Child support is Connecticut is based on the needs of the child and the financial resources of the parent. It’s a mathematical formula that looks at the incomes of the parents and tries to meet the child’s presumed needs based on those incomes. Support in Connecticut also takes into account the child’s health insurance costs, medical care needs and child care expenses. Expert economists have studied the needs of children and the child support formula is meant to meet those needs.
Factors in the Support Formula
The first factor in a child support award is determining the incomes of the parents. The formula assumes that the more you make, the more you can afford to spend on your child, and the more that you should spend on your child. There are a lot of rules for what counts and what doesn’t count as income in Connecticut child support. For example, sometimes Social Security income counts as income and sometimes it doesn’t. Whether Social Security counts depends on the purpose of the payments. You can look at not only a parent’s paid wages, but also bonuses, self-employment income and even investments.
There are special rules for parents with very low income. Parents can also deduct taxes and union dues in most cases. If you’re court ordered to buy life insurance that benefits the minor child, you can deduct the premiums from your monthly gross income, too.
Once you determine what counts and doesn’t count as income, you can determine applicable deductions and calculate a base support amount. Unlike in some other states, there’s no consideration for the exact number of overnights that a child spends with each parent in a year. This is because Connecticut doesn’t want to create reasons for parents to think about financial incentives, rather than the best interests of the child. The court is allowed to consider where the child spends most of his or her time, however, when considering whether to deviate from the formula.
Other considerations in the Connecticut child support formula are calculating each parent’s obligation for uninsured medical expenses of the child. The court also includes the parent’s obligations for child care expenses when determining child support awards. In most cases, child care expenses are proportioned to each parent as a percent of their respective incomes. If a parent fails to pay a child care expense, the court can tell a parent to pay a certain dollar amount rather than a percentage in order to catch up.
Deviating From the Formula
In some cases, it might not be in the child’s best interests to follow the child support formula exactly. There are a number of reason that might be appropriate in a case. An example could be if the parent’s total support obligation might otherwise equal more than 55 percent of that parent’s net income. Another example might be if one parent earns a lot more than another parent so it’s more fair to rely on the higher-earning parent for most of the support. If you think it might be appropriate to deviate from the formula in your case, talk to an attorney to find out why a judge might decide your case in a certain way.
If you fall behind in paying support, there’s a formula to help you catch up. In that case, you continue to pay the monthly amount that you regularly pay. You also pay an additional amount to help catch you up, until you’re current in what you owe.