Connecticut Child Support

How to apply for child support in Connecticut

Connecticut’s Office of Child Support Services oversees child support cases in the state. Any individual that needs help obtaining support for children can apply for the agency’s services. If you are interested in applying, then the first step you need to take is contacting your local DSS Child Support Office. You can make an appointment to speak with a representative. Applicants will need to complete an Application for IV-D Services and a financial affidavit. To save time, you can obtain these forms online, print them and fill them out prior to your appointment. Do not sign the forms until meeting with a caseworker. Download Forms.

How to Calculate Child Support in Connecticut?

When calculating an amount of support, courts take into consideration each parent’s income and assets, the amount of time each parent spends with the child, the financial needs of the child and the ability of the non-custodial parent to make payments.

How to claim and pay child support?

Many non-custodial parents in Connecticut automatically make payments though a wage deduction. If you aren’t under such a court order, then you can make electronic payments online. Parents receiving payments can have the funds directly deposited into a bank account or loaded onto a state-issued debit card. Questions about payments should be directed to 1-888-233-7223.

Child Support Performance Stats for Connecticut

Statistics gathered from 2013 revealed an overwhelming 42 percent of families in Connecticut were not getting their currently owed support payments. Only about five percent of the state’s arrearages were collected.

Statistics for Regular On-Time Payments Collection

Other Incentive Performance Measures

Performance Measures 2012 2013 2014 2015 2016
Statewide Paternity Establishment (%) N/A N/A N/A N/A N/A
IV-D Paternity Establishment (%) 95.43 93.54 92.6 94.44 96.4
Support Order Establishment (%) 75.19 76.89 81.13 86.7 91.13
Cost-Effectiveness ($) 3.77 3.56 3.33 3.22 3.13

Total Number of Children in the Child Support Program

Total Distributed Collections and Total Administrative Expenditures ($ Millions)

2012 2013 2014 2015 2016
Total Distributed Collections ($) 245.37 242.34 239 242.49 245.53
Total Distributed to Families ($) 213.42 213.41 210.62 213.61 214.83
Total Administrative Expenditures ($) 69.64 73 76.97 80.49 83.99

Average Collections per Case with Collections

Can child support be paid off early

Paying off support payments early is risky because court orders are subject to modification. If you are under an income withholding order, then making additional payments may result in overpaying.

What Will Happen if You fall Behind Child Support Payment?

  • Criminal charges of contempt of court
  • Liens on property
  • Foreclose on property
  • Garnished wages
  • Withholding federal or state tax refunds
  • Seizure of assets
  • Suspension of government-issued licenses

Can you get alimony and support at the same time?

When going though a divorce, Connecticut courts may award alimony based on the length of the marriage, each spouse’s occupation, each spouse’s needs and each person’s health. It is possible to be awarded both alimony and child support at the same time.

Can you stop the support payments?

In Connecticut, support payments will be in effect until the child reaches 18-years-old and graduates from high school. It’s possible to reduce the amount you pay when circumstances warrant it, but it’s unlikely you will be able to completely stop payments until the child reaches the age of majority.

Child Support and Taxes

Tax time can be even more stressful for parents who are separating or getting a divorce. When parents do not live in the same household, they must file taxes separately. To further complicate matters, only one parent can claim the child as a dependent and receive the tax deduction. In Connecticut, the custodial parent most often retains this right.

Can child support payments be claimed on taxes in Connecticut?

Whether you are the receiving parent or the paying parent, support obligations shouldn’t be claimed on taxes in Connecticut. These funds should not be claimed as income, and the paying parent won’t receive a deduction for them.

How does my child support affect my taxes in Connecticut?

In Connecticut, court-ordered child support should be considered tax-neutral. These payments will not affect your taxes.

Can child support be taken pre-tax?

Payments will be taken after tax has already been applied on the money even when the parent is under an income withholding order.

Can child support Take my federal tax return?

If you owe money to Connecticut’s child support agency, then they can intercept and seize your federal tax return. You will receive a direct notice in the mail prior to this occurring, and the letter provides steps you can take to prevent this from happening.

