6. How do I enforce a Child Support Order?
If you have applied for IV-D services, the Support Enforcement Services Unit will enforce your child support order in court using three tools:
- Income Withholding – all child support orders may be collected through a court order to deduct money from the non-custodial parent’s income (Income includes wages, overtime pay, worker’s compensation, unemployment compensation, retirement benefits, etc.).
- Contempt – the court finds that the non-custodial parent willfully failed to obey the court order. A person found in contempt may be ordered to pay a lump sum of money. The person also can be sent to jail (incarcerated) until a certain sum of money is paid.
- License Suspension – the court finds the non-custodial parent failed to obey the court order and orders his or her driver’s license, professional, occupational license, or recreational license suspended after 30 days.
You may also hire an attorney to represent you and file court papers asking for a finding of contempt, or complete and file court papers for yourself (self-represented or “pro se”). The court papers you may need are the Application for Contempt Order, Income Withholding, and/or other Relief (JD-FM-15) or the Motion for Contempt (JD-FM-173).
7. What if the non-custodial parent lives out-of-state?
If the non-custodial parent moves out of state and the Support Enforcement Services Unit is already enforcing your case, the Unit will take the steps to collect child support from the out-of-state parent. Some of the available interstate enforcement tools include:
- Direct income withholding (the filing of an income withholding with an out-of-state employer)
- Registering your order in a new state to give the new state authority to enforce the order
- Interstate real property liens
- Seizure of financial assets
- Referral to the U.S. Attorney for federal prosecution under the Child Support Recovery Act and Deadbeat Parents Punishment Act, 18 U.S.C. Section 228.
If you do not have a case with Support Enforcement Services, you can start an “interstate” child support case by contacting the Department of Social Services (DSS). DSS will assist you to establish a new court order or enforce an existing court order.
8. How can my order be enforced without going to court?
- Federal and State Income Tax Offset (IV-D CASES ONLY): Past due child support orders monitored by the state are automatically matched against federal and state income tax returns every year. To be included in the match, the non-custodial parent must owe more than $500 if your children have never received public assistance. If your children have received public assistance, the amount past due must be $150 or more. The non-custodial parent will receive a written notice about the past due child support, proposing that his or her name be submitted for tax offset. The non-custodial parent has the right to contest the proposed tax offset. If the non-custodial parent’s name is submitted, his or her tax refund will be intercepted to pay the child support debt.
- Consumer Credit Reporting (IV-D CASES ONLY): Overdue child support of more than $1000 is automatically reported to the major credit reporting agencies as an overdue debt on a monthly basis. The child support debt will be included on the non-custodial parent’s credit report. The non-custodial parent will receive a written notice about the overdue child support, proposing that his or her name be submitted to credit reporting agencies. The non-custodial parent has the right to contest the proposed reporting.
- Liens against Property: Past due child support of more than $500 may be collected through a lien against the non-custodial parent’s real estate or personal property. When the property is sold, the child support debt will be paid out of the proceeds of the sale. In IV-D cases, the non-custodial parent will receive a written notice about the past due support and information that a lien has been filed on behalf of the custodial parent by the state. The non-custodial parent has the right to contest this action. NON-IV-D lien actions must be pursued privately.
- Other Methods Used by the State to Collect Child Support in IV-D Cases Include: offsetting lottery winnings; seizure of bank accounts; offsetting federal payments (example: federal contracts); and, denying passport applications.
9. How do I change or modify a Child Support Order?
In Connecticut child support orders can only be changed (modified) by a judge or a family support magistrate. There are three ways to get your child support case to court for a hearing to ask a judge or family support magistrate to change your order: 1) ask Support Enforcement Services to assist; 2) hire an attorney; or 3) do it yourself. If you are asking for the modification, you must attend the court hearing or the judge or magistrate will not change the order.
Using Support Enforcement Services:
If you have a child support case with the state child support program, you may ask Support Enforcement Services (SES) in writing, by phone or by e-mail to review your court order to see if a change may be needed. If your court order is from Connecticut and either parents’ income has changed enough that the support order is at least 15% higher or lower than the amount required by the child support guidelines, then SES will prepare the court forms and tell you the court hearing date. SES can also assist you if there has been a change in either parents’ circumstances such as the receipt of Supplemental Security Income (SSI) or Social Security Disability (SSD), a change in custody or a change in incarceration status. If your court order is from another state, contact SES and ask how to change an out of state order. Please note that Support Enforcement Services employees are not attorneys and cannot represent either parent at court hearings.
Hiring an Attorney:
You may hire an attorney to file a motion for modification and represent you before the court.
You may file a motion for modification and represent yourself in court (PRO SE).
10. How will I get my Child Support Payment?
Non IV-D Income Withholding customers must report name and address changes to SES Non IV-D,P.O. Box 65,Vernon,CT06066, or by calling 1-800-228-5437.
Services provided by the State Disbursement Unit (SDU):
The SDU is responsible for all functions associated with the processing of the income withholding payment. These responsibilities are governed by CGS sec. 52-362 and a contract between the SDU and the State ofConnecticut. In general, you can expect that the SDU will:
- Deposit all payments collected pursuant to an income withholding within 24 hours
- Distribute all payments collected pursuant to an income withholding within two business days
- Allocate payments in proportion to support orders in situations where there are two or more income withholding orders levied against an individual
- Answer payment inquiries via a toll-free telephone number
What the SDU needs from you (IV-D Customer)
To insure the prompt processing of your child’s support payment the SDU needs accurate and up-to-date information. Any changes to the information originally provided to the IV-D Program must be reported to the Support Enforcement Services Unit office handling your case. This includes:
- Change in either the custodial or non-custodial parents’ names
- Change of addresses
- Change in the non-custodial parent’s employment, or source of income
- Changes to the income withholding order (such as the amount of the current support or the establishment of an arrearage order)
- Termination of the income withholding obligation
What the SDU needs from you (NON IV-D Customer)
Non IV-D Income Withholding customers must provide the state with information to allow for the creation of an account with the SDU. Non IV-D customers MUST complete a Case Input Record Non IV-D Income Withholding (JD-FM-150)) and mail it, along with a signed original Withholding Order for Support (JD-FM-1), to SES Non IV-D, P.O. Box 65, Vernon, CT 06066. The Non IV-D unit will create an account with the SDU and serve, via certified mail, the withholding order on the employer (or source of income).
Non IV-D Income Withholding customers must report name and address changes, in writing, to SES Non IV-D,P.O. Box 65,Vernon,CT06066.
Changes in employment or source of income, or changes to the income withholding order must be recorded on the CASE INPUT RECORD NON IV-D INCOME WITHHOLDING (JD-FM-150) and mailed to the PO Box listed above. The Non IV-D Unit will make the changes necessary for the SDU to accurately process your payment. Please refer to the instructions on the JD-FM-150 for further information.
Where can I send my child support payment?
All child support payments should be sent by mail to the State Disbursement Unit (SDU) at:
Connecticut – CCSPC
P.O. Box 990031
Hartford, CT 06199-0031
Employers send payments to:
Connecticut – CCSPC
P.O. Box 990032
Hartford, CT 06199-0032
* SDU payment information is available on the internet at http://www.ctchildsupport.com. Or you may contact them by telephone at 1-888-233-7223.