In Connecticut, both parents must provide financial support for their children. The parent with physical custody will buy essential items, such as groceries, clothes, and school supplies, directly for the child. The noncustodial parent will be ordered to make weekly payments to offset some of those costs, so the other party is not carrying the entire financial burden.
If you and a co-parent no longer reside together, you need to establish the correct amount of financial support. A Guildford child support lawyer can help you calculate the amount of financial assistance you need and enforce required payments from the other party. Conversely, an experienced family lawyer can work with the noncustodial parent to modify payments after a significant change in their financial situation.
The state has adopted the Connecticut Child Support and Arrearage Guidelines to determine the noncustodial parent’s monthly obligation and each parent’s contribution to the child’s medical, educational, and living expenses. The Guidelines consider several factors, including each parent’s income, healthcare costs, and childcare expenses.
It is important to note that child support is neither deductible by the person paying it nor taxable as income to the person receiving it. After two parents calculate the expenses detailed in the Guidelines, they should find the correct amount of support for the child. A local attorney can assist two parties in completing this child support document.
A parent who is paying child support may also be required to contribute a certain additional amount if the child has special medical or educational needs. If the expenses occur regularly and are predictable, they are included in the regular child support amount. If not, the noncustodial parent may have to reimburse the custodial parent for their share of these expenses. A seasoned lawyer can work with parents to calculate payments for extraordinary costs.
The noncustodial parent is required to provide financial support until the child turns 18. However, if the child is still in high school, payments may continue until they turn 19. Custodial parents caring for a child with disabilities can receive payments until the child turns 21 years old. Anyone who is unsure of how long they are required to pay child support should seek legal help from a qualified legal professional.
If the party who has been ordered to pay child support fails to make their weekly payments, the custodial parent may file for contempt of court. If the obligor had the means to pay, the court might take the child support directly out of their paycheck. This tactic is known as wage garnishment.
The court might also revoke the obligors driver’s license until all support payments are caught up or intercept their federal income tax refund and pay it to the custodial parent.
Because child support is based on both parents’ incomes, a change in either parent’s income may warrant the modification of an existing order. For example, if the paying parent loses their job, they may seek a reduction or temporary suspension of their obligations while they look for other work. A skilled child support lawyer can speak with co-parents about strategies to account for changed financial circumstances.
Whether you seek to set the amount of child support, enforce an existing order, or modify payments based on a change in circumstances, our family law firm can help. A Guilford child support lawyer can walk you through the state guidelines and ensure that each party’s applicable income is considered in any calculations. Our lawyers have experience working on these types of cases and are prepared to help you navigate the legal system.