Deshpande v. Deshpande
An agreement of the parties may be sufficient to rebut the presumption that the support amount calculated under the guidelines is the correct amount; however, the court must still make such a finding, cite one or more deviation criteria to support the agreement, state the amount that would have been required under such sections and make a factual finding to justify the variance. The defendant, Aniruddha Deshpande, appealed from the trial court's judgment in the underlying action to dissolve his marriage to the plaintiff, Judith Deshpande, entering an order for child support and denying his motions for modification of the child support order. The defendant successfully claimed that the court improperly entered the child support order without finding the presumptive amount of child support due under the child support and arrearage guidelines or explaining the reasons for any deviation from the presumptive amount, as required by C.G.S. §46b-215b(a). The majority of the Appellate Court panel reversed the judgment as to the child support order. From a review of the record, it was evident that the court failed to make any findings regarding the presumptive amount of child support under the guidelines or regarding a deviation from that amount. Although the parties' agreements, both of which were approved by the court and incorporated into its orders, specified a child support amount of $322 per week, neither agreement stated the presumptive amount that should have been calculated in accordance with the child support guidelines. At no time during trial did the court state the presumptive amount of support or make any reference whatsoever to the guidelines. The court only stated that the $322 per week in child support on which the parties previously agreed would continue. Similarly, the court failed to make any reference to the presumptive amount in its judgment containing its final order of child support. The court abused its discretion by rendering a child support order without first articulating the presumptive amount due under the guidelines or explaining any deviation from that amount. Judge Alvord dissented, finding that the court should not reach the merits of what constituted a collateral attack on a dissolution judgment that was untimely filed.