Getting Child Support in Connecticut
Getting Child Support in Connecticut
Can I get child support?
- you have custody or the child lives with you,
- the other parent can be located, and
- a court orders child support.
The state can help find the other parent if you have difficulty finding him or her. Call 1-800-228-5437 for help.
How do I get child support?
You need a court order to get child support. You can get help
- from your local Department of Social Services (call 1-800-228-5437 to find out where to apply);
- from a Court Service Center, which are located in most courthouses; or
- by calling the Children’s Law Line at 1-888-529-3667.
How much support can I get?
The court decides the amount of support you get based on
- your income,
- the other parent's income, and
- state guidelines.
The court may order more support for health expenses or child care.
If the other parent has take-home pay below $1,000 per week, they must pay about
- 25% of take-home pay for 1 child,
- 35% of take-home pay for 2 children, and
- 40% of take-home pay for 3 children.
What if the other parent and I agree on an amount?
You will still need a court order or the agreement can’t be enforced.
Can I get child support for the past?
Yes, as long as the other parent could afford to pay child support for that time. This is called retroactive child support, and the court can only order payment for up to three years in the past.
What if the other parent does not pay the support that the court ordered?
Call Child Support Enforcement at 1-800-228-5437 to get help collecting the child support you are owed. Child Support Enforcement can help collect support in different ways, including taking the money from the other parent’s paycheck, tax refund, and bank account. It can also
- bring the other parent to court for not obeying a court order (also known as contempt or contempt of court),
- 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, but you will have to get a new court order. A court might give you a new order if there was a big change to your income, to the other parent’s income, or to other circumstances that involve the child. Here is how to ask for a change in the amount:
- Get help from Support Enforcement Services (SES). Ask SES to review your support order. You can get a form online at www.jud.ct.gov/childsupport or by calling 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. To 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, which are located in most courthouses. You can get a copy of the pamphlet, How to Change Your Child Support Order, at your local Court Service Center or online at http://ctlawhelp.org/how-to-change-child-support-order-connecticut.
The court can increase or decrease the support amount, so you should talk with a lawyer first. Call the Children’s Law Line at 1-888-529-3667 for more information.
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 your safety or the safety of 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
- the full amount of your state cash assistance, and
- $50 of each child support payment (the State will get the rest).
You will get all of your child support when you stop getting cash assistance.
Where can I get help?
To get help in collecting child support payments, contact
- the Children’s Law Line at 1-888-529-3667,
- the CT Women’s Education and Legal Fund at 1-800-479-2949, or
- the Child Support Hotline at 1-800-228-5437. You can also get help online at www.jud.ct.gov/childsupport.
Under age 60: Find legal help or fill out an online application.
Over age 60: Get help from legal aid.
Not from Connecticut? Find help in another state.