If you are going through a divorce or separation and you have children with your soon-to-be-ex, making sure your children have what they need is likely one of your primary concerns. In these cases, child support is generally necessary. What do Connecticut laws have to say about child support?
Like most states, Connecticut requires both parents to financially support their children. There are a number of factors looked at when determining which parent has to pay child support and how much he or she needs to provide.
Before determining who has to pay child support, it is necessary to figure out each parent's weekly net income. The court does this by looking at their gross income and then subtracting taxes, insurance premiums, qualifying work fees and any court-ordered support payments already in place.
After figuring the net income, the base child support amount to be paid can be calculated by looking at the state's support obligation schedule and multiplying that number by each parent's net income. The more children you have that require support, the higher the obligation will be. The individual paying support will be the parent deemed the non-custodial parent. Even in joint custody cases, the court usually names one parent as the custodial parent.
It may be possible to increase the support amount beyond that standard base calculation. A few reasons to do so include:
- Addressing medical needs
- Covering extracurricular activities
- Covering childcare costs
- Addressing college or other school expenses
- Maintaining the standard of living
Parents who wish to achieve higher child support amounts can either negotiate the terms in private or take the matter to court for review.
Deviation from the guidelines
There are reasons that the standard guidelines may not work for some people. If you think you have any special circumstances that apply to your case, you can discuss it with legal counsel in order to figure out how to proceed.
The goal of the order
The goal of a child support order is to make sure your children have their basic needs met, such as access to housing, food and clothes. It can do much more than that, though, if you want it to and if the money is available.
Child support calculations can be confusing, and the number achieved by looking at the state guidelines may be less than what the court ends up ordering in your case. Legal counsel can help you calculate the base amount and assist you in negotiating a fair order if there is a request to increase beyond the base amount.