How Is Child Support Calculated in Connecticut?
Interested in learning how we calculate child support in Connecticut? As discussed in our article “How Does Child Support Work in Connecticut,” child support stems from parents’ duty to support their minor children.
Read on to learn more.
How is Child Support Determined in Connecticut?
When courts determine child support, they consider a multitude of factors. The Connecticut General Statutes Section 46b-8 lists these factors, and we explain them more here. In addition to these factors, the Connecticut Child Support Guidelines provide a mathematical formula for predictability and consistency when determining child support.
Read: What Is Child Support?
What are the Connecticut Child Support Guidelines?
Connecticut uses an “income shares model” for child support, which presumes that a child should receive the same proportion of parental income as they would have received if the parents lived together. At their most basic level, the Child Support Guidelines is a mathematical formula based upon the income shares model. That means that the child support calculation under the Child Support Guidelines is based on the parents’ combined net income rather than on the actual costs (think necessary living expenses like food, shelter, and clothing) associated with raising a child.
How Does the Child Support Formula Work?
Under the Connecticut Child Support Guidelines, we use each parent’s net income to calculate support. “Net income” is “gross income minus allowable deductions.” “Gross income” can include salary, commissions, bonuses, pension income, retirement income, and trust income.
We deduct federal taxes, state taxes, Social Security, etc., and mandatory expenses like medical insurance premiums, mandatory retirement contributions, etc., from “gross income” to determine “net income.”
In the first step, we combine both parties’ weekly net incomes. Next, we determine a percentage based on the income shares model described above and the number of children. In other words, the percentage that each parent contributes to the combined net weekly income determines their respective support obligation. First, the custodial parent retains their support obligation to support and maintain the child. Then, the noncustodial parent pays their support obligation to the custodial parent.
What Happens When There Is Shared Custody or Parenting?
The Connecticut Child Support Guidelines work on the premise that one parent is the custodial parent. Click here to learn more about child support when parents share custody and parenting.
Read: Child Support and Taxes
What is the Minimum and Maximum Child Support in Connecticut?
The Connecticut Child Support Guidelines cover combined net weekly incomes ranging from $50 to $4,000 weekly. When parents have a combined net weekly income above $4,000, we determine child support on a case-by-case basis based on the factors.
What Happens if a Parent’s Income Changes?
The Connecticut Child Support Guidelines do not currently provide a mechanism for adjusting or reevaluating child support. To modify a child support order, a party files a Motion for Modification with the court. Click here to learn when modifications to child support orders may be necessary. Or, if you already have an existing child support order, you can learn more about changing it in “How Do I Change My Child Support Payment.”
Can We Agree to a Child Support Payment Different From the Calculation?
Courts presume that the Connecticut Child Support Guidelines child support calculation is correct. However, there are particular circumstances in which a “deviation” from the presumptive amount of support the Guidelines provides is appropriate.
Next, a deviation occurs when the parents agree between themselves to a lesser or higher amount of child support than is dictated by the formula or when a Judge decides that the calculation under the Guidelines would be inequitable or inappropriate in a particular case.
Read: Child Support Deviations
Now that we have learned more about how Connecticut calculates child support, consider heading here to learn more about the nuts and bolts of how child support works in Connecticut. Finally, if you have questions or want to learn more about how child support might work in your specific situation, please get in touch with us here.