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This booklet contains the
Child Support and Arrearage Guidelines
regulations adopted by the
Commission for Child Support Guidelines
pursuant to CGS § 46b-215a.

The Schedule of Basic Child Support Obligations
and prescribed worksheet are included
as a part of the regulations.

The booklet also includes an unofficial explanatory
preamble to the regulations
that was developed by the Commission
to assist the guidelines user.

TABLE OF CONTENTS

Preamble to Child Support and Arrearage Guidelines

(a) Introduction

(b) Purposes of guidelines

(c) Basic principles

(d) The Schedule of Basic Child Support Obligations

(e) Applicability of child support guidelines

(f) Income determination

(g) Arrearage guidelines

(h) Deviation criteria

(i) Effective date

Child Support and Arrearage Guidelines Regulations

Section 46b-215a-1. Definitions

Section 46b-215a-2a. Child support guidelines

(a) Applicability

(b) Using the worksheet

(c) Determining the amount of current support

(d) Determining the amount of current support in split custody situations

(e) Determining the amount of current support when another child resides with a parent

(f) Schedule of Basic Child Support Obligations

(g) Determining the health care coverage contribution

(h) Determining the child care contribution

Section 46b-215a-3. Child support guidelines deviation criteria

(a) Introduction

(b) Criteria for deviation from presumptive support amounts

Section 46b-215a-4a. Arrearage guidelines

(a) Scope of section

(b) General rule

(c) Special rules for low-income obligors

(d) Special rule if there is no current support order

(e) Special rule for child living with the obligor1

(f) Use of the worksheet in arrearage determinations

Section 46b-215a-5a. Worksheet for child support and arrearage guidelines

PREAMBLE TO CHILD SUPPORT AND ARREARAGE GUIDELINES

(a) Introduction

This preamble is intended to assist users of the child support and arrearage guidelines but is not part of the official regulations.

(1) Purposes of preamble

The purposes of this preamble to the child support and arrearage guidelines are the following:

(A) To identify for child support practitioners, judges, family support magistrates, and the public changes from the former child support guidelines to ease the transition to the new guidelines.

(B) To provide supplemental background information to assist the user in understanding the purposes and principles underlying the guidelines.

(C) To limit the need for explanations and commentary in the guidelines to keep them simple and readable.

(D) To provide for uniformity of interpretation by the Connecticut bar, judiciary, child support agencies, and the public.

(2) Organization of the regulations

The child support and arrearage guidelines regulations are organized into five sections, as follows:

(A) Section 46b-215a-1. Definitions

This section contains definitions of key words and phrases which have a special meaning as used in the guidelines.

(B) Section 46b-215a-2a. Child support guidelines

This section contains the guidelines, including the worksheet instructions and schedule, for determining the current support, health care coverage, and child care contribution components of the child support award.

(C) Section 46b-215a-3. Child support guidelines deviation criteria

This section describes the circumstances which may justify a support order different from the presumptive support amounts calculated under the child support and arrearage guidelines.

(D) Section 46b-215a-4a. Arrearage guidelines

This section contains the guidelines, including the worksheet instructions, for determining periodic payments on child support arrearages.

(E) Section 46b-215a-5a. Worksheet for the Connecticut child support and arrearage guidelines

This section contains the worksheet intended for use with the instructions in sections 46b-215a-2a and 46b-215a-4a.

(b) Purposes of guidelines

The primary purposes of the child support and arrearage guidelines are:

(1) To provide uniform procedures for establishing an adequate level of support for children, and for repayment of child support arrearages, subject to the ability of parents to pay.

(2) To make awards more equitable by ensuring the consistent treatment of persons in similar circumstances.

(3) To improve the efficiency of the court process by promoting settlements and by giving courts and the parties guidance in setting the levels of awards.

(4) To conform to applicable federal and state statutory and regulatory mandates.

(c) Basic principles

The Connecticut Child Support Guidelines are based on the Income Shares Model. The Income Shares Model is predicated on the concept that the child should receive the same proportion of parental income as he or she would have received if the parents lived together. The Income Shares Model has proven to be the most widely accepted, particularly due to its consideration of the income of both parents.

The Income Shares Model reflects presently available data on the average costs of raising children in households across a wide range of incomes and family sizes. Because household spending on behalf of children is intertwined with spending on behalf of adults for most expenditure categories, it is difficult to determine the exact proportion allocated to children in individual cases, even with exhaustive financial affidavits. However, a number of authoritative economic studies based on national data provide reliable estimates of the average amount of household expenditures on children in intact households. These studies have found that the proportion of household spending devoted to children is systematically and consistently related to the level of household income and to the number of children.

Based on this economic evidence, adjusted for Connecticut's relatively high income distribution (as explained more fully in subsection (d) of this preamble, following), the guidelines allow for the calculation of current support based on each parent's share of the amount estimated to have been spent on the child if the parents and child were living in an intact household. The amount calculated for the custodial parent is retained by the custodial parent and presumed to be spent on the child. The amount calculated for the noncustodial parent establishes the level of current support to be ordered by the court. These two amounts together constitute the total current support obligation.

(d) The Schedule of Basic Child Support Obligations

This subsection of the preamble explains how the commission derived the percentages in the Schedule of Basic Child Support Obligations (hereafter, the schedule) why it reduced them from 1994 levels, and how and why it extended the schedule to the lower income ranges (the darker shaded areas of the schedule) and to incomes between $1,750 and $2,500 per week. In developing the 1994 guidelines and schedule, the previous commission reviewed and evaluated the latest available economic data on childrearing costs and literature on child support guidelines, the practices of other states, and the recommendations of its retained consultant, Policy Studies, Inc. of Denver, Colorado.

(1) Updated economic data

The schedule percentages are based on updated economic data on childrearing costs which was gathered in a study mandated by the Family Support Act of 1988 (P.L. 100-485, section 128). The study was conducted by Dr. David Betson of Notre Dame University, through the University of Wisconsin Institute for Research on Poverty. Dr. Betson used data from the national 1980-86 Consumer Expenditure Survey for his research. An analysis of Dr. Betson's findings, on which the 1994 commission relied, is contained in Estimates of Expenditures on Children and Child Support Guidelines, Report to U.S. Department of Health and Human Services (Office of the Assistant Secretary for Planning and Evaluation), by Lewin/ICF (October 1990). The present commission has determined that the data relied on by the 1994 commission remains valid for the purpose of setting appropriate child support awards. New data of the same kind and quality relied on by the 1994 commission is not yet available, and any adjustment due to inflation would be too small at this time to justify an overhaul of the existing schedule.

(2) Rothbarth estimator

Economists determine the average household spending on children by comparing the expenditures of two households that are equally well off economically, one with children and one without. To make this comparison, they must first determine a standard of well-being which is independent of income. The Rothbarth estimator (named for Erwin Rothbarth, the economist who first proposed it) is such a standard. It is based on the percentage of household income spent on adult goods, and the commission continues to assess it as the best benchmark to use in developing guidelines.

(3) Adjustment for Connecticut

The data reported by Betson using the Rothbarth estimator (hereafter, Betson/Rothbarth) were developed using a nationally representative sample of households. Connecticut, however, has an income structure which is much higher than the national average. This fact, in the commission's judgment, continues to warrant an upward adjustment to the Betson/Rothbarth percentages, for the following reasons:

(A) A Connecticut household can be expected to spend about the same percentage of income on children as a nationally representative household with a lower level of income because of the Connecticut household's relative position in the state's income distribution.

(B) Households with lower levels of income generally spend a higher proportion of their income on children (see subdivision (4) in this subsection, immediately following).

