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Child Support in Connecticut - Questions and Answers For The Parent Who GETS Child Support

This article was produced by LARCC in cooperation with CLS, GHLA, NHLAA, and SLS.

Child Support in Connecticut - Questions and Answers For The Parent Who GETS Child Support

Video: How to File for Divorce

Can I get child support?

Yes if

  • You have custody or the child lives with you,
  • The other parent can be located, (the State can help find the other parent, call 1-800-228-5437), and
  • A court orders child support.

How do I get child support?

You need a court order to get child support. To get a court order

  • Apply for free child support services at your local Department of Social Services. Call 1-800-228-5437 to find out where to apply, or
  • Do it on your own.  You can get help from a Court Service Center, located in most courthouses, or by calling the Children’s Law Line at1-888-529-3667.

How much support can I get?

The court decides the amount based on

  • Your income,
  • The other parent's income, and
  • State guidelines.

The court may order more support for health expenses or child care.

For take-home pay below $1000 per week, the other parent must pay about

25% of take-home pay for 1 child
35% of take-home pay for 2 children
40% of take-home pay for 3 children

What if the other parent and I agree on an amount?

You still need a court order, otherwise, it can’t be enforced.

Can I get child support for the time before there was a support order?

Yes, as long as the other parent could afford to pay child support for that time.

What if the other parent does not pay the support that the court ordered?

Call 1-800-228-5437 to get help collecting the child support you’re owed.  The state’s Child Support Enforcement has several parts that help collect support in different ways.  It might collect back support by taking the money from the other parent’s paycheck, tax refund, and bank account.

It can also

  • Bring the other parent to court for contempt
  • Put a lien on the other parent’s property,
  • Report the other parent to credit bureaus, and
  • Stop the other parent from getting a passport.

Call 1-800-228-5437 for help getting the other parent to pay.

Important! Keep records of any payments you get.  If you have not been keeping track of child support payments, start now!

Can I get the child support amount changed?

Yes. You will have to get a new court order. A court might give you a new order if the parents’ income or other circumstances about the children changed a lot since the last court order.  To ask for a change in the amount

  • Get help from SES (Support Enforcement Services)
    Ask SES to review your support order. You can get a form online at www.jud.ct.gov/childsupport or call the Child Support Hotline at 1-800-228-5437. SES will ask the court to change the order if it finds the court order is too low, or too high.
  • Do it on your own.
    Ask the court to change the order. You will have to file papers in court asking for a Modification. You can get help at Court Service Centers, located in most courthouses.  You can get a copy of How to Change Your Child Support Order at Court Service Centers or online at www.jud.ct.gov/childsupport

The court can change the amount UP or DOWN so you should talk with a lawyer first. Call the Children’s Law Line at 1-888-529-3667.

Can the other parent get visitation or custody?

Yes. Even if there are problems collecting support, both parents have the right to ask for visitation and custody.

Will my contact information be given to the other parent?

No. Child Support Enforcement will only use your information to get, change, or enforce the child support order. If you are worried about the safety of you or your children, be sure to tell the people you speak with not to share your information.

Can I still get child support if I get state cash assistance?

Yes, but you won’t get all of your child support. Each month you will get

  • $50 of each child support payment (the State gets the rest), and 
  • The full amount of your state cash assistance.

You will get all of your child support when you stop getting cash assistance.

Where can I get help? 

Call the Children’s Law Line at 1-888-529-3667, CT Women’s Education and Legal Fund at 800-479-2949, or the Child Support Hotline at 1-800-228-5437 or online at  www.jud.ct.gov/childsupport.

This booklet was produced by the Legal Assistance Resource Center of Connecticut in cooperation with Connecticut Legal Services, Greater Hartford Legal Aid, New Haven Legal Assistance Association, and Statewide Legal Services. The information in this booklet is based on laws in Connecticut as of October 2014. We hope that the information is helpful. It is not intended as legal advice. For advice on your situation, call Statewide Legal Services or contact a lawyer.

For more information, contact:

Statewide Legal Services: 860-344-0380 (Central CT & Middletown) or 1-800-453-3320 (all other regions).

For people over 60, click here to get help from legal aid.

Not from Connecticut?

Most of the information on this web site is for Connecticut residents only.
Visit LawHelp.org to find a legal services program and/or a legal information web site in your area.