How to Calculate Child Support Payments in Connecticut

Learn how to calculate child support in Connecticut, when the amount of support may be different than what’s calculated under the state’s guidelines, and how to apply for, collect, and modify child support.

By , Attorney · UC Law San Francisco

Connecticut has child support guidelines that parents and judges use to calculate the right amount of support in a particular case. The guidelines are based on the principle that children have a legal right to support from both of their parents.

How to Calculate Child Support Under Connecticut's Child Support Guidelines

Unlike many other states, Connecticut doesn't provide an official, online calculator for child support. But the state does provide a worksheet that you can use to calculate your basic support obligation under the current Connecticut Child Support and Arrearage Guidelines child support guidelines.

You'll need to have some basic information on hand before filling in the worksheet, including both parents' income, what your physical custody (parenting time) arrangements will be, and certain expenses for the child (including health insurance coverage and work-related child care). If you're still negotiating issues like custody and alimony, you might try multiple calculations

Learn more about child custody and child support in Connecticut, including what gets counted as income when calculating support.

(Conn. Agencies Regs. §§ 46b-215a-2c, 46b-215a-6 (2024).)

Are Online Connecticut Child Support Calculators Accurate?

Watch out for websites with so-called child support calculators for Connecticut. Unfortunately, there's no guarantee that these calculators are accurate and up-to-date. Connecticut updates its child support guidelines regularly, but you usually can't tell whether any of these other websites have kept up with the latest changes.

It's best to stick with the official state resources (in the links above) to calculate the amount of child support you may pay or receive. Be aware, however, that this will be an estimate. As explained below, the judge may order a different amount in your case.

When Child Support May Be Different than the Guidelines Calculation

Connecticut judges typically must order the amount of support calculated by the guidelines. Still, judges may order an amount of child support that's different from the guideline amount (called a "deviation") when the guideline amount would be inequitable or inappropriate in a particular case.

Examples of factors that might justify deviation include:

  • a parent has other financial resources (like substantial assets)
  • a parent has extraordinary expenses
  • a child has extraordinary expenses
  • a parent has other dependents
  • the total division of assets and liabilities during divorce, and
  • other special circumstances such as shared custody and the child's best interests.

(Conn. Agencies Regs. §§ 46b-215a-5c (2024).)

How to Apply for Child Support in Connecticut

If you're filing for divorce in Connecticut, you'll typically request child support as part of that process. You'll include your completed child support worksheets along with the other divorce papers.

You may also get help with applying for support through the Office of Child Support Services (OCSS) within the Connecticut Department of Social Services. If you aren't married to your child's other parent, the OCSS can help you establish legal parentage and then apply for support.

How to Collect Child Support in Connecticut

You can receive child support directly from the other parent or parents who owe support can make court-ordered payments through Support Enforcement Services (SES), a division of the Connecticut Judicial Branch.

If you're having trouble collecting support payments, your local SES can help enforce your order using the following tools:

  • income withholding
  • intercepting income tax refunds and workers' compensation
  • reporting the debt to credit bureaus
  • liens on real estate or personal property
  • seizing bank accounts
  • license suspensions (including driver's, professional, and recreational), and
  • holding the parent who isn't paying in contempt of court.

How to Change the Amount of Child Support

You can ask a judge or family support magistrate to change the amount of support you pay or receive each month. You'll have to file a Motion for Modification and show a substantial change in circumstances since the last order, such as:

  • your income has decreased
  • the other parent's income has increased
  • your child care expenses have increased
  • your custody arrangement has changed, or
  • your family size has changed.

You also have a right to ask SES to review your support order once every three years or whenever circumstances have changed since your last order.

Getting Help With Child Support

Calculating child support is complicated. Many counties in Connecticut have Court Service Centers where staff can answer general questions about how court works and refer you to legal services in your community. You can also find free information about common legal problems, including child support at

If you and your co-parent can't agree on child custody, support, or both, you might need a lawyer's help. An experienced lawyer can answer your questions, help you negotiate an agreement that works for you and your child, and advocate for you in court if it comes to that.

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