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How is child support enforced in Connecticut?

Connecticut parents finalizing their divorces often suspect that their ex-spouse may refuse to pay child support, particularly when non-custodial parents are unhappy with court decisions regarding child custody. Despite court orders, parents who owe child support may work for unreported earnings, leave the state or take other measures in order to avoid paying. Parents who are having difficulty collecting child support from non-custodial parents can seek IV-D services. The Bureau of Child Support Enforcement provides these services to locate parents who owe child support and to act to enforce the child support order.

Parents can file an application to bring the parent who owes back child support to court. A judge may declare the non-custodial parent in contempt if the parent purposely did not comply with the child support order. After the parent is found in contempt, the court may order a judgment in favor of the custodial parent. The person found in contempt may also be ordered to serve a jail term until they pay the custodial parent a specified amount.

The Support Enforcement Services Unit may also take other measures to compel parents to pay child support. It may report parents who owe more than $1,000 in back child support to credit reporting agencies. The state may garnish the parent's earnings directly from their paychecks, withhold tax refunds or lottery winnings or put liens on property. The state may also revoke the parent's driver's license, professional license or other state-issued licenses.

Timely child support payments are often a key part of a custodial parent's income, and when a non-custodial parent refuses to pay, it may have a drastic effect on the children's well-being. Some parents seeking child support enforcement benefit from legal representation. A family law attorney may be able to help with applications for IV-D services, motions for contempt and other forms required to seek enforcement.

Source: State of Connecticut Judicial Branch , "Section 6: Enforcement", December 09, 2014

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