Connecticut Connecticut

Child Support Laws

What Is Child Support?

Child support is an ongoing payment by a non-custodial parent to assist with the financial support of their children. Child support payments are often determined during the process of dissolution of a marriage through divorce, though the only requirements for requesting child support payments are establishment of paternity and maternity.

Child support is handled on a state level, and Connecticut has a set of specific child support guidelines. On this page you can learn about how child support is calculated in Connecticut, how custody split and extraordinary costs affect child support payments, and more.

Connecticut Child Support Law Summary

Connecticut uses the "income share" method for calculating child support payments, which is designed to ensure that both the custodial and non-custodial parents contribute to their child's upkeep.

In the event of parents sharing custody of a child, the Connecticut judge who sets child support may deviate from the basic child support formula to account for this. Other special situations accounted for under Connecticut's child support law include extraordinary medical costs. These costs may be additions to the basic Connecticut child support order.

What Factors are Considered in Determining Child Support?

In fixing the nature and value of the property, if any, to be assigned, the court will consider the following:

  • the length of the marriage

  • the causes for the annulment

  • dissolution of the marriage or legal separation

Additionally, the age, health, residence, occupation, amount/sources of income, vocational skills, employability, estate, liabilities/needs of each party and opportunities for future acquisition of capital assets and income are taken into consideration.

For the purpose of determining equal division of property, the court can consider evidence that a spouse dissipated marital assets before physical separation as long as the actions that constituted dissipation occured either with the intention of divorce or separation, or while the marriage is in serious jeopardy and/or undergoing an irreversible breakdown.

The courts do not need to refer to criteria it considered in its decision to resolve property and alimony disputes in a dissolution of marriage action.

Connecticut Child Support Calculation Formula Methods

Child support can be arranged out of court by a mutual support agreement between the parents, or can be decided in Connecticut family court through a child support order. In Connecticut, a number of factors are taken into account when determining the amount of child support to be paid in court. Here is an explanation of the two most common methods used to calculate basic child support amounts.

Income Share Method

Under the income share model, the court uses economic tables to estimate the total monthly cost of raising the children. The non-custodial parent pays a percentage of the calculated cost that is based on their proportional share of both parents' combined income.

Example: The non-custodial parent of one child has an income of $2,000 per month, and the custodial parent has an income of $1,000 per month. The court estimates that the cost of raising one child is $1,000 a month. The non-custodial parent's income is 66.6% of the parent's total combined income. Therefore, the non-custodial parent pays $666 per month in child support, or 66.6% of the total child support obligation.

Connecticut does use the income share method to calculate child support

Percentage Of Income Method

This method of calculating child support is simple - a set percentage of the non-custodial parent's income is paid monthly to the custodial parent to cover basic child support expenses. The percentage paid may stay the same, or vary if the non-custodial parent's income changes.

Example: The non-custodial parent of one child has an income of $2,000 per month. The court orders a flat percentage of 25% of the non-custodial parent's income to be paid in child support to the custodial parent. Therefore, the non-custodial parent pays $500 per month in child support. If the non-custodial parent's monthly income changes, the dollar amount they pay in child support will change as well.

Connecticut does not use the percentage of income method to calculate child support

Connecticut Child Support Frequently Asked Questions

How does having shared custody of the child affect child support in Connecticut?

All states have a method of modifying the amount of child support owed in cases where the custody agreement provides for joint or shared custody of a child between both parents.

Connecticut law allows the judge overseeing the child support order to use a shared custody agreement as justification for a variation from the state's general child support calculations. This means that if the non-custodial parent shares parenting time with the custodial parent, the judge might reduce the amount of child support owed to account for the resources spent by the non-custodial parent during their time with the child.

How are extraordinary medical costs treated by child support in Connecticut?

Connecticut has specialized guidelines for the sharing of a child's extraordinary medical care costs that are separate from, and in addition to, basic child support payments. Extraordinary medical costs are generally costs generated by things such as illness, hospital visits, or costly procedures such as getting braces.

How are child care costs treated by child support in Connecticut?

Unlike most states, Connecticut has no special provisions for child care costs in their child support guidelines. The costs of child care and lumped in to other costs of providing for the child when child support calculations are being made.

Does child support cover college education expenses in Connecticut?

While the state of Connecticut has no explicit requirement for college expenses to be covered under child support, support for college expense by the non-custodial parent may be voluntarily agreed to by both parties, after which it is contractually enforceable.

How is child support enforced in Connecticut?

In the state of Connecticut, child support is enforced by the state child support agency. The state agency handles the location of non-custodial parents, enforcement of support orders, and the handling of unpaid child support arrears.

What are child support arrears?

Child support arrears are the amount of child support that is delinquent, or unpaid, by the noncustodial parent to the custodial parent. Child support arrears may be collected by the state through wage garnishment, bank levy. withholding of Connecticut welfare benefits, or other collection methods.

How are child support payments taxed in Connecticut?

Under IRS guidelines, the recepient of child support does not need to pay federal tax on child support payments, and the payer of child support cannot deduct their child support payments. This differs from the federal taxation of alimony payments, which are treated as taxable income by the receiver and are deductible by the payor. Connecticut tax law may vary on tax treatment of child support.

| State Law Official Text

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