Paternity Establishment

Under Connecticut law, paternity is defined as the legal identification of the biological father. When parents are married and a child is born, the husband is presumed to be the father, so paternity is automatically established in these cases. When parents are not married, paternity is not automatically established. Steps must be taken by the parents to formally make this determination.

How do you establish paternity?

Both parents can voluntarily sign an Acknowledgment of Paternity in front of a notary or at the hospital. Once the form is filed with the Department of Public Health, paternity will be established. If paternity is contested, then a court order may be necessary to establish paternity.

What rights does a father have if not on birth certificate?

A father who is not listed on the birth certificate won’t have any rights or responsibilities regarding the child under Connecticut law.

Can a mother refuse me paternity test?

Potential fathers have the right to seek out a paternity hearing in court in cases where paternity has not yet been established for a child.

How to establish paternity if the father is deceased?

If the potential father of the child has passed away, then a petition for establishing paternity can still be brought to Connecticut’s courts. It may be possible to utilize genetic testing to establish paternity.

Can a father get a paternity test without the mother?

The DSS Child Support office uses a genetic test called the Buccal Swab. The test requires a sample from the mother, child and father, so it won’t be possible to confirm paternity without the mother’s DNA sample.

How long does a father have to establish paternity in Connecticut?

In Connecticut, the statute of limitations for establishing paternity is the child’s 18th birthday.

Support order establishment

After paternity is established, the parent who does not have primary custody of the child will be required to make financial payments to the custodial parent. These basic support payments are intended to reimburse the custodial parent for a portion of the expenses associated with raising the child. Courts will determine an amount based on state guidelines.

State Child Support orders

Once an order is established in Connecticut, it is non-negotiable. The non-custodial parent must make payments directly to the child support agency who will then distribute the funds to the other parent. Parents have a right to petition the courts for a modification of child support amounts, but simply choosing not to make payments is not an option.

Can child support be modified?

The amount of support a non-custodial parent owes can increase or decrease over time. Amounts may be modified based on a change in circumstances. 

Parents can modify support orders when there is a significant reason to change the amount including a change in the paying parent’s income, the custodial parent’s income, the expenses of the child or when the overall obligation amount is either 15 percent higher or lower than required by the state’s guidelines.

How do I file for a modification of child support?

Parents can either ask Support Enforcement Services to change the order and file a form with the agency or petition the court independently by filing for a Modification request.

Can a child support order appealed?

Parents have a right to appeal a court order, but appeals will only be granted when a Connecticut court has made an error or mistake in entering into the order. These appeals must be filed within a timely manner.

Do you need a lawyer to modify the support?

Parents can successfully modify their current orders without hired representation, but they are also afforded the right to hire legal counsel if they’d prefer.

Child support Enforcement

How long does the child support enforcement take?

Some enforcement measures will be initiated immediately when the non-paying parent owes a certain amount, while other measures may take time to process an administrative or court order.

What to do when the support is not paid?

Parents should call 1-800-228-5437 for help getting the other parent to pay.

What Happens if I’m not paying Child support?

When you’re not making payments, you may be subject to enforcement measures like wage garnishment, a seizure of tax refunds, a lien on your property or even jail time. Contact your local child support office immediately if you are struggling to make payments.

How much overdue child support payment can be considered a felony?

Overdue support which exceeds $10,000 or has been unpaid for over two years is considered a felony offense as defined by federal law.

Can the support debt be forgiven?

Connecticut has two arrears programs. The Arrears Adjustment Program allows parents to reduce their debts and spend more time with their children, and the Arrears Liquidation Program helps allow parents to pay off their debts in lump-sums at a discounted rate.

Support Order Termination

How do I stop a child support order?

To stop a support order in Connecticut, parents must file a motion to modify and terminate child support with the court.

The legal age of majority in Connecticut is 18-years-old, but courtrooms may require a parent to continue making payments when the child is still a full-time student in high school.

When Can I Apply for Child Support Termination?

Parents can apply for termination when the child reaches 18-years-old and has graduated high school.

Can the custodial parent close a support case?

