Connecticut law gives the court the authority to award temporary child support. The court can award this support to either parent when there is a pending divorce, separation, annulment, custody, or child support action.
But what is temporary child support? What is its purpose, and how does it work?
Read on to learn more.
What’s the Purpose of Temporary Child Support?
The purpose of temporary child support is to provide financial support to children whose parents are living apart while their cases are pending with the court. Temporary child support is also called “pendente lite” child support. Pendente lite is a Latin term meaning “awaiting the litigation” or “pending the litigation.” Therefore, pendente lite applies to court orders in effect while a divorce is pending.
What’s the Timing for Requesting Temporary Child Support?
Generally speaking, Connecticut courts may enter an order for temporary child support at any time after the Return Date. That said, there is a chance that the court may award child support retroactively from the filing date of the motion requesting pendente lite child support. The court may also give a parent who voluntarily paid child support retroactive credit for doing so. In extreme circumstances, the court may be able to award child support prior to the Return Date.
How Does the Court Determine the Amount of Temporary Child Support?
When determining temporary or regular child support, the Connecticut court considers the respective:
- earning capacity
- amount and sources of income
- vocational skills
of each of the parents and of the child, as well as the needs of the child. It is also mandatory that the court consider the Child Support Guidelines. The court considers the Guidelines in conjunction with (and not in lieu of) the above factors.
Connecticut Child Support Calculation
The Connecticut Child Support Guidelines provide a mathematical formula to provide some predictability and consistency when determining temporary or regular child support. Again, Courts consider the guidelines in addition to (not instead of) the factors listed above. But that’s not the end of the story. Importantly, courts can “deviate” from default child support calculation.
Enforcing Child Support
Just as with regular child support, you have a few options on how to enforce temporary child support. Generally speaking, the court doesn’t patrol when people are following its orders. In other words, that means we affirmatively need to bring the problem to the court’s attention. Frequently, we do this by filing a Motion for Contempt. A Motion for Contempt seeks that the court rule that your spouse was in contempt and order your ex to follow the court order.
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 issue, please contact us here.