(4) Percentage decline as income increases

(A) Reason for decline

Economic evidence establishes that the proportion of household income spent on children declines as household income increases. This spending pattern exists because families at higher income levels do not have to devote most or all of their incomes to perceived necessities. Rather, they can allocate some proportion of income to savings and other non-consumption expenditures, as well as discretionary adult goods.

(B) Decline at all income levels

Connecticut's pre-1994 child support guidelines built in a decline in the percentages beginning at the $750 combined net weekly income level. The new guidelines follow the pattern of the 1994 guidelines and incorporate declining percentages at all levels of combined net weekly income. This approach is consistent with the income shares model, and the degree of decline is based on the most reliable economic indicators. (The decline does not apply for increasing obligor income at very low levels for the reasons discussed in subparagraph (6)(A) in this subsection of the preamble).

(5) Percentage reductions to compensate for new child care contribution

The 1994 guidelines schedule incorporated in the percentages an average amount for child care expenses over the childís minority. The present commission has determined, however, that a fairer approach to handling child care costs is to apportion them between the parents, and add the noncustodial parentís portion to the child support award. (A fuller discussion of this approach is at subdivision (e)(4) in this preamble.) This way, child care costs enter into the child support award determination only for those parents with small children who actually incur such costs. To account for this revised treatment of child care expenses, the Commission has reduced the percentages throughout the schedule, outside of the dark shaded area in which the special rules for low-income obligors apply. The reductions, based on information provided to the 1994 commission by its retained consultant, Policy Studies, Inc., are one and one-half percentage points for one child, and two percentage points for two or more children.

(6) Extension to lower income ranges

(A) Variable self-support reserve

The Commission has reconsidered the concept of the self-support reserve that was included in the 1994 guidelines and determined that the regulations should be amended to provide for at least a minimal support obligation in every case, subject to appropriate deviation criteria. The result of this determination is a variable self-support reserve equal to net income minus the amount of the minimal support order. Thus, for obligors earning less than $150 per week, the self-support reserve is 90% of net if the obligor is supporting one child, but it ranges between 90% and just over 81% of net if the obligor is supporting two or more children. The exact percentage of retained income decreases as the level of net income and the number of children for whom the obligor is liable increases. At the $150 net income level and above, the dollar amount of retained income for an obligor with a given number of children increases in approximately even intervals as net income increases, until the net income level is reached at which all obligors, regardless of the number of children, retain between $174 and $179 of their net. From that income level on, obligors cease to benefit from the deflated percentages used in the darker shaded area of the schedule, and the income shares model applies. The principle underlying this fundamental conceptual change is that a specific amount of child support should always be ordered, no matter how minimal. The establishment of an order conveys the important public policy that parents should and must support their children, or attempt to do so, even at poverty levels. The lack of a self-support reserve for custodial parents and the advent of time-limited public assistance benefits are further justification for the imposition of a support order in all cases.

(B) Use of noncustodial parent income only

At the lowest income levels, the income of the custodial parent normally has no effect on the amount of the support order. Accordingly, the new schedule is based on noncustodial parent income only at the levels indicated by the dark shading in the schedule. The remainder of the schedule is consistent with the income shares model which uses the combined net income of both parents to arrive at a joint basic current support obligation.

(C) Exception to use of noncustodial parent income only

There are some instances where the percentage indicated in the darker shaded area exceeds that which applies if the combined net income is used. These instances occur, in general, when the custodial parent's income is high relative to that of the noncustodial parent. The reason for this occurrence is that the percentages decline as combined income increases, so that if the combined income is sufficiently high, the applicable percentage can be lower than that which was intended to benefit the low-income obligor. The obligor income levels where this may occur are indicated by percentage and support amounts in white italics. Where the figures in white italics in the darker shaded area are encountered, the user must consult the schedule to determine whether the percentage applicable to the combined income is lower, and, if so, use that percentage to calculate a basic current support obligation for both parents, in accordance with the usual procedure.

(7) Extension to higher incomes

The 1994 child support guidelines applied only up to $1,750 combined net weekly income. The commission has extended the applicable range of the guidelines under these regulations to $2,500 combined net weekly income. This extension is justified by the existence of sufficient family income and expenditure data at these income levels. The Commission is not extending the schedule further at this time, however, because it would have to rely on data from a relatively small sample of families at the higher income levels. As under the former guidelines, above the highest income level in the schedule, courts remain free to fashion appropriate child support awards on a case-by-case basis, provided the amount of support prescribed at the $2,500 level is presumed to be the minimum that should be ordered in such cases.

(e) Applicability of child support guidelines

(1) Split custody situations

When there is more than one child in common and each parent provides the primary residence of at least one of the children, there is a split custody situation. Under the pre-1994 guidelines, these situations were handled by computing a single obligation for all subject children, and then apportioning the obligation between the parents based on the number of children in the other parent's custody. While this prorating approach was simple and reasonable, it was somewhat inconsistent with the income shares model. Because each additional child costs proportionately less to raise, the basic obligation for two children in a single household, for example, is less than that for two children living in separate households. The split custody adjustment under the pre-1994 guidelines, however, would use the basic obligation for two children in a single household to compute support for two children living separately. To correct this deficiency, the 1994 commission adopted an approach that uses the combined parental income to calculate separate obligations for the children of each household. These obligations are then offset to arrive at a single obligation which one parent pays to the other to correctly apportion their combined income based on a consistent application of the child support guidelines. The present commission continues to endorse this approach to the split custody situation, but has restructured the applicable provision in an effort to clarify and simplify the presentation.

(2) Cases where another child resides with a parent

In an effort to improve the consistency of orders in which the needs of multiple families are involved, the commission has eliminated the deviation criterion for needs of a parentís prior or subsequent children in favor of a deduction from gross income in the amount of an imputed support obligation for a dependent child living with the parent. More information on when this deduction can be used is found at subparagraph (f)(2)(E) in this preamble.

The amount of the allowable deduction is calculated as follows. First, a current support obligation is calculated for all of the parentís children, including those who are the subject of the support determination and those for whom the parent is seeking a gross income deduction. The other parentís income is not considered in this calculation. Second, the resulting obligation is divided by the total number of the parentís children, and the resulting amount is multiplied by the number of qualified children (those for whom the parent is claiming a deduction). This gives the amount of the allowable deduction.

(3) Health care coverage contribution

The commission has determined that clear and adequate health care provisions must be included in the guidelines if they are to serve the best interests of the child. Such provisions are mandated by Title IV-D of the Social Security Act, implementing federal regulations and corresponding state law provisions. All states now have in their child support guidelines some provision for addressing the childís health care needs. The majority of the states do as Connecticut and add the cost of health insurance onto the basic child support obligation. The commission deems this the best approach, and so continues it in these regulations. The "add-on" approach is justified because the cost of health insurance is not included in the average child rearing expenditures reflected in the Schedule of Basic Child Support Obligations. The reason for so excluding such costs is that health insurance premium levels vary widely from person to person and family to family.

While the commission is continuing the "add-on" approach to health insurance costs in these regulations, it is also expanding and clarifying the provisions by adding a new subsection (g) in section 46b-215a-2a. This subsection requires each child support award entered under the guidelines to include a provision for either parent to contribute to the health care coverage of the child. The requirement may be met by an order to name the child as a beneficiary of health insurance carried by or available at reasonable cost to a parent. If such insurance is not available, the order must require application for Husky B or an equivalent government-sponsored plan, as available. The subsection also clarifies that the noncustodial parentís monetary contribution toward health insurance premium costs incurred by the custodial parent is established as part of the current support order in accordance with the guidelines.

