Parents all across Connecticut are raising a child alone or with another parent to whom they are not married. However, just because these types of parenting circumstances are common doesn't mean they are easy.
One major challenge parents in these situations face is arguments over child support. Every step of this issue can cause a legal dispute to erupt, from seeking an order for child support to enforcing and modifying one, but if you keep the following three things in mind, it can be easier to resolve just about any argument related to child support.
- Child support is not a punishment. It doesn't mean someone is a bad parent, and it is not reflective of things like marital misconduct. Child support is a way to ensure that both a child's parents are making contributions to his or her well-being. The money is to support the child and provide the things he or she needs.
- There are specific rules to calculate amounts; they are not arbitrary. In Connecticut, there are mandatory guidelines for calculating child support. The courts use a mathematical formula taking into account number of children and parental incomes. They will also consider factors like medical needs and childcare costs. In some cases, judges can deviate from this formula, though these are exceptions to the rule.
- There are penalties for delinquency. If a parent doesn't pay child support, then he or she can face serious consequences including license suspension, financial penalties and potentially incarceration. The parent's relationship with his or her child can also suffer considerably when a parent does not fulfill this financial obligation.
If you are fighting over child support, regardless of what side you are on, keeping these basic things in mind can help you shift your focus from fighting to finding a resolution. Should you have specific questions or concerns about a child support matter, you can consult an experienced family law attorney.