Custodial parents can close a case whenever they’d like, but the case will remain open when the parent is receiving financial assistance from the state.

When Can I Stop Paying the Support?

Parents may stop making payments when their order has been terminated by a court, the obligation has ended and all outstanding child support debts have been paid in full.

Connecticut Hearing Rights

In Connecticut, every child, mother or father maintains the right to a fair and equal hearing in court. They can seek hearings regarding paternity, support orders, modification requests or appeals.

CT Child Support Guidelines

Connecticut’s support guidelines calculate each parent’s net weekly income and then use a schedule to determine a basic level of support. Courtrooms may deviate from the guidelines when the child has extraordinary needs, the parent has extraordinary expenses or there are other dependents in need of support as well.

Child Support Coverage

What is the support order meant to cover?

Basic support obligations are designed to cover expenses associated with the child’s basic needs such as shelter, food and clothing.

Does the Support Cover Medical Care Expenses?

Connecticut courts have determined that including health care provisions in support orders is in the child’s best interest. Connecticut adds the cost of health insurance to the basic support obligation.

What if Both Parents are working, will the Support Cover child care services?

A portion of childcare costs will be added onto the basic obligation when the child is young enough to need the services.

Are Car Maintenance Costs Covered by the Support?

This type of expense would not be covered under Connecticut child support laws.

What is Considered Basic Entertainment for Support order?

Basic entertainment involves activities the parent does or provides for the child for entertainment purposes.

Are School and College expenses Covered by Child Support?

Connecticut courts will not compel the non-custodial parent to provide college-level support unless there is a specific agreement between the parties.

The child’s basic educational needs are factored into the basic obligation amount.

Are Extracurricular Activities covered by Support?

Extracurricular expenses can be addressed under special circumstances. If awarded, then the expense will fall into the “extraordinary expenses” category.

Connecticut Child Support Offices

Institution name Physical address Email address Phone number Website
Stamford CT Child Support and Social Service Office 1642 Bedford Street, Stamford, CT (203) 251-9300

County Child Support Offices in CT

County name Institution name Physical address Email address Phone number Website
Fairfield County Fairfield County, CT Bridgeport Child Support & Social Service Office 925 Housatonic Avenue, Bridgeport, CT 06606 N/A (203) 551-2703
Fairfield County Fairfield County, CT Danbury Child Support & Social Service Office 342 Main Street, Danbury, CT 06810 N/A (203) 207-8986
Fairfield County Fairfield County, CT Stamford Child Support & Social Service Office 1642 Bedford Street, Stamford, CT 06905 N/A (203) 251-9417
Hartford County Hartford County, CT Greater Hartford Child Support & Social Service Office 20 Meadow Road, Windsor, CT 06095 N/A (860) 723-1002
Hartford County Hartford County, CT Manchester Child Support & Social Service Office 699 East Middle Turnpike, Manchester, CT 06040 N/A (860) 647-5913
Hartford County Hartford County, CT New Britain Child Support & Social Service Office 30 Christian Lane, New Britain, CT 06051 N/A (860) 612-3465
Litchfield County Litchfield County, CT Torrington Child Support & Social Service Office 62 Commercial Boulevard, Suite 1, Torrington, CT 06790 N/A (860) 496-6944
Middlesex County Middlesex County, CT Middletown Child Support & Social Service Office 2081 South Main Street, Suite B, Middletown, CT 06457 N/A (860) 704-3126
New Haven County New Haven County, CT New Haven Child Support & Social Service Office 50 Humphrey Street, New Haven, CT 06513 N/A (203) 974-8248
New Haven County New Haven County, CT Waterbury Child Support & Social Service Office 249 Thomaston Ave., Waterbury, CT 06702 N/A (203) 597-4171
New London County New London County, CT Norwich Child Support & Social Service Office 401 West Thames Street, Unit 102, Norwich, CT 06360 N/A (860) 823-3325
Windham County Windham County, CT Willimantic Child Support & Social Service Office 676 Main Street, Willimantic, CT 06226 N/A 1(855) 626-6632