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Child Support FAQs

1.Where can I find general information about Child Support Enforcement Services?

The Connecticut Child Support Enforcement Program (referred to as the “IV-D” program) is a cooperative effort between the Judicial and Executive Branches of Connecticut government. The primary Judicial Branch component of the IV-D program is the Support Enforcement Services Unit of the Court Operations Division.

The Support Enforcement Services Unit is responsible for the following aspects of Connecticut’s IV-D program:

  • Monitoring child support awards for compliance with financial, medical insurance and child care orders
  • Initiating court based enforcement actions such as income withholdings and contempt applications
  • Reviewing financial support orders and initiating modifications when the order substantially deviates from the Connecticut Child Support and Arrearage Guidelines, and filing modifications to add medical insurance orders
  • Serving as clerk of the court in interstate child support actions initiated under the Uniform Interstate Family Support Act (UIFSA)

For more information on the Executive Branch agencies involved in the Connecticut Child Support Enforcement Program, click on the links listed below, or contact Support Enforcement Services, Child Support Call Center at 1-800-228-KIDS (5437) or email us.

More information about paternity orders and other child support services provided by the Dept. of Social Services. External Link

More information about child support services provided by the Attorney General. External Link

PLEASE NOTE – Use of the Child Support Enforcement Program is not mandatory. You may establish paternity and/or support and enforce court orders without the assistance of the IV-D program.


2. What is the IV-D Program?

The IV-D program (pronounced Four-D) is the technical name for government administered Child Support Enforcement Programs. The term ‘IV-D’ comes from Title IV-D of the Social Security Act, which is the program’s federal enabling statute. In Connecticut, a case is considered IV-D if the family has received public assistance benefits or if an application for services was filed with either the Department of Social Services or the Support Enforcement Unit.

Each state, as well as the District of Columbia, Puerto Rico and other territories, have IV-D programs. All IV-D programs perform following activities:

  • Locating Non-custodial parents
  • Establishing paternity
  • Establishing support orders, both financial and medical
  • Enforcing support orders
  • Reviewing and adjusting support orders to ensure that the orders are appropriate
  • Providing payment processing services


3. Where are the Support Enforcement Service Unit offices and what are their telephone numbers?

4. Are there any Child Support Publications available?


5. What other Child Support Resources are there:


6. How do I get Child Support?

You must have a court order to receive child support. A court order for child support establishes the monetary support order for your child(ren) as well as other orders for health insurance and child care. Even if the non-custodial parent is willing to sign a voluntary agreement to pay child support, it must be approved by a court.

There are three ways to get a court order for child support:

  1. Hire an attorney to pursue your case in court.
  2. Represent yourself in court.
  3. Apply for child support services (IV-D) offered by the State. Child support services are free of charge. Contact your regional office of the Department of Social Services (DSS) for an application. List of DSS offices and telephone numbers.External Link


7. How are Support Orders calculated?

The courts use mandatory guidelines to make fair and consistent child support orders.

  • The Connecticut Child Support and Arrearage Guidelines are state regulations which provide a mathematical formula to set the child support payment amount. The Guidelines use the combined income of the mother and the father and the number of children to set a child support amount.
  • The court will also enter a medical insurance order for the minor children if it is available through an employer for a reasonable cost. The court may also order one or both parties to apply for, and maintain, medical coverage through the HUSKY PLAN.External Link The guidelines also provide for the allocation of un-reimbursed medical costs between the parties.
  • The guidelines also provide a mathematical formula for allocating qualified childcare costs between the parties.
  • Judges and family support magistrates must follow the guidelines unless they make an exception in their ruling and tell you why they are ordering a different amount. These exceptions are called “deviations.”
  • The amount of the child support order can change. Because child support payments are based on income, the support amount may change as the circumstances of the parents change.
  • Click here for a copy of the Connecticut Child Support and Arrearage Guidelines, or contact the Child Support Call Center at 1-800-228-KIDS or email us. You may also get a copy at any Judicial District Clerk’s Office near you.


8. 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, CT 06066, 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 of Connecticut. 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 (1-888-233-7223)

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, CT 06066.

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.
Contact the Non IV-D Unit by email.

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 https://ct.smartchildsupport.com/home.aspx.External Link Or you may contact them by telephone at 1-888-233-7223.


9. How can I obtain case information?

If you receive full IV-D services, or if your support payment is paid through an income withholding order to the State Disbursement Unit (SDU), you may get case information by:


10. 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 is the Motion for Contempt – PDF.


11. 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. List of DSS offices and telephone numbersExternal Link


12. 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.


13. 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. You may be eligible to participate by phone if you are not residing in Connecticut.

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. You will be asked to complete a written request form which includes providing information about you and the other parent. 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.

Self Representation: You may file a motion for modification and represent yourself in court (PRO SE). How to File a Modification on your own.


14. My employee is subject to Income Withholding. What does that mean for me as the employer?

Employer Information:
Child support is often collected through income withholding orders and is paid by the non-custodial parent’s employer out of the parent’s wages. Income subject to withholding may include:

  • Wages/salary/paychecks
  • Commissions
  • Bonuses
  • Unemployment compensation
  • Worker’s compensation insurance
  • Retirement benefits

For a complete listing of income subject to withholding, see Connecticut General Statutes section 52-362.External Link

Employer Responsibilities:
After an employer receives an income withholding order, the employer must:

  • Withhold money from income or wages as required by the court order.
  • Send payments within seven days of withholding the money from the employee’s wages or earnings to the State Disbursement Unit as indicated on the Withholding Order for Support (JD-FM-1).
  • Continue to withhold and send payments until you are notified by the court or a state agency that the withholding order is suspended or changed.
  • Honor multiple withholding orders for the same employee the fullest extent possible. The state will allocate the payment as appropriate.


15. What if there is an Income Withholding Order from another state?

  • As of January 1, 1998, Connecticut employers must honor Income Withholdings from other states in the same manner as if a Connecticut court issued them.
  • Upon receipt of an income withholding from another state, the employer must give the employee a copy of the income withholding order and a copy of the claim form. The claim form is available at https://ct.smartchildsupport.com/home.aspxExternal Link
  • The employer must implement the withholding order regardless of a claim made by the employee through the use of the claim form.

16. What is my responsibility as an employer if the employee has an income withholding order and makes a claim for workers’ compensation benefits?

When the obligor makes a claim for workers’ compensation benefits, the employer shall include a copy of any order for withholding received by the employer for the obligor with the employer’s first report of occupational illness or injury to the employer’s workers’ compensation benefits carrier, and such benefits carrier shall withhold funds pursuant to the withholding order and pay any sums withheld as required by subsection (f) of C.G.S 52-362.


SOURCE: CT Judicial Branch