One commenter suggested that the guidelines should have a better provision for addressing unreimbursed medical costs because they tend to overburden the custodial parent. The commission agreed and so included in the new health care provisions a method for apportioning unreimbursed medical expenses that exceed $100 per year per child between the parents. The $100 figure represents an average amount included in the schedule to cover ordinary medical expenses. The apportionment is based on the parentsí respective disposable incomes after deduction of the current support order amount from the noncustodial parentís net income, and the addition of such amount to the custodial parentís net income. The commission deems this the fairest way to apportion such expenses because it bases the parentsí contributions on the actual funds available to them after child support monies have changed hands. Low-income obligors are not exempt from this provision. The commission continues, however, to include unreimbursed medical expenses as a reason for deviating from presumptive support amounts where such expenses are found to be extraordinary and to exist on a substantial and continuing basis.

(4) Child care contribution

The commission has included a subsection (h) in section 46b-215a-2a of the regulations to require the noncustodial parent to reimburse the custodial parent for a portion of the child care costs incurred on behalf of the subject child. This approach is justified, in the commissionís view, because the cost of child care varies widely depending on family circumstances. Provision for a separate contribution therefore permits the court to tailor the child support award to those circumstances. Since an average amount for child care expense over the childís minority was included in the Schedule of Basic Child Support Obligations adopted by the 1994 commission, however, the commission has reduced the percentages to compensate for this new treatment of the day care expense. See subdivision (d)(5) in this preamble for more information concerning the percentage reductions.

The costs subject to noncustodial parent reimbursement must be reasonable and necessary for the custodial parent to maintain employment. They also must not exceed the level required to provide quality care from a licensed source. The noncustodial parentís contribution is set the same way as unreimbursed medical expenses are apportioned Ė on the basis of the parentsí respective disposable incomes after deduction of the current support order amount from the noncustodial parentís net income, and the addition of such amount to the custodial parentís net income. The commission deems this the fairest way to apportion the child care costs because it is based on the actual funds available to the parents after child support monies have changed hands. Low-income obligors are exempted from a child care contribution.

(f) Income determination

The regulations continue to use the parentsí net income, defined as gross income minus allowable deductions, as a basis for calculating the child support obligation. This subsection describes and explains the principle changes to the gross income inclusions and exclusions, and the allowable deductions, included in the new guidelines.

(1) Gross income

(A) Inclusions

Users of the guidelines should note that gross income includes all kinds of earned and unearned income not specifically excluded. The list of inclusions is illustrative and not exhaustive.

(i) Overtime and additional employment

Several public commenters suggested a limitation on the number of hours of overtime pay or earnings from second jobs that should be considered in setting the child support award. They argued that including all employment income discouraged noncustodial parents from working more, or prevented them from reducing their hours to maintain frequent contact with their children.

Inclusion of at least some parental income earned for hours worked in excess of 40 per week is justified, in the commissionís view, by the principle that the children should share equitably in the income of their parents. The commission agrees with the commenters, however, that some limitation on the number of hours considered is appropriate. It has accordingly established 52 total paid hours per week for regular, overtime, and additional employment as the maximum to enter into the calculation of gross income for child support purposes.

(ii) Social security dependency benefits

One public commenter noted that the guidelines definition of gross income should include the social security dependency allowance to be consistent with the ruling in a recent Connecticut Supreme Court case. The commission agreed and accordingly added to the gross income inclusions social security dependency benefits on the earnings record of an insured parent that are paid on behalf of a child whose support is being determined. The user should note that the adjustment whereby such benefits are effectively deducted from the noncustodial parentís current support obligation is continued in these regulations.

(iii) Gifts, prizes and winnings

The commission has determined that gifts, prizes, and lottery and gambling winnings that are received on a regularly recurring basis should be included in the parentsí gross income for the purpose of determining the child support award. Regularly recurring contributions or gifts of a spouse or domestic partner, on the other hand, are specifically excluded from gross income, but may be grounds for a deviation from presumptive support amounts in the limited circumstances discussed in subdivision (h)(2) of this preamble.

(iv) Additional items and clarifications

The following items, in addition to those discussed in the preceding paragraphs (i)-(iii), were added as gross income inclusions to provide further specificity for users of the guidelines:

The following items were clarified:

(B) Exclusions

(i) Earned income tax credit

Two public commenters proposed excluding the federal earned income tax credit from gross income, since including it would undermine its purpose to benefit low-income wage earners. The commission agreed and accordingly added the earned income tax credit to the list of gross income exclusions.

(ii) Income and gifts of a spouse or domestic partner

While one public commenter did suggest considering the income of a new partner in setting child support award amounts, the commission does not believe it is ever appropriate to factor the income of a new partner into the calculation of support for a child who is not the legal dependent of such partner. Doing so would not only lead to extremely complex calculations, it would impose an obligation on such person for which there is no legal basis under Connecticut law.

Likewise, the commission deems it appropriate to exclude from gross income the regularly recurring contributions or gifts of a spouse or domestic partner. It does so after fully considering the decision in a recent Connecticut Supreme Court case in which the court found it appropriate to include in a parentís gross income the contributions made by his domestic partner toward his living expenses. The commission believes that the principles enunciated in that decision are best embodied in the form of a deviation criterion. In this connection, see subdivision (h)(2) in this preamble.

(2) Allowable deductions

(A) Income taxes

One public commenter suggested that actual tax liability should be considered in determining income for child support purposes. The commission agreed and accordingly amended the definition of allowable deductions to include "federal, state, and local income taxes, based upon all allowable exemptions, deductions, and credits". The 1994 guidelines differed in their treatment of the deduction for income taxes by basing it only on the amounts withheld pursuant to the appropriate exemptions. The expanded definition, in contrast, permits the deduction to be based not only on the allowable exemptions, but also on any deductions and credits that may be reflected on the parentsí income tax returns.

(B) Medicare tax

The commission added a deduction for Medicare taxes to reflect the separate consideration of Medicare and social security taxes in many payroll systems, and to clarify its intent to include this mandatory deduction as an allowable deduction from gross income in the context of child support award determinations.

(C) Day care costs

This deduction has been eliminated due to the inclusion of a child care contribution component in the child support award. See subdivision (e)(4) in this preamble for a discussion of the child care contribution.

(D) Other alimony and child support awards

Two public commenters suggested that the deduction from gross income for "court-ordered alimony and child support payments" should be clarified to indicate whether or not both current support and arrearage payments are included as deductions. The commission agreed and accordingly has limited the allowable deduction for court-ordered alimony and child support awards to payments on non-arrearage amounts only. The commission by this amendment attempts to ensure that a child who is the subject of a subsequent support order is not deprived of an appropriate level of support due to a parentís non-payment of a prior support order.

The commission also has clarified its intent to allow a deduction for other alimony and child support awards only to the extent of payment on such awards by eliminating the option for the court to disallow the deduction if it finds that payments are not being made.

(E) Imputed obligation for qualified child

The 1994 guidelines permitted a deviation from presumptive support amounts in specified circumstances based on the needs of a parentís prior or subsequent children. In an effort to improve the consistency of orders in which the needs of multiple families are involved, the commission has eliminated this deviation in favor of a deduction from gross income in the amount of an imputed support obligation for a qualified child. A qualified child is defined as one other than the subject of the support determination who resides with the parent, is dependent on the parent for support, and for whom the parent has not claimed a deduction for court-ordered support payments. The procedure for determining the amount of the imputed support obligation is discussed in subdivision (e)(2) of this preamble. The deduction may be taken in the context of an initial support determination or when a parent is defending against a proposed modification. It can not be taken by a parent seeking a modification of an existing child support award.

