support order, shall consider all relevant circumstances, including: (1) The parents' income, assets and other obligations, including obligations to other dependents; (2) the child's need for support to attend an institution of higher education or private occupational school considering the child's assets and the child's ability to earn income; (3) the availability of financial aid from other sources, including grants and loans; (4) the reasonableness of the higher education to be funded considering the child's academic record and the financial resources available; (5) the child's preparation for, aptitude for and commitment to higher education; and (6) evidence, if any, of the institution of higher education or private occupational school the child would attend.

      (d) At the appropriate time, both parents shall participate in, and agree upon, the decision as to which institution of higher education or private occupational school the child will attend. The court may make an order resolving the matter if the parents fail to reach an agreement.

      (e) To qualify for payments due under an educational support order, the child must (1) enroll in an accredited institution of higher education or private occupational school, as defined in section 10a-22a, (2) actively pursue a course of study commensurate with the child's vocational goals that constitutes at least one-half the course load determined by that institution or school to constitute full-time enrollment, (3) maintain good academic standing in accordance with the rules of the institution or school, and (4) make available all academic records to both parents during the term of the order. The order shall be suspended after any academic period during which the child fails to comply with these conditions.

      (f) The educational support order may include support for any necessary educational expense, including room, board, dues, tuition, fees, registration and application costs, but such expenses shall not be more than the amount charged by The University of Connecticut for a full-time in-state student at the time the child for whom educational support is being ordered matriculates, except this limit may be exceeded by agreement of the parents. An educational support order may also include the cost of books and medical insurance for such child.

      (g) The court may direct that payments under an educational support order be made (1) to a parent to be forwarded to the institution of higher education or private occupational school, (2) directly to the institution or school, or (3) otherwise as the court determines to be appropriate.

      (h) On motion or petition of a parent, an educational support order may be modified or enforced in the same manner as is provided by law for any support order.

      (i) This section does not create a right of action by a child for parental support for higher education.

      (j) An educational support order under this section does not include support for graduate or postgraduate education beyond a bachelor's degree.

      (k) The provisions of this section shall apply only in cases when the initial order for parental support of the child is entered on or after October 1, 2002.

      (P.A. 02-128, S. 1; P.A. 11-214, S. 6.)

      History: P.A. 11-214 amended Subsec. (b)(4) to substitute reference to Sec. 46b-213w for reference to Sec. 46b-213v.

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      Sec. 46b-62. (Formerly Sec. 46-59). Orders for payment of attorney's fees in certain actions. In any proceeding seeking relief under the provisions of this chapter and sections 17b-743, 17b-744, 45a-257, 46b-1, 46b-6, 46b-212 to 46b-213w, inclusive, 47-14g, 51-348a and 52-362, the court may order either spouse or, if such proceeding concerns the custody, care, education, visitation or support of a minor child, either parent to pay the reasonable attorney's fees of the other in accordance with their respective financial abilities and the criteria set forth in section 46b-82. If, in any proceeding under this chapter and said sections, the court appoints an attorney for a minor child, the court may order the father, mother or an intervening party, individually or in any combination, to pay the reasonable fees of the attorney or may order the payment of the attorney's fees in whole or in part from the estate of the child. If the child is receiving or has received state aid or care, the compensation of the attorney shall be established and paid by the Public Defender Services Commission.

      (P.A. 73-373, S. 27; P.A. 78-230, S. 44, 54; P.A. 86-264, S. 16; P.A. 88-41; June 18 Sp. Sess. P.A. 97-1, S. 54, 75; P.A. 07-159, S. 1; P.A. 11-51, S. 14; 11-214, S. 7.)

      History: P.A. 78-230 rephrased provisions and deleted reference to Sec. 46-5h; Sec. 46-59 transferred to Sec. 46b-62 in 1979 and references to other sections within provisions revised as necessary to reflect their transfer; P.A. 86-264 eliminated maximum compensation of $100 for attorney if child is or has received state aid or care and added provision that such compensation be established by, and paid from funds appropriated to, the judicial department; P.A. 88-41 authorized the court to order either parent to pay the reasonable attorney's fees of the other if the proceeding concerns the custody, care, education, visitation or support of a minor child and to order an intervening party individually or in any combination with the father and mother to pay the reasonable fees of an attorney appointed by the court for a minor child; June 18 Sp. Sess. P.A. 97-1 made a technical change, effective January 1, 1998; P.A. 07-159 replaced provision re reasonable compensation of attorney established by, and paid from funds appropriated to, Judicial Department with provision re compensation of attorney established and paid by Commission on Child Protection, effective July 1, 2007; P.A. 11-51 substituted "Public Defender Services Commission" for "Commission on Child Protection", effective July 1, 2011; P.A. 11-214 substituted reference to Sec. 46b-213w for reference to Sec. 46b-213v.

