How does child support in Connecticut work?
Parents in Connecticut are financially responsible for their children. Regardless if parents are together and living in the same household, or separated through divorce, they must take care of their kids financially. CT child support enables divorced parents to take care of their children through monthly payments. Child support payments are made by one parent to the other, ensuring that the child has basic needs including shelter, food, and clothing.
In Connecticut, child support is determined by the Income Shares Model. The model is used to estimate the amount of money a parent would spend on their child if the couple still lived together with the child/children in one household. The estimated amount is then divided between the two parents based on their incomes.
Who pays CT child support?
Child support in Connecticut is paid by the non-custodial parent and received by the custodial parent. The non-custodial parent is the individual with the fewest contact hours with the child. The custodial parent has the most contact hours with the child and is the parent that the child lives with most of the time.
The custodial parent receives monthly payments from the non-custodial parent to help raise the child financially. It is assumed by Connecticut courts that the custodial parent pays an equal share of child support, however, the money is spent day-to-day on the child.
The custodial parent’s portion of Connecticut child support is paid through every day activities. Due to the non-custodial parent not living full-time with the child, their CT child support payments are made monthly.
CT child support calculator
Connecticut child support is based on both parents’ combined net incomes. Gross income includes most types of earned or unearned income and the net income is calculated by subtracting the allowable deductions. Some examples of income include:
- Employment wages
- Self-employment income
- Dividend or interest income from investments
- Workers’ compensation
- Unemployment insurance benefits
- Pension and/or retirement benefits
Income does not include child support received by a parent for children from an additional relationship, public assistance benefits, or Supplemental Security Income.
Once the individual parents have added up their gross incomes, they can deduct the following expenses to get their net income for CT child support
- Income tax payments
- Medical, hospital or dental insurance premiums for the parent and legal dependents
- Premiums for court-ordered life insurance purchased for the child’s benefit
- Court ordered disability insurance premiums
- Court-ordered alimony or child support paid for other dependents
- Mandatory union dues
- Fees for uniforms and tools
- Social security tax payments
- Mandatory retirement contributions
- Medicare tax payments
Parents with children from other relationships currently living with them, are able to deduct an amount of support.
How much do parents pay in Connecticut child support?
To calculate the basic child support amount to be paid each month, parents must add together their net weekly incomes. The figure can then be matched to the total amount provided by CT child support guidelines. The support guidelines provided by the state allow parents to find the amount that must be paid based on their net weekly incomes.
Once parents find the support amount in the guidelines, each parent must divide their individual income from the total combined income. In the simplest example, if the non-custodial parent earns a net weekly income of $600 and the custodial parent earns a net weekly income of $400, then the non-custodial parent is responsible to pay 60% of the amount outlined by the guidelines.
Only the non-custodial parent must pay the amount outlined by the percentage as the custodial parent is assumed to pay their share through day-to-day living expenses.
According to Connecticut child support guidelines, basic child support payments for parents earning $1,000 per week is:
- $229 (roughly 23%) of the combined net weekly income for one child
- $322 (roughly 32%) for 2 children
- $385 (roughly 39%) for 3 children
How long do parents pay CT child support?
Connecticut child support is typically paid until the child/children graduates from high school or turns 19-years, whichever happens first. Parents may continue to pay child support in Connecticut if:
- The child’s other parent (the custodial parent) gets re-married or lives with another partner
- The non-custodial parent does not see the child
- The non-custodial parent is in prison or unemployed
What happens if a non-custodial parent is behind on child support payments?
In Connecticut, a non-custodial parent that cannot pay their child support payments should pay as much money as possible. Non-custodial parents should then try to make up the support payments they have previously missed. Parents should continue making payments, even if they are not for the full amount. Anything that can be paid is helpful until a non-custodial parent can make up the missed payments.
A non-custodial parent that is behind on making Connecticut child support payments can be punished for not paying. The Support Enforcement Services group can collect missed child support payments in various ways.
Methods to collect back CT child support payments include:
- Taking money from the parent’s paycheck
- Intercepting the parent’s tax refund
- Putting a hold on a parent’s bank account
- Place a lien on the parent’s property
- Report the parent to a credit bureau
- Deny a passport
Parent that knowingly disobeys a child support order can find themselves in contempt of court.
A Connecticut child support court can order the parent to:
- Pay a lump sum to make up for outstanding payments
- Find new employment
- Return to court for another hearing
In extreme circumstances, non-custodial parents can lose their driver’s license or serve jailtime. Non-custodial parents should speak with their lawyer about missed payments or payments made that are not in full.
CT child support courts can increase or decrease the amount a parent pays in support payments. A parent that experiences a significant change in their income can petition the court to adjust the amount they pay. In addition, the custodial parent can petition the court to adjust the child support amount paid by the non-custodial parent.