How is child support in Connecticut determined?
The Connecticut Child Support Guidelines establish child support based upon the combined net income of both parents. Child support is payable until a child reaches age 18 or, if still enrolled in high school, until age 19. Additionally, the parties are each required to contribute to the cost of unreimbursed medical and dental expenses as well as work-related child care expenses of the custodial parent. Additional factors may be taken into consideration in determining child support, such as the special needs of a child or where the parties equally share parenting time with the child. Additionally, additional expenses of the children may be considered such as extra-curricular activities, religious education, and educational expenses.
Can child support be modified?
Child support is modifiable based upon a substantial change in circumstances from when the order was first issued. This may include a loss of job by the payor spouse, the securing of employment by the child support recipient, a change in the custodial arrangement of the child, or a change in the needs of the minor child. Child support may also be modified when one of the minor children are emancipated (age out of child support) but there are other minor children still entitled to support. Informal understandings between the parents, whether in writing or verbal, are not enforceable ways to modify the child support order. A motion must be filed and the order modified by the Court.
How are child support orders enforced?
Child support orders are enforced through filing a contempt motion detailing the lack of payment. Child support orders may include base support, or payment for unreimbursed medical expenses, child care and extra-curricular activities. The burden will be on the payor spouse to demonstrate an inability to pay. The penalties for willfully not paying child support can include incarceration and income withholding as well as payment of the recipient spouse’s reasonable counsel fees.
Can the Court order my spouse to contribute to college expenses?
Under Conn. Gen. Stat. §46b-56c, when a child is ready to go to college, the Court may enter an order requiring the parents to each contribute to their child’s college education with the total contribution not to exceed the cost of a child’s attendance at the University of Connecticut as a full-time, residential student. The Court order must be premised upon a finding that had the parents remained an intact family, they would have paid for their child’s undergraduate college or post-high school vocational educational expenses to the best of their abilities. The college expenses which may be ordered by the Court are limited to necessary educational expenses such as tuition, room, board, dues, fees, registration and application costs. They do not include such ancillary expenses such as allowance, clothing, cell phone or car expenses.
Contact me for assistance with your child support matter:
For a consultation regarding child support, modification of a child support order, enforcement of a child support order, or college support order, please call my office at (203) 557-0557 or complete the contact form on this site. My office is conveniently located at 246 Post Road East in Westport, Connecticut.