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PART III
SUPPORT OF CHILD AND SPOUSE.
TRANSFER OF PROPERTY

      Sec. 46b-86. (Formerly Sec. 46-54). Modification of alimony or support orders and judgments. (a) Unless and to the extent that the decree precludes modification, any final order for the periodic payment of permanent alimony or support, an order for alimony or support pendente lite or an order requiring either party to maintain life insurance for the other party or a minor child of the parties may, at any time thereafter, be continued, set aside, altered or modified by the court upon a showing of a substantial change in the circumstances of either party or upon a showing that the final order for child support substantially deviates from the child support guidelines established pursuant to section 46b-215a, unless there was a specific finding on the record that the application of the guidelines would be inequitable or inappropriate. There shall be a rebuttable presumption that any deviation of less than fifteen per cent from the child support guidelines is not substantial and any deviation of fifteen per cent or more from the guidelines is substantial. Modification may be made of such support order without regard to whether the order was issued before, on or after May 9, 1991. In determining whether to modify a child support order based on a substantial deviation from such child support guidelines the court shall consider the division of real and personal property between the parties set forth in the final decree and the benefits accruing to the child as the result of such division. After the date of judgment, modification of any child support order issued before, on or after July 1, 1990, may be made upon a showing of such substantial change of circumstances, whether or not such change of circumstances was contemplated at the time of dissolution. By written agreement, stipulation or decision of the court, those items or circumstances that were contemplated and are not to be changed may be specified in the written agreement, stipulation or decision of the court. This section shall not apply to assignments under section 46b-81 or to any assignment of the estate or a portion thereof of one party to the other party under prior law. No order for periodic payment of permanent alimony or support may be subject to retroactive modification, except that the court may order modification with respect to any period during which there is a pending motion for modification of an alimony or support order from the date of service of notice of such pending motion upon the opposing party pursuant to section 52-50.

      (b) In an action for divorce, dissolution of marriage, legal separation or annulment brought by a husband or wife, in which a final judgment has been entered providing for the payment of periodic alimony by one party to the other, the Superior Court may, in its discretion and upon notice and hearing, modify such judgment and suspend, reduce or terminate the payment of periodic alimony upon a showing that the party receiving the periodic alimony is living with another person under circumstances which the court finds should result in the modification, suspension, reduction or termination of alimony because the living arrangements cause such a change of circumstances as to alter the financial needs of that party.

      (c) When one of the parties, or a child of the parties, is receiving or has received aid or care from the state under its aid to families with dependent children or temporary family assistance program, HUSKY Plan, Part A, or foster care program as provided in Title IV-E of the Social Security Act, or when one of the parties has applied for child support enforcement services under Title IV-D of the Social Security Act as provided in section 17b-179, such motion to modify shall be filed with the Family Support Magistrate Division for determination in accordance with subsection (m) of section 46b-231.

      (P.A. 73-373, S. 23; P.A. 78-230, S. 39, 54; P.A. 86-359, S. 2, 44; P.A. 87-104; P.A. 89-360, S. 12, 45; P.A. 90-188, S. 1; 90-213, S. 46, 56; P.A. 91-76, S. 1, 7; June 18 Sp. Sess. P.A. 97-2, S. 105, 165; P.A. 01-135, S. 2, 3; P.A. 10-36, S. 6; P.A. 11-214, S. 8.)

      History: P.A. 78-230 added Subsec. (b) re changes in alimony when recipient is living with another person and changed circumstances alter recipient's financial needs; Sec. 46-54 transferred to Sec. 46b-86 in 1979 and internal reference to Sec. 46-51 revised to reflect its transfer; P.A. 86-359 added Subsec. (c) re referral of motion to modify to family support magistrate where one of parties or child is receiving or has received aid from AFDC program or foster care program or where one of parties has applied for child support enforcement services under Title IV-D; P.A. 87-104 provided that (1) after date of judgment, modification may be made upon showing of substantive change in circumstances, whether or not such change of circumstances was contemplated at the time of dissolution and (2) those items that were contemplated and are not to be changed may be specified in the written agreement, stipulation or decision of the court; P.A. 89-360 amended Subsec. (c) by changing "referred to" to "filed with" and added "determination in accordance with subsection (m) of section 46b-231"; P.A. 90-188 amended Subsec. (a) by adding provision permitting modification of child support order if it substantially deviates from the child support guidelines established under Sec. 46b-215a unless inequitable or inappropriate, and prohibiting retroactive modification of order of periodic payment or permanent alimony or support, except during period of pending motion for modification; P.A. 90-213 added provision that modifications can be made pursuant to this section to support orders issued before or after July 1, 1990; P.A. 91-76 amended Subsec. (a) by adding provision re rebuttable presumption that deviation of less than 15% from child support guidelines is not substantial and any deviation of more than 15% is substantial and permitting modification of support order without regard to whether order issued before on or after May 9, 1991; June 18 Sp. Sess. P.A. 97-2 amended Subsec. (c) to make technical and conforming changes re references to assistance programs, effective July 1, 1997; P.A. 01-135 amended Subsec. (a) by adding provision permitting court to order either party to maintain life insurance for other party or minor child of parties, effective July 1, 2001; P.A. 10-36 amended Subsec. (a) to reposition provision re order to maintain life insurance and make technical changes, effective July 1, 2010; P.A. 11-214 amended Subsec. (c) to substitute "temporary family assistance" for "temporary assistance for needy families", add "HUSKY Plan, Part A", and make technical changes.

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