(g) Arrearage guidelines

Section 46b-215a of the Connecticut General Statutes requires the development of guidelines for orders of payment on arrearages. Such guidelines are to be based on the obligor's ability to pay. The commission interprets the statute to apply only to the determination of periodic payments, and so does not address in the regulations the determination of lump sum payments, which determination remains subject to the discretion of the judge or family support magistrate. This subsection of the preamble explains the commission's rationale for several aspects of the arrearage guidelines.

(1) Simplicity

The commission believes that the arrearage guidelines should be fairly simple to understand and apply, and accordingly continues to base the arrearage payment on a percentage of the current support order.

(2) Percentage of current support

The commission determined that twenty percent (20%) of the current support order continues to be a reasonable percentage to apply toward the reduction of accumulated child support arrearages in most cases. It has accordingly retained this percentage as the general rule, subject to the limitation described in subdivision (4) in this subsection of the preamble.

(3) Arrearage payment when there is no current support order

When there is no current support order, a current support obligation is imputed for the child for whom the arrearage is owed, and the arrearage payment is established as a percentage of that imputed obligation. The applicable percentage is:

(A) twenty percent if the child for whom the arrearage is owed is an unemancipated minor, and

(B) fifty percent if the child for whom the arrearage is owed is deceased, emancipated, or over age eighteen.

The twenty percent amount was selected to be consistent with the general rule on the grounds that in the absence of a current support order, the obligor is either supporting the child or would be obligated to do so under state law. The fifty percent amount was selected because in the situations described, the obligorís current support obligation will have ceased, so that the ability to repay an arrearage is enhanced.

(4) Limitation on amount of arrearage payment

Basing the arrearage payment on the current support order automatically introduces a test of the obligor's ability to pay. Nonetheless, the commission recognizes that further protection is required to assist obligors in meeting their own self support needs. It has accordingly retained in these regulations the provision whereby no more than 55% of an obligor's net income may be taken for the total of all current support and arrearage payments.

(5) Special rule for low-income obligors

The arrearage guidelines provide for a weekly arrearage payment for low-income obligors equal to the greater of ten percent (10%) of the weekly current support order, or one dollar ($1) per week.The lower percentage than that of the general rule is intended to assist such obligors in meeting their own self support needs while at the same time conveying the important message of the primacy of child support obligations.

(6) Arrearages owed to the state and a custodial parent

The commission determined that a clarification was warranted with respect to the handling of Title IV-D child support cases in which arrearages are owed both to the state and to a custodial parent. The 1994 guidelines provided that a monthly amount of $5 be allocated to the state's arrearage in such cases, and the balance of the payment allocated to the family. Changes in federal and state laws since adoption of the previous guidelines dictate now, however, that all payments in Title IV-D cases be made to a centralized state disbursement unit and distributed in accordance with federal mandates. The commission accordingly has reworked the provisions applicable to these cases and provided that a single arrearage payment order shall enter under which payments shall be distributed in accordance with the federal requirements. Under the new guidelines, the order shall be payable to the custodial parent until such parentís arrearage is satisfied, and only then payable to the state.

(7) Special treatment for obligor living with child

The authorizing statute calls for special consideration where the obligor lives with the child when the arrearage order is entered. Accordingly, the guidelines require only a minimal weekly payment of one dollar ($1) where such obligor's gross income does not exceed 250% of the poverty guideline for the obligor's household size. Where the obligor's income exceeds this amount, the guidelines require a payment of 20% of the imputed support obligation.

(h) Deviation criteria

(1) In general

The 1994 guidelines contained separate sets of criteria for deviation from the child support guidelines and the arrearage guidelines, respectively. The commission, in these regulations, has combined all deviation criteria in one section, and made them equally applicable to all components of the child support award.

The commission also has clarified and reduced the number of deviation criteria, where warranted, to better serve the stated purposes of ensuring consistency and promoting settlements. It has done so with due regard to the best interests of the child, and with reference to case data reported from the automated system maintained by the stateís Title IV-D child support agency. In this regard, see especially subdivisions (3), (5), (6) and (7) in this subsection of the preamble.

(2) Contributions or gifts of a spouse or domestic partner

The commission was clear in excluding the income and regularly recurring contributions or gifts of a spouse or domestic partner from the count of gross income for child support award determinations. (See paragraph (f)(1)(B)(ii) in this preamble for a discussion of this provision.) The commission has determined, nonetheless, that the regularly recurring contributions or gifts of a spouse or domestic partner may, in limited circumstances, constitute a financial resource justifying deviation from presumptive support amounts. Such circumstances are limited to those in which a parent has either (A) reduced his or her income or (B) experienced an extraordinary reduction of his or her living expenses as a direct result of such contributions or gifts.

(3) Needs of a parent's other dependents

The commission received numerous comments on the guidelines treatment of situations in which a parent subject to a support determination has an obligation to support other individuals not a party to such determination. The commission agreed with several public commenters that the handling of multiple family situations needed further clarification. Accordingly, the commission amended the regulations by adding an imputed support obligation for a qualified child to the list of allowable deductions from gross income. (See subparagraph (f)(2)(E) in this preamble for a discussion of that deduction.) In addition, the commission amended the deviation criteria for needs of other dependents by:

(A) deleting the deviation for children of prior unions residing with the obligor, or for whom the obligor is making verified payments, and replacing it with a deviation for resources available to a qualified child for whom the allowable deduction was taken;

(B) deleting the deviation for children of subsequent unions for whom there is no support order, and replacing it with a deviation for verified support payments made by a parent for his or her dependent child not residing with such parent; and

(C) removing the "subsequent" limitation from the deviation for the significant and essential needs of a spouse.

(4) Shared physical custody

The commission has amended the guidelines regulations to improve the consistency of orders involving shared physical custody. It has clarified and expanded the definition of shared custody to emphasize the guidelinesí focus on physical rather than legal custody, included visitation within the definitionís parameters, and provided limited quantitative guidance for the trier of fact.

The quantitative guidance consists of a requirement that a finding of shared physical custody be made only where the noncustodial parent exercises visitation or physical care and control of the child for periods substantially in excess of a normal visitation schedule. The commission recognizes that a normal visitation schedule is typically two overnights on alternate weekends; alternate holidays; some vacation time; and other visits of short duration, which may occasion an overnight stay during the week. The intent of this definitional change, therefore, is to permit deviation from presumptive support amounts only when the noncustodial parent exercises visitation or physical care and control of the child for periods that substantially exceed this typical schedule. A further aspect of the definitional change which is intended to provide some minimal quantitative guidance is the clarifying statement that an equal time-sharing is not required for a finding of shared physical custody. Under this new definition of shared physical custody, courts and other officials will continue to determine what precise level of sharing is sufficient to warrant a deviation from presumptive support amounts. The commission has avoided a "bright-line" definitional test as well as a formula approach to shared custody situations to discourage disputes over time-sharing as a means of impacting support amounts. The commission believes that the approach adopted in these regulations leaves sufficient room for the exercise of judicial discretion while at the same time providing a measure of predictability for the parties.

The commission has also amended the shared custody deviation criterion to permit a deviation only when a shared physical custody arrangement either substantially reduces the custodial parentís expenses for the child or substantially increases such expenses for the noncustodial parent, and when sufficient funds would remain for the parent receiving support to meet the basic needs of the child after deviation. The commission believes that this approach will result in a fairer handling of visitation and custody issues by the courts, insofar as such issues are related to child support award determinations.

