What Is Child Support?
Child support is a payment that a noncustodial parent makes as a contribution to the costs of raising their child. A child support payment does not typically include other child financial needs such as health care payments or child care costs. To learn more about child support, read our “Child Custody & Visitation FAQ” page.
How Is Child Support Calculated in Connecticut?
If you have tried to read the Connecticut Child Support and Arrearages Guidelines, you understand how complicated calculating child support payments can be. But, in short, calculating child support uses a mathematical formula that considers each party's income and the number of children to determine how much one parent will pay in child support to the other parent. Further, percentages are determined for child care costs (if any) and unreimbursed medical bills costs.
Keep in mind there are instances that don’t perfectly lend themselves to the typical child support calculation model such as when one or both parents has inconsistent yearly income (bonuses, commissions, etc.). There also may be special needs of the child or other dependents of one of the parents to consider when calculating child support payments. What is commonly overlooked is the fact the Child Support Guidelines also determine the financial contribution of the custodial parent. Practically speaking, there is no order that the parent pay child support to themselves.
What Issues Can Come Up in Child Support?
Child support payments can be extremely contentious and there are a lot of issues that can come up when it comes to child support. Sometimes one or both parents forget that child support is the child’s money, not either of the parent’s money. This fact can get lost in the emotions and deliberations between parties.
Another issue that comes up is the parent paying child support believes they are paying too much and not retaining enough of their earned income dollars to properly support themselves or care for the child when the child is with them. Conversely, the parent receiving child support may believe the child support payment is not enough to give them the quality of life their child deserves.
In this day and age, there is an acknowledgement that many times the child support guideline amounts do not truly cover all expenses needed to give the child an appropriate upbringing because it does not include extracurricular activities, car insurance costs, etc. Additionally, college is a child support issue that many times is not dealt with specifically in the actual divorce process unless the child is either of college-age or fast approaching it.
When it comes to child support, incorrect weekly amounts multiplied by the number of payments can cause inequities and hardships. My name is Jim Katz and I have been practicing family law for over 30 years. I understand that whether you’re paying child support or receiving it, child support can be an extremely stressful issue to deal with. I invite you to call our law firm today at (860) 871-9449 for a free consultation to learn how I can help you sort through your child support issues.