A frequent question is what will I be obligated to pay as child support in Connecticut?
Child Support Guidelines in Connecticut
The Courts use guidelines for child support in CT to determine how much you are obligated to pay in the event of a divorce or legal separation. The guideline amounts differ from state to state. It is usually based upon the number of minor children you have and who is the custodial parent and recipient of said support from the payor spouse. There are also possible deviations if there is true shared physical custody arrangements.
Child Support Amounts based upon Guidelines Calculations and Calculators available Online
In Connecticut, the amounts are based upon the combined net weekly income of both parents, or their total combined disposable income after taxes and other permissible deductions that each parent receives from their employment or self-employment. The amounts are based upon a child support guidelines formula calculation. Support can also be based upon earning capacity or imputed income if a parent has worked in the past and is not currently earning income. You can find child support guidelines calculators online in Connecticut and through the Court judicial branch website. There are several calculators that are available online to perform this analysis and calculations, plugging in the gross total incomes of both parties and the number of children being supported. You can refer to a court form or calculator online at www.jud.ct.gov/child support. You can also contact a child support hotline.
Child Support is Payable During the Minority of the Children
The payments are usually from the non-custodial parent to the parent with primary physical custody of the children. The support is paid during the minority of the children, which in Connecticut is the later of graduating from high school or turning 18 years of age, but not beyond 19 years of age.
Additional Child-Related Expenses Beyond Direct Weekly Child Support Payments
The direct weekly child support payments also do not include extracurricular expenses, healthcare premium insurance expenses, healthcare expenses, work-related child-care expenses, camp, educational expenses, and other extraordinary expenses of the child which are all additional child support amounts that should be negotiated between the parties beyond the direct weekly guideline amount.
Child Support is Generally Not Waivable and Can Be Discretionary Notwithstanding the Child Support Guidelines Formulas
The Courts oversee the appropriate child support payments as “parens patriae” or as protectors of the children to ensure that the support of the children is being appropriately addressed, and the parties cannot waive that support and the Courts will ensure the children who are not part of agreements between the parties are being properly cared for. If you are concerned about the payor spouses’ ability to pay support regularly, you can also ask for an income wage deduction order to garnish the child support payments from the payor spouses’ salary through their employer directly and payable through child support enforcement services through the state.
The basic weekly direct child support calculation is computed based upon the initial gross incomes of the parties being plugged into the calculator that makes adjustments to the gross combined incomes to come up with a net combined income figure. For instance, if there is one (1) child, the amount could be 23% of the net combined weekly income. For two (2) children it could by 32% of the net combined income, and for three (3) children 39% of the net combined weekly income of the parents.
Child Support and High Net Worth Factors
If you are a high net worth individual, there are minimum top-line child support numbers as the Connecticut Child Support Guidelines maxes out at a combined net weekly income of $4,000. The child support amounts range at this level between $482 per week for one (1) child and $1,101 per week for six (6) children at this level $4,000 combined net income level per week. In high-net-worth scenarios, the amounts for total family support are at ceiling levels depending upon the income levels of the parents which can also be determined by the state guidelines calculators. Deviations to the formulas can be made for what is referred to as “total family support” based upon the discretion of the Court or agreement between the parties. Child support is non-taxable to the recipient spouse and non-deductible by the payor spouse.
Call the Law Offices of Heidi E. Opinsky, LLC for Assistance
If you need assistance calculating your child support obligations contact the Law Offices of Heidi E. Opinsky, LLC for assistance at 203-653-3542.