How Much Is Child Support?

  •   |   Meghan Freed

Updated December 22, 2023

People often ask: “How much is child support?”

This is not a surprise, because, during a divorce, many parents’ primary concern is their children.  In other words, how custody and child support will work.

Read on to learn more.

CT Child Support Amount

Navigating the intricacies of child support can be a daunting task, especially in Connecticut where the laws and regulations surrounding the topic can be complex. Whether you’re going through a divorce or establishing custody, understanding how child support is calculated is vital for ensuring the well-being of your children. .

Connecticut utilizes a formula-based approach to determine child support payments, taking into account factors such as each parent’s income, the number of children involved, and any additional expenses. However, it’s important to remember that every case is unique, and there may be additional considerations that could affect the final determination.  For example, you can “deviate” from the formula when certain criteria exist.

By exploring the various components of child support calculations in Connecticut, including gross income, deviations from the standard guidelines, and modifications over time, we aim to equip you with the information necessary to make informed decisions and advocate for the best interests of your children.

Don’t let confusion or uncertainty prevent you from understanding your rights and obligations when it comes to child support in Connecticut. Read on to gain valuable insights and empower yourself.

Connecticut Average Child Support

According to Forbes, the 2018 average yearly child support in Connecticut was $38,371.70.

However, that doesn’t really tell you what you may really be wondering — how much your own child support might look like.

Child Support Calculation Guidelines

The Connecticut Child Support Guidelines are state regulations that provide a mathematical formula to set the child support payment amount. The Guidelines use the combined income of the two parents and the number of children to set a support amount. Read: Connecticut Child Support Basics

Calculating “How Much Is Child Support”

First, the formula court looks at the parents’ combined net weekly income.  Combined net weekly income is the total amount both parents take home in their pay each week. In other words, if each parent takes home $1000 per week, then their combined net weekly income is $2,000.

Next, the court uses the guidelines to figure out the basic child support obligation.

For instance, the basic child support obligation for parents earning $2,000 per week is:

  • $319 for 1 child
  • $475 for 2 children
  • $575 for 3 children

Moreover, the percentage of parents’ income that goes to support does not remain consistent as income changes.  For example, the basic child support obligation for parents with one child earning $2,000 per week is $319, or about 16% of the parents’ combined income.  But the basic child support obligation for parents with one child earning a combined $3,000 a week is $415, or about 14% of the parents’ combined income.

Read: How Is Child Support Calculated in Connecticut?

Determining Parental Income for Child Support

When calculating child support in Connecticut, determining each parent’s income accurately is crucial. Gross income is typically used as the starting point, including wages, salaries, self-employment income, bonuses, and commissions. It’s important to note that income from all sources is considered, including income from investments or rental properties.

Once the gross income is determined, certain deductions, such as taxes, mandatory retirement contributions, and health insurance premiums, may be subtracted to arrive at the net income. The net income is then used to calculate the child support obligation based on the guidelines.

High Net Worth Divorce

Connecticut Child Support Guidelines only address situations where the two parents’ combined net weekly income falls between $0 – $4,000. Child support is determined on a case-by-case basis for high net worth families where the parents’ combined exceeds $4,000.

Read: Is There Child Support if We Have Shared Physical Custody?

Child Support Deviations

For some families, it’s more appropriate to “deviate” from the calculation under the Connecticut Child Support Guidelines.  Possible deviation criteria include:

The following are examples of permissible deviation criteria:

  • certain other financial resources available to a parent
  • extraordinary expenses for the care and maintenance of the child
  • extraordinary parental expenses
  • needs of a parent’s other dependents
  • coordination of total family support.

Child support deviations are nuanced and Freed Marcroft’s family law attorneys are well-versed in the complexities.

Read: Do We Have to Follow the Connecticut Child Support Guidelines?

Modifying Child Support Orders in Connecticut

Child support orders in Connecticut are not necessarily set in stone.  You can modify them in the future under certain circumstances. If there is a significant change in circumstances, such as a change in income, a change in the child’s needs, or a change in custody arrangements, either parent can request that the court modify its child support orders.

It’s important to note that modifications are not automatic, and a judge has to approve them.

Enforcing Child Support Orders

Ensuring that child support payments are made as ordered is crucial for the well-being of the children involved. Connecticut has various enforcement mechanisms in place to ensure compliance with child support orders. These mechanisms include income withholding, tax refund intercepts, suspension of driver’s licenses, and even criminal penalties for non-compliance.

If you are facing difficulties in enforcing a child support order, it’s important to consult with an attorney who can guide you through the enforcement process and help you take the necessary steps to ensure compliance.

Next Steps

For more information about Connecticut divorce and family law, check out our Divorce Information and Facts. If you have questions or want to learn more about how our team of divorce attorneys can help you with your divorce or post judgment  (an issue that arises after your divorce is final), please contact us here.

Freed Marcroft LLC

Freed Marcroft LLC