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How does the court determine child support?

One of the main decisions a court makes when it comes to children is child support payments. Child support is a payment from one parent to another to assist with the care of the children. Usually, the parent who the children live with receives the payment and the other parent pays it. The court uses the Connecticut Child Support and Arrearage Guidelines to determine support, according to the Judicial Branch.

These guidelines provide a mathematical formula that plugs in different financial data from both parents. The main data used is the income of each of you. However, it will also use medical insurance costs since you or your spouse will probably have to carry the insurance on your children as part of your child support obligations. The formula also uses the number of children you have. Along with child support, the court also determines who is responsible for any unpaid medical costs and childcare expenses.

The court must use the guidelines, but it can order an exception as long as it is completely explained why that is being done. In addition, support orders can change. If your income changes or your children's other parent has an income change or if medical expenses change, these things can affect the amount of child support. The court can adjust support up or down.

When ordered, child support becomes a legal obligation if you fail to pay it or your children's other parent fails to pay it, it could lead to penalties in the form of additional fees, fines or even jail time. This information is for education and is not legal advice.

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