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How to enforce child support in Connecticut

Many families in Connecticut depend on child support payments to be able to meet the expenses of raising a child. Ideally, support checks should begin arriving once the support order is issued. However, for many families, this is not what happens. Often payments are either late or in the incorrect amount or do not arrive at all. In this type of situation, there are several legal paths that can be taken to enforce this obligation.

A judge can order child support payments withheld from the paycheck, unemployment or workers' compensation or the pension of the parent who is responsible for paying. The parent must be given advance notice with the offer of a court hearing before withholding can begin. A parent who is not following the support order can receive a contempt citation and even go to jail for ignoring the support order. The parent must then attend a court hearing. If the parent does not go to the hearing, a court order his or her arrest.

Another method includes intercepting a parent's income tax refund or even getting a full collection of the paying parent's refund, if a parent owes more than $750. Additionally, the state can also choose to provide negative reports to the credit agencies if a parent owes more than $1,000 in back pay, place liens on real or personal property and withhold lottery winnings. For all these methods, the parent must be notified first and given the chance of a court hearing.

Children are hurt by a parent's failure to follow a support order. For this reason, families in Connecticut can use any of the legal pathways to ensure that the child's rights are protected.

Source: Connecticut Gov, "Enforcing Support", November 26, 2014

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