The child support enforcement system has many tools at its disposal to motivate parents to pay child support. In Connecticut, these tools include wage garnishments, tax refund intercepts and reports to credit bureaus. One option receiving more attention is the ability of a judge to put a parent in jail for failure to pay child support.
Custodial parents in Connecticut who are owed back child support by their former spouses who are no longer working but who are receiving Social Security benefits may wonder if they have any recourse. Although Supplemental Security Income benefits may not be garnished, other types of Social Security benefits are reachable to help take care of the delinquencies.
Child support is a necessary monetary contribution by a non-custodial parent to ensure their child's well-being. Just because support has been ordered or agreed upon does not guarantee that payments will be made on time or at all, however. According to the U.S. Census Bureau for 2011, 32 percent of custodial fathers and 25.1 percent of custodial mothers did not receive child support payments from the other parent. Information from the census was collected from individuals across a span of races, marital statuses, educational backgrounds and poverty levels.
Connecticut residents may not be aware that there are some common misconceptions concerning what child support covers, beyond the bare necessities of food and clothing. Every state has established guidelines in order to determine the monthly amount necessary to support the needs of the child. In actuality, child support is often meant to cover a larger range of expenses, including things like extracurricular school activities, school-related fees, medical expenses and even basic entertainment.
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.
The Connecticut Department of Social Services has a Child Support Enforcement Program that is designed to assist parents in obtaining child support. The program works not only to collect child support, but also to establish paternity and child child support orders in the first place or modify existing orders. A parent may also seek the state's assistance in locating the non-custodial parent.
In Connecticut, each parent is expected to spend a certain percentage of his or her income on their child or children. When a couple splits, it is believed that the same amount of financial support should still be going towards the cost of raising the child. This principle influences the court's determination of how much each parent should be paying, with the non-custodial parent's contribution taking the form of child support.
Many Connecticut readers are probably aware of the power of social media. Now, some agencies are using it as a tool to track down deadbeat parents who have not been making required child support payments.
While Connecticut viewers may be gearing up to see Halle Berry in a new television series, she will be gearing up to open her checkbook. After years of battling over custody of her child, a judge has ordered the Oscar-winning actress to pay her ex-boyfriend a sizable amount of child support each month and a retroactive payment.
Families in New Haven can turn to the courts for assistance if they believe that a former spouse is hiding income in an attempt to make lower child support payments. In a heavily publicized case, a man earning millions of dollars a year has tried to have his income information shielded through the courts. However, the courts have sided with the man's ex-wife that determined that his financial information should be made public and introduced at trial.