(5) Day care costs

The commission has eliminated the deviation criterion for reasonable work-related day care costs that was included in the 1994 guidelines in view of the commissionís decision to include a child care contribution in the child support award. See subdivision (e)(4) in this preamble for a discussion of the child care contribution.

(6) Low-income obligor and custodial parent

The commission has eliminated the criterion that permitted the court to deviate from the presumptive support amount prescribed for a low-income obligor if the custodial parent is working and earning less than or the same as the obligor. The reason for eliminating this criterion is the extension of the Schedule of Basic Child Support Obligations to the lower income ranges in which low-income obligors previously benefited from a minimum self-support reserve. See subparagraph (d)(6)(A) in this preamble for an explanation of this change.

(7) Substantially increased work hours

The commission has eliminated the deviation criterion for increased work hours due to the hourly wage limitation now built into the gross income inclusions. See paragraph (f)(1)(A)(i) in this preamble for a discussion of this limitation.

(8) Additional changes

The commission made the following additional changes to the deviation criteria for purposes of clarity and consistency with other guidelines provisions:

(A) It substituted the term "presumptive support amounts" for the term "guidelines amount" throughout to reflect the inclusion of the deviation criteria as an integral component of the child support and arrearage guidelines, and to maintain consistency with usage of the new term "presumptive support amounts" throughout the guidelines.

(B) It eliminated references to the court or the trier of fact as the sole agent to apply the deviation criteria with the intent to discourage any implication that administrative agencies may be precluded from applying such criteria in the child support award determinations for which they are responsible.

(C) It amended the deviation for parental support being provided to a minor obligor by deleting the language limiting its applicability to the establishment of a self-support reserve of less than $145 per week.

(D) It expanded the extraordinary parental expense deviation for unreimbursable medical expenses to include disability-related expenses.

(i) Effective date

The commission selected an effective date of August 1, 1999 to provide sufficient time for those who are involved in the determination of child support amounts within the state to become familiar with the guidelines prior to their required implementation.

CHILD SUPPORT AND ARREARAGE GUIDELINES REGULATIONS

Section 46b-215a-1. Definitions

As used in sections 46b-215a-1, 46b-215a-2a, 46b-215a-3, 46b-215a-4a and 46b-215a-5a:

(1) "Allowable deductions" means average weekly amounts subtracted from gross income to arrive at net income, and are limited to the following:

(A) federal, state, and local income taxes, based upon all allowable exemptions, deductions and credits;

(B) social security taxes or, in lieu thereof, mandatory retirement plan deductions for an amount not to exceed the maximum amount permissible under social security;

(C) medicare tax;

(D) medical, hospital, dental, or health insurance premium payments for the parent and his or her legal dependents other than the child whose support is being determined, provided the parent provides the name of the insurer and the policy number;

(E) mandatory union dues or fees, including initiation;

(F) court-ordered alimony and child support awards for individuals not involved in the support determination, provided a deduction for such awards shall be allowed only to the extent of payment on any non-arrearage amounts; and

(G) an imputed support obligation for a qualified child, as determined in accordance with subsection (e) of section 46b-215a-2a of the Regulations of Connecticut State Agencies.

(2) "Arrearage" is synonymous with "past-due support" and means any one or a combination of the following:

(A) court ordered current support or arrearage payments which have become due and payable and remain unpaid;

(B) unpaid child support award amounts which have been reduced to a judgment or otherwise found to be due by a court of competent jurisdiction, whether or not presently payable; and

(C) support due for periods prior to an action to establish a child support order, provided such amounts are based upon the obligor's ability to pay during the prior periods if known or, if not known, on the obligor's current ability to pay if known or, if not known, upon assistance rendered to the obligor's child.

(3) "Child" means an unemancipated individual whose parents have a duty to provide support, and includes "children" where the context so requires.

(4) "Child care costs" means amounts expended for the care and supervision of a child whose support is being determined.

(5) "Child support and arrearage guidelines" means the rules, principles, schedule, and worksheet established under sections 46b-215a-1, 46b-215a-2a, 46b-215a-3, 46b-215a-4a, and 46b-215a-5a of the Regulations of Connecticut State Agencies for the determination of an appropriate child support award, to be used when initially establishing or modifying both temporary and permanent orders.

(6) "Child support award" means the entire payment obligation of the noncustodial parent, as determined under the child support and arrearage guidelines, and includes current support payments, health care coverage, child care contribution, and periodic payments on arrearages.

(7) "Current support" means an amount for the ongoing support of a child, exclusive of arrearage payments, health care coverage, and a child care contribution.

(8) "Custodial parent" means the parent who provides the child's primary residence.

(9) "Dependent" means a spouse or child for whom a parent is legally responsible under state law.

(10) "Deviation criteria" means those facts or circumstances described in section 46b-215a-3 of the Regulations of Connecticut State Agencies which may justify an order different from the presumptive support amounts.

(11) "Gross income" means the average weekly earned and unearned income from all sources before deductions, including but not limited to the items listed in subparagraph (A) of this subdivision, but excluding the items listed in subparagraph (B) of this subdivision.

(A) Inclusions

The gross income inclusions are:

(i)   salary;

(ii)  hourly wages for regular, overtime, and additional employment up to a maximum of 52 total paid hours per week;

(iii)  commissions, bonuses and tips;

(iv)  profit sharing, deferred compensation and severance pay;

(v)   employment perquisites and in-kind compensation (any basic maintenance or special need such as food, shelter, or transportation provided on a recurrent basis in lieu of or in addition to salary or wages);

(vi)  military personnel fringe benefit payments;

(vii)  benefits received in place of earned income including, but not limited to, workersí compensation benefits, unemployment insurance benefits, strike pay and disability insurance benefits;

(viii)  veteransí benefits;

(ix)  social security benefits (excluding Supplemental Security Income (SSI)), including dependency benefits on the earnings record of an insured parent that are paid on behalf of a child whose support is being determined;

(x)   net proceeds from contractual agreements;

(xi)  pension and retirement income;

(xii)  rental income after deduction of reasonable and necessary expenses;

(xiii)  estate or trust income;

(xiv)  royalties;

(xv)  interest, dividends and annuities;

(xvi)  self-employment earnings, after deduction of all reasonable and necessary business expenses;

(xvii) alimony being paid by an individual who is not a party to the support determination;

(xviii) regularly recurring gifts, prizes, and lottery and gambling winnings (except as provided in paragraph (B)(iv) of this subdivision); and

(xix)  education grants (including fellowships or subsidies that are available for personal living expenses).

(B) Exclusions

The gross income exclusions are:

(i)  support received on behalf of a child who is living in the home of the parent whose income is being determined;

(ii) federal, state and local public assistance grants;

(iii) earned income tax credit; and

(iv) the income and regularly recurring contributions or gifts of a spouse or domestic partner.

(12) "Health care coverage" means any provision of the child support award that addresses the childís medical or dental needs, and includes an order for either parent to:

  1. provide medical or dental insurance for such child, or
  2. pay all or a part of such childís medical and dental expenses that are not covered by insurance or reimbursed in any other manner.

(13) "Husky Plan" means the plan to provide health care for uninsured children established under sections 17b-289 to 17b-304, inclusive, of the Connecticut General Statutes and section 16 of Public Act 97-1 of the October 29 Special Session, and includes:

  1. the Husky Plan, Part A (also known as Medicaid) for children receiving assistance under section 17b-261 of the Connecticut General Statutes; and
  2. the Husky Plan, Part B for children receiving assistance under sections 17b-289 to 17b-304, inclusive, of the Connecticut General Statutes.

