Getting Connecticut child support is based on a mathematical principle that depends on your income level and number of children. Whether or not you receive support also depends on if you are the custodial parent and your home is the primary residence of the child. Connecticut guidelines say that both parents are responsible for paying basic needs, health care, and childcare expenses for any children. This is true even if the children were adopted during the marriage.
Connecticut Child Support Model
Connecticut child support is figured based upon a mathematical model called the Income Shares Model. This model states that any child should receive the same proportion of his/her parents' income as he/she would if the parents still lived together. Since the child did not make the decision to maintain two separate households due to separation or divorce, the policy says that the parents should absorb those additional expenses.
The mathematical computations have been based upon extensive economic studies done which found that the spending on each child is in proportion with the level of household income and number of children in that home. Intact households (two parent households) are used because the Income Shares Model works to provide support as if the household was still intact.
The Connecticut Child Support and Arrearage Guidelines go into detail regarding how the mathematical equation is figured. It includes explanations on how to figure net income, as well as charts showing the percentage of total weekly income that should be used for support. The final pages of the document have a worksheet to help figure child support. Be sure to read the entire document for complete rules and regulations regarding figuring support.
How to Get Child Support
If you are in need of child support in Connecticut, you must have a court order to get it. Three ways exist for you to begin filing for child support:
- Hire an attorney to represent you in court.
- Represent yourself in court.
- Apply for support services through the local Department of Social Services.
The judges and magistrates in the state must follow the Connecticut Child Support and Arrearage Guidelines when granting support. If they choose to make an exception, it is called a "deviation," and the court must give an explanation as to why it did so.
Additionally, the court may modify child support orders when it deems necessary. Circumstances surrounding either parent's income often change. However, motions must be filed with the court to request a change.
Enforcing Child Support Rulings
When child support is granted to a custodial parent, all collections and payments are handled by the State Disbursement Unit.
If a parent fails to make court-ordered payments, visit CT Law Help for information about getting a contempt order. It is important to note they do not "take sides"--they only enforce court orders. Parents who withhold visitation rights because child support payments are not paid should know that this action will be brought up in court and other proceedings regarding back payments. When one parent disobeys a court order, this does not give the other parent license to do so as well.
For more information regarding Connecticut child support rules, contact a family lawyer or divorce attorney. The Department of Social Services may be able to provide help and support as well.
Resources complied by the state of Connecticut provide comprehensive information to begin research on rules and regulations for child support.
If you think you may have to pay child support, get an estimate of the amount by using an online calculator to determine possible payment amounts.