How Do I Enforce a CT Child Support Order When My Ex Lives Out of State?
You went to court for divorce or custody, and the Court ordered child support. Now, your ex lives out of state. You’re wondering: “How do I enforce a Connecticut child support order outside the state?”
Read on to learn more.
Motion for Contempt for Failure to Pay Child Support When Your Ex Lives Outside Connecticut
The primary means to enforce child support is via a Motion for Contempt.
Generally speaking, the court doesn’t patrol when people are following its orders, which means you affirmatively need to bring the problem to the court’s attention. 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.
A Motion for Contempt requires a specific burden of proof to be met by the requesting parent. In order for the judge to make a finding of contempt, you will need to show by clear and convincing evidence that:
- there is a clear and unambiguous court order
- the order has been violated,
- the party who violated the order acted willfully, and
- the relief you are seeking from the court.
Serving Your Ex with Child Support Contempt in Another State
When we file a contempt citation here in Connecticut, we need to formally serve your ex. We do this by filing a First Order of Notice with the Connecticut court. The First Order of Notice requests permission to have a marshal serve your ex in your ex’s current state. The court hearing on the child support contempt will be here in Connecticut.
Two Ways to Enforce Child Support Outside Connecticut
There are two basic ways to enforce a Connecticut child support order in another state. First, you can go through Connecticut Support Enforcement Services. Or, you can handle the enforcement on your own (including with an attorney).
If you use Support Enforcement Services, the will file the Contempt on your behalf. It will not serve as your attorney and will not give you legal advice. You will not be in charge of the legal strategy or decisions. In other words, if you choose to work with Child Support Enforcement, they are in control of the case. In most cases, Child Support Enforcement will deduct a small fee for their services.
Freed Marcroft’s attorneys can guide you through the pros and cons of utilizing Support Enforcement Services in your particular sitation.
Attorney Fees and Child Support Contempt and Enforcement
If you do not use Enforcement Services, use an attorney, and have a successful Motion for Contempt, the court may award you some or all of your legal fees.