(14) "Imputed support obligation" means a theoretical current support obligation computed for given children in accordance with section 46b-215a-2a of the Regulations of Connecticut State Agencies, the amount of which obligation is used to determine the allowable deduction for a qualified child under subsection (e) of said section and to calculate arrearage payments under section 46b-215a-4a of the Regulations of Connecticut State Agencies.

(15) "Low-income obligor" means an obligor whose current support obligation is generally determined without considering the other parent's income, using the darker shaded area of the schedule.

(16) "Net disposable income" means:

  1. with reference to the custodial parent, the sum of the parentís net income and the current support order; and
  2. with reference to the noncustodial parent, the difference between the parentís net income and the current support order.

(17) "Net income" means gross income minus allowable deductions.

(18) "Noncustodial parent" means a parent who does not provide the child's primary residence.

(19) "Obligor" means a parent who is ordered to make payments under a child support award.

(20) "Presumptive support amounts" means the child support award components calculated under sections 46b-215a-2a and 46b-215a-4a of the Regulations of Connecticut State Agencies, prior to consideration of the deviation criteria specified in section 46b-215a-3 of the Regulations of Connecticut State Agencies.

(21) "Schedule" means the Connecticut Child Support Guidelines Schedule of Basic Child Support Obligations included in section 46b-215a-2a of the Regulations of Connecticut State Agencies.

(22) "Shared physical custody" means a situation in which the noncustodial parent exercises visitation or physical care and control of the child for periods substantially in excess of a normal visitation schedule. An equal sharing of physical care and control of the child is not required for a finding of shared physical custody.

(23) "Split custody" means a situation in which there is more than one child in common and each parent is the custodial parent of at least one of the children.

(24) "Title IV-D" means the provisions of the federal Social Security Act, which require states to implement a child support enforcement program.

(25) "Worksheet" means the Worksheet for the Connecticut Child Support and Arrearage Guidelines, which is intended for use with all applicable instructions in sections 46b-215a-2a and 46b-215a-4a of the Regulations of Connecticut State Agencies. The worksheet is included in section 46b-215a-5a of the Regulations of Connecticut State Agencies.

Section 46b-215a-2a. Child support guidelines

(a) Applicability

(1)  Award components

This section shall be used to determine the current support, health care coverage and child care contribution components of all child support awards within the state, subject to section 46b-215a-3 of the Regulations of Connecticut State Agencies.

(2)  Income scope

When the parents' combined net weekly income exceeds $2,500, child support awards shall be determined on a case-by-case basis, and the current support prescribed at the $2,500 net weekly income level shall be the minimum presumptive amount.

(b) Using the worksheet

The line references in subsections (c), (g) and (h) of this section are to the worksheet set forth in section 46b-215a-5a of the Regulations of Connecticut State Agencies. Use one worksheet in most cases. When there is a third party custodian and either parent is a low-income obligor (as determined in subparagraph (c)(2)(A) of this section), complete a separate worksheet for each parent.

(c) Determining the amount of current support

The procedures in this subsection shall be used, subject to subsections (d) and (e) of this section, to determine the current support component of the child support award.

(1)  Determine the net weekly income of the noncustodial parent(s)

Follow the instructions in this subdivision to determine the net weekly income of the noncustodial parent. Enter all amounts on the worksheet in the column corresponding to the noncustodial parent.

(A) Enter the gross income on line 1.

(B) Enter federal, state and local income taxes, based on all allowable exemptions, deductions and credits on lines 2 and 3.

(C) Enter all other allowable deductions on lines 4-9. Calculate the line 9 amount using the procedures in subdivision (e)(2) of this section. Add the amounts entered on lines 2-9 and enter the result on line 10.

(D) Subtract the line 10 amount from the line 1 amount and enter the result on line 11. This is the net weekly income of the noncustodial parent.

(2)  Determine the basic child support obligation

Follow the instructions below in the order presented to determine the basic child support obligation using the Schedule of Basic Child Support Obligations found in subsection (f) of this section.

(A) Find the block in the schedule that corresponds to the income level of the noncustodial parent (rounded to the nearest ten dollars ($10.00)) and the number of children whose support is being determined.

(i)  If this block is in the darker shaded area of the schedule and the amounts shown are not in white italics, the noncustodial parent is a low-income obligor. The dollar amount shown in the block is the noncustodial parent's basic child support obligation. Enter this amount on line 13, place a check mark on line 14, and proceed to subdivision (3) of this subsection.

(ii)  If this block is in the darker shaded area of the schedule and the amounts shown are in white italics, the noncustodial parent is a low-income obligor. Proceed to subparagraph (B) of this subdivision to determine the basic child support obligation, unless the custodial parent has no income. In that case, follow step (i) above.

(iii) If this block is not in the darker shaded area of the schedule, the noncustodial parent is not a low-income obligor. Proceed to subparagraph (C) of this subdivision to determine the basic child support obligation.

(B) Determine the net weekly income of the custodial parent, following the same instructions as used to determine the net weekly income of the noncustodial parent. Add this amount to the noncustodial parent's net weekly income, and round to the nearest ten dollars ($10.00). The result is the combined net weekly income. Enter this amount on line 12. Find the block in the schedule that corresponds to the combined net weekly income and the number of children whose support is being determined. Compare the percentage shown in this block to the percentage shown in the block found in step (ii) of subparagraph (A).

(i)  If the percentage shown in the darker shaded block is lower than the percentage in this block, the dollar amount shown in the darker shaded block is the noncustodial parent's basic support obligation. Enter this amount on line 13, place a check mark on line 14, and proceed to subdivision (3) of this subsection.

(ii)  If the percentage shown in the darker shaded block is higher than the percentage in this block, proceed to subparagraph (C), immediately following.

(C) Determine the net weekly income of the custodial parent, following the same instructions as used to determine the net weekly income of the noncustodial parent. Add this amount to the noncustodial parent's net weekly income, and round to the nearest ten dollars ($10.00). The result is the combined net weekly income. Enter this amount on line 12. Find the block in the schedule that corresponds to the combined net weekly income and the number of children whose support is being determined.

The dollar amount shown in this block is the basic child support obligation of both parents for the support of all children. Enter this amount on line 13 and proceed to subdivision (3), immediately following.

(3)  Determine the total current support obligation

Follow the instructions in this subdivision to determine the amount of the total current support obligation. Except in the case of a low-income obligor, the total current support obligation is the basic child support obligation obtained from the schedule plus the cost of health insurance premiums for coverage of the children whose support is being determined. In the case of a low-income obligor, the obligor's total current support obligation is the basic child support obligation reduced by the amount paid by such obligor for health insurance premiums for the subject children.

(A) Determine health insurance premium amounts

Determine the amount of any medical, hospital, dental or health insurance premiums paid by either or both parents for coverage of the children whose support is being determined. Only amounts actually attributable to the subject children are considered. If any such amount is unknown or cannot be verified, the total cost of the premium is divided by the total number of persons covered by the policy and then multiplied by the number of subject children covered by the policy. The parent requesting an adjustment for health insurance premium costs shall submit proof that the children are enrolled in an insurance plan and proof of the cost of the premium. Enter the premium amounts in the appropriate columns on line 15.

(B) Add to basic obligation (parents other than low-income obligors)

Unless line 14 is checked, add the sum of the line 15 amounts to the line 13 amount and enter the result on line 16. This is the total current support obligation of both parents for all children whose support is being determined.

(C) Subtract from basic obligation (low-income obligors only)

If line 14 is checked, subtract the line 15 amount paid by the noncustodial parent (low-income obligor) from the line 13 amount and enter the result on line 16. This is the total current support obligation of the low-income obligor.

