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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

Can I get child support?

Yes, you can get it if:

  • You have custody of the child or the child lives with you,
  • You know where the other parent is,
  • There is legal proof that the man is the father (proof of paternity), and
  • A court orders child support.

How do I get child support?

See our related article about paying child support in Connecticut.

You must have a court order to get child support. There are three ways to get a court order:

  • Get a lawyer to help you go to court,
  • Represent yourself in court, or
  • Apply for child support services at your local Department of Social Services. Child support services are free.

How much support can I get?

The court decides the support amount based on:

  • Your income,
  • The other parent's income, and
  • Connecticut's Child Support Guidelines.

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

For net income (take-home pay) below $1000 per week, the supporting parent must pay:

1 child ............22-24% of take-home pay
2 children.......33-35% of take-home pay
3 children.......40-42% of take-home pay

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

The court still must make a child support order for the amount you agreed on. Otherwise, it cannot be enforced.

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

Yes, but you will not get the full amount of child support. You will get:

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

When you stop getting cash assistance, you will get all of your child support.

How long will it take to get child support?

It depends. A child support case can take a long time if:

  • The other parent is hard to find,
  • The man says he is not the father, or
  • The other parent does not want to pay child support.

• Finding the other parent.

The Bureau of Child Support Enforcement (BCSE) is part of Connecticut's Child Support Program. BCSE can help you find the other parent. They can also help you get a court order for support.

• Proving he's the father.

BCSE can help you prove he's the child's father. If the man does not agree he's the father, BCSE will start a court case to establish paternity.

To contact BCSE, go to the nearest Department of Social Services offi ce or call the Child Support Hotline at 1-800-228-5437.

For information and advice about child support....call

Statewide Legal Services
1-800-453-3320

Child Support Hotline
1-800-228-5437
www.jud.ct.gov

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. To ask for backdue child support, you must give the court proof of what you spent to support the child.

Can I ask the court to change the child support order?

Yes. You can ask the court on your own, get help from the state's Child Support Program, or get help from Statewide Legal Services.

  • Do it on your own.
    Ask the court to change the order. Read the booklet, "How to Change Your Child Support Order." You can get a copy at the court or online (www.jud.ct.gov).
  • Get help from the state's Child Support Program. (Support Enforcement Services or "SES" is part of this program.)
    Ask SES to review your support order. You can get a form online (www.jud.ct.gov) or call the Child Support Hotline (1-800-228-5437). If SES finds the court order is too low (or too high), SES would ask the court to change the order.
  • Get help from Statewide Legal Services. Call 1-800-453-3320.

The court can change the amount UP or DOWN so you should talk with a lawyer first.

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

Ask Support Enforcement Services (SES) for help. SES can collect support from the other parent’s:

  • Paycheck
  • Tax refunds
  • Lottery winnings
  • Bank accounts, and more.

SES 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,
  • Stop the other parent from getting a passport.

To ask SES for help, call 1-800-228-5437 to make an appointment.

• Keep payment records. If you have not been keeping track of child support payments, start now!

Can the other parent ask for visitation or custody?

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

Will SES give my contact information to the other parent?

No. SES will only use your information to enforce the child support order. Tell SES if you are worried about your or your children’s safety.

This information is based on laws in Connecticut as of April 2012. It is not intended as legal advice for an individual situation. Please call Statewide Legal Services or contact an attorney for additional help. Produced by Legal Assistance Resource Center of CT.

 

 

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.