Bruzzese v. Bruzzese
A court can order that a parent continue to pay child support until the minor child is 21 years old, if the minor child has been diagnosed with a disability. The parties signed a separation contract and divorced in 2006. The separation contract provided that the defendant husband would pay alimony and support in an amount equal to 53 percent of his gross income up to $120,000, plus 33 percent of his gross income that exceeds $120,000. The defendant husband moved to modify alimony and child support, because the parties' oldest child reached the age of majority. Currently, the husband earns approximately $120,000 gross per year as a sales representative, plus a car allowance. At the time of dissolution the wife earned $371 net per week, working part time. Currently, the wife receives unemployment compensation of $388 gross per week and has an earning capacity of $25,000 gross per year. The wife has primary custody of the youngest child, who has been diagnosed with autism. The wife, wrote the court, has "extraordinary parental responsibilities." The wife rarely takes breaks, because the youngest child requires adult supervision. The youngest child visits the husband on Saturday or Sunday each week. The court found that there has been a substantial change in circumstances, because the oldest child has reached the age of majority and graduated from college. The child support guidelines do not apply, pursuant to Connecticut General Statutes §46b-84(c), because the youngest child has been diagnosed with autism. It is equitable and appropriate to extend child support until the youngest child is 21 years old. The court ordered the husband to pay alimony of $1,733 per month, until the wife's death, marriage, civil union or Nov. 1, 2022, whichever takes place first. The court granted the wife a safe harbor of $40,000, before the husband can request modification on the basis that the wife's earnings have increased. The court ordered the husband to pay child support of $2,167 per month, until the youngest child is 21 years old, pursuant to immediate wage withholding.