(4)  Determine each parent's share of the total current support obligation

Each parent's share of the total current support obligation is determined by calculating each parent's share of the combined net weekly income, and multiplying the result for each parent by the total current support obligation.

(A) In the case of a low-income obligor, skip line 17, enter the line 16 amount in the noncustodial parent's column on line 18, and proceed to subdivision (6) of this subsection.

(B) Determine each parent's share of the combined net weekly income by dividing the line 11 amount for each parent by the line 12 amount. Enter the result (rounded to two decimal places) for each parent on line 17.

(C) Multiply the line 17 amount for each parent by the line 16 amount. Enter the result for each parent on line 18. These amounts are each parent's share of the total current support obligation.

(5)  Adjust for payment of health insurance premiums

(A) Low-income obligors

In the case of low-income obligors, there is no adjustment for health insurance premiums since the cost was already deducted from the basic obligation in determining the total current support obligation in subdivision (3) of this subsection. In such cases, therefore, skip line 19 and proceed to subdivision (6).

(B) All other cases

In all other cases, enter on line 19 for each parent the same amount as was entered on line 15.

(6)  Adjust for social security benefits

Enter on line 20 in the noncustodial parent's column the weekly amount of any social security dependency benefits on the earnings record of such parent that are paid on behalf of the child whose support is being determined.

(7)  Determine the presumptive current support amount

The presumptive current support amount for each parent is determined by subtracting the adjustments for health insurance premiums and social security benefits from each parent's share of the total current support obligation.

(A) Add the line 19 and line 20 amounts for each parent and enter the sum on line 21. These are the total adjustments for each parent.

(B) Subtract the line 21 amounts from the line 18 amounts for each parent and enter the results on line 22. These are the presumptive current support amounts for each parent.

(8)  Determine the recommended current support order

The recommended current support order shall equal the presumptive current support amount for the noncustodial parent unless a deviation criterion, as specified in section 46b-215a-3 of the Regulations of Connecticut State Agencies, applies.

(A) Enter the recommended weekly current support order on line 23 in the noncustodial parent's column. If the line 23 amount differs from the line 22 amount, explain the difference on line 47 in section VIII of the worksheet.

(B) The presumptive support amount for the custodial parent is not established as an order and is not entered on line 23. The line 22 amount for the custodial parent is retained by the custodial parent and is presumed spent on the children.

(d) Determining the amount of current support in split custody situations

In a split custody situation, as defined in section 46b-215a-1 of the Regulations of Connecticut State Agencies, a single support obligation is calculated by offsetting theoretical presumptive current support amounts for each parent as follows.

(1)  Determine the presumptive current support amount that the father would owe to the mother for the children in her custody as if those children were the only children of the parties, following all applicable procedures in subsection (c) of this section.

(2)  Determine the presumptive current support amount that the mother would owe to the father for the children in his custody as if those children were the only children of the parties, following all applicable procedures in subsection (c) of this section.

(3)  Subtract the lesser amount from the greater, as determined in subdivisions (1) and (2) of this subsection.

(4)  The recommended current support order shall equal the amount calculated in subdivision (3) of this subsection, and shall be payable by the parent whose presumptive current support amount is greater.

(e) Determining the amount of current support when another child resides with a parent

(1)  Applicability

This subsection shall be used to determine the amount of current support only under the circumstances described in subparagraphs (A) and (B) of this subdivision.

(A) Qualified child

Either parent claims a qualified child. A qualified child is one:

(i)  who is currently living in the same household with the parent, if such parent is the childís legal guardian, or, if such parent is not the childís legal guardian, has lived in the same household with such parent for at least the six months immediately preceding the support determination or six of the twelve months immediately preceding such determination;

(ii)  who is a dependent of the parent;

(iii) who is not a subject of the support determination; and

(iv) for whom the parent has not claimed a deduction under subparagraph (1)(F) of section 46b-215a-1 of the Regulations of Connecticut State Agencies.

(B) Initial award or defense to modification

An initial child support award is being established, or a parent is defending against a proposed modification of an existing child support award.

(2)  Procedure

When this subsection applies, determine the amount of current support by following the procedures in this subdivision.

(A) Determine current support amount for all children

Follow the procedures in subsection (c) of this section to determine a single theoretical presumptive current support amount for the number of children consisting of the child whose support is being determined and the qualified child. For the purpose of this subparagraph, deem the gross income of the other parent of each such child to be zero.

(B) Determine imputed support obligation for qualified child

Divide the amount determined in the preceding subparagraph (A) by the number of children used in determining such amount. Multiply the result by the number of qualified children. The product is the imputed support obligation for the qualified child.

(C) Determine current support for subject child

Follow the procedures in subsection (c) of this section to determine the amount of current support for the subject child, using the imputed support obligation for the qualified child as a deduction from the gross income of the parent of the qualified child.

(f) Schedule of basic child support obligations

Following is the schedule to be used for determining the basic child support obligation in accordance with subsection (c) of this section. Note that all obligation money amounts have been rounded to the nearest dollar in this schedule.

 

 

 

 

 

(g) Determining the health care coverage contribution

Subject to section 46b-215a-3 of the Regulations of Connecticut State Agencies, each child support award entered under this section shall include a provision for either parent to contribute to the health care coverage of the child in accordance with this subsection.

(1)  Medical or dental insurance coverage

The health care coverage requirement may be satisfied by an order under subparagraph (A) or (B) of this subdivision.

    1. An order under this subparagraph shall direct either parent to name the child as a beneficiary of any medical or dental insurance or benefit plan:
    2. (i)  carried by such parent, or

      (ii)  available at reasonable cost to such parent on a group basis through an employer or a union.

    3. If coverage in accordance with subparagraph (A) is unavailable, an order under this subparagraph shall direct either parent to apply for coverage on behalf of the child under any available state or federally funded insurance plan including, but not limited to, the Husky Plan, Part B.

(2)  Noncustodial parentís contribution

If the custodial parent maintains satisfactory medical or dental insurance for the child, the contribution of the noncustodial parent toward the premium cost for such insurance is determined in accordance with subsection (c) of this section, and becomes a part of the current support order.

(3)  Payment of unreimbursed expenses

An order shall be made under this subdivision for payment of the childís medical and dental expenses that are not covered by insurance or reimbursed in any other manner. Such order may be in lieu of an order under subdivisions (1) and (2) of this subsection, or in addition to an order under such subdivisions. The amount of such order to be paid by each parent shall be determined in accordance with the following subparagraphs (A) through (D):

    1. Add the recommended current support order (line 23) to the net income of the custodial parent (line 11) and enter the sum on line 24 (net disposable income) in the custodial parentís column.
    2. Subtract the recommended current support order (line 23) from the net income of the noncustodial parent (line 11) and enter the result on line 24 (net disposable income) in the noncustodial parentís column.
    3. Calculate each parentís decimal share of the combined net disposable income by dividing the line 24 amounts for each parent by the sum of such amounts. Enter the result (rounded to two decimal places) for each parent on line 25.
    4. The order for payment of unreimbursed medical expenses shall equal each parentís decimal share of such expenses that exceed one hundred dollars per child per calendar year.

(h) Determining the child care contribution

(1)  General rule

Subject to section 46b-215a-3 of the Regulations of Connecticut State Agencies, the noncustodial parent shall be ordered to pay the custodial parent a child care contribution as part of each child support award entered under this section. Such contribution shall be for the purpose of reimbursing the custodial parent for a portion of the child care costs incurred on behalf of the subject child.

