The State of Connecticut issues monetary guidelines in order to assist the courts in establishing the amount of money parents are obligated to pay to support their child. The primary purposes of child support guidelines are to provide uniform, equitable and consistent procedures to establish an appropriate level of support for children based upon the parent’s ability to pay. Connecticut follows a model that takes into consideration the income of both parents when determining the appropriate amount of funds each parent is obligated to devote towards the support and maintenance of their child. The State of Connecticut periodically reviews its Child Support Guidelines and has recently issued several key changes to the guidelines that went into effect on July 1, 2015. The following highlights some of those changes:
- If the person seeking a downward modification of child support pays child support to another person for another child, no deduction for the first support obligation shall be allowed if the original obligation was considered at the time the later award was established.
- Incentive based compensation (such as stock options, restricted stock and other forms of delayed or deferred compensation) are to be included when calculating a parent’s gross income.
- Alimony paid by one parent to the other is no longer added to the net income of the receiving parent, or deducted from the net income of the paying parent, in the calculation of net disposable income, for the purposes of calculating a parent’s responsibility for unreimbursed medical expenses and child care contribution.
- Parents who earn a combined total of more than $4,000 net weekly income shall pay the presumptive minimum support amount established for a net weekly income of $4,000, and shall pay a presumptive maximum support amount determined by multiplying the parents’ combined net weekly income by the applicable percentage shown at the $4,000 net income level. The minimum and maximum presumptive amounts may be rebutted.
- Shared physical custody occurs when a child has substantially equal time and contact with each parent. In situations involving shared physical custody, the presumptive support amount is the amount that the parent with higher income pays to the parent with the smaller income.
- A weekly dollar amount may be awarded for one parent to pay the other towards work related child care if it is by agreement of the parents or if there is a history of non-payment of prior child support orders.
If you are seeking to establish a child support order for your child or considering whether you should seek a modification of an existing child support obligation, contact one of our family law attorneys.