(2)  Contribution amount

(A) Qualifying costs

Child care costs shall qualify for a contribution from the noncustodial parent only to the extent that they:

(i)  are reasonable,

(ii)  are necessary to allow a parent to maintain employment,

(iii) are not otherwise reimbursed, and

(iv) do not exceed the level required to provide quality care from a licensed source.

(B) Noncustodial parentís share

The amount of the child care contribution shall equal the amount determined in paragraph (i) or (ii), immediately following:

(i)  the noncustodial parentís decimal share of combined net disposable income, as entered on line 25 of the worksheet, multiplied by the qualifying child care costs as they are incurred, or

(ii)  where there is a finding of noncompliance with a prior child care contribution order, a weekly dollar amount calculated by multiplying the noncustodial parentís decimal share of combined net disposable income, as entered on line 25 of the worksheet, by the estimated average qualifying child care costs.

(3)  Exception for low-income obligors

Notwithstanding subdivision (1) of this subsection, the child support award of a low-income obligor shall not include a child care contribution.

Section 46b-215a-3. Child support guidelines deviation criteria

(a) Introduction

The current support, health care coverage contribution, and child care contribution amounts calculated under section 46b-215a-2a of the Regulations of Connecticut State Agencies, and the amount of the arrearage payment calculated under section 46b-215a-4a of the Regulations of Connecticut State Agencies, are presumed to be the correct amounts to be ordered. The presumption regarding each such amount may be rebutted by a specific finding on the record that such amount would be inequitable or inappropriate in a particular case. Any such finding shall state the amount that would have been required under such sections and include a justification for the variance. Only the deviation criteria described in this section establish sufficient bases for such findings.

(b) Criteria for deviation from presumptive support amounts

(1)  Other financial resources available to a parent

In some cases, a parent may have financial resources that are not included in the definition of net income, but could be used by such parent for the benefit of the child or for meeting the needs of the parent. The following resources may justify a deviation from presumptive support amounts:

(A) substantial assets, including both income-producing and non-income-producing property;

(B) the parent's earning capacity;

(C) parental support being provided to a minor obligor; and

(D) the regularly recurring contributions or gifts of a spouse or domestic partner, but only if it is found that the parent has reduced his or her income or has experienced an extraordinary reduction of his or her living expenses as a direct result of such contributions or gifts.

(2)  Extraordinary expenses for care and maintenance of the child

In some cases, a parent may be incurring extraordinary expenses that are essential for the proper care and maintenance of the child whose support is being determined. The following expenses, when found to be extraordinary and to exist on a substantial and continuing basis, may justify a deviation from presumptive support amounts:

(A) education expenses,

(B) unreimbursable medical expenses, and

(C) expenses for special needs.

(3)  Extraordinary parental expenses

In some cases, a parent may incur extraordinary expenses which are not considered allowable deductions from gross income but which are necessary for the parent to maintain a satisfactory parental relationship with the child, continue employment, or provide for the parent's own medical needs. The following expenses, when found to be extraordinary and to exist on a substantial and continuing basis, may justify a deviation from presumptive support amounts:

(A) significant visitation expenses,

(B) job-related unreimbursable employment expenses of individuals who are not self-employed, and

(C) unreimbursable medical and disability-related expenses.

(4)  Needs of a parent's other dependents

In some cases, a parent may be legally responsible for the support of individuals other than the child whose support is being determined. In such cases, it may be appropriate to deviate from presumptive support amounts based on the following factors:

(A) resources available to a qualified child for whom a deduction was taken under subsection (e) of section 46b-215a-2a of the Regulations of Connecticut State Agencies;

(B) verified support payments made by a parent for his or her dependent child not residing with such parent; and

(C) the significant and essential needs of a spouse, provided

(i)  such needs may be used as a possible defense against an increase in the support order, but not as a reason for decreasing such order, and

(ii)  the income, assets, and earning capacity of such spouse shall be considered in determining whether to deviate.

(5)  Coordination of total family support

In some cases, child support is considered in conjunction with a determination of total family support, property settlement, and tax implications. When such considerations will not result in a lesser economic benefit to the child, it may be appropriate to deviate from presumptive support amounts for the following reasons:

(A) division of assets and liabilities,

(B) provision of alimony, and

(C) tax planning considerations.

(6)  Special circumstances

In some cases, there may be special circumstances not otherwise addressed in this section in which deviation from presumptive support amounts may be warranted for reasons of equity. Following are such circumstances:

(A) Shared physical custody.

When a shared physical custody arrangement exists, deviation is warranted only when:

(i)  such arrangement substantially reduces the custodial parentís, or substantially increases the noncustodial parentís, expenses for the child; and

(ii)  sufficient funds remain for the parent receiving support to meet the basic needs of the child after deviation.

(B) Best interests of the child.

(C) Other equitable factors.

Section 46b-215a-4a. Arrearage guidelines

(a) Scope of section

This section shall be used to determine periodic payments on child support arrearages. The determination of lump sum payments remains subject to the discretion of the judge or family support magistrate, in accordance with existing law.

(b) General rule

(1)  Except as provided in subsections (c), (d) and (e) of this section, the weekly arrearage payment shall equal the lesser of:

(A) twenty percent (20%) of the weekly current support order, or

(B) fifty-five percent (55%) of the obligor's net income, reduced by the amount of the current support order.

(2)  In a Title IV-D case where arrearages are owing to both the state and a custodial parent, one payment order shall enter under which payments shall be distributed in accordance with Title IV-D distribution requirements. Such order shall be payable to the custodial parent until the custodial parentís arrearage is satisfied, and then to the state.

(c) Special rule for low-income obligors

Subject to subdivision (e)(1) of this section, the weekly arrearage payment of a low-income obligor shall equal the greater of:

(1)  ten percent (10%) of the weekly current support order, or

(2)  one dollar ($1) per week.

(d) Special rule if there is no current support order

Subject to subdivision (e)(1) of this section, the weekly arrearage payment when there is no current support order in effect for any child of the parties shall equal:

(1)  twenty percent (20%) of an imputed support obligation for the child for whom the arrearage is owed if such child is an unemancipated minor, or

(2)  fifty percent (50%) of an imputed support obligation for the child for whom the arrearage is owed if such child is deceased, emancipated, or over age eighteen.

(e) Special rule for child living with the obligor

(1)  Applicability

This subsection applies when the child for whom the arrearage is owed is living with the obligor. If this subsection applies, subsections (c) and (d) of this section shall not be used to determine the arrearage payment. A child is deemed to be living with the obligor for purposes of this subsection if the circumstances in either (A) or (B) are found.

(A) The obligor is the child's legal guardian and is currently living in the same household with such child.

(B) The obligor is not the child's legal guardian, but the child has lived in the same household with the obligor for at least:

(i)  the six months immediately preceding the determination of the arrearage payment, or

(ii)  six of the twelve months immediately preceding such determination.

(2)  Special rule

When this subsection applies, the weekly arrearage payment shall be:

(A) one dollar ($1) per week if the obligor's gross income is less than or equal to 250% of the poverty guideline for the obligor's household size, as published annually in the Federal Register by the Department of Health and Human Services; or

(B) twenty percent (20%) of the imputed support obligation for such child if the obligor's gross income is greater than 250% of the poverty guideline for the obligor's household size, as published annually in the Federal Register by the Department of Health and Human Services.

(f) Use of the worksheet in arrearage determinations

Line references throughout this subsection are to the worksheet included in section 46b-215a-5a of the Regulations of Connecticut State Agencies, which worksheet is intended for use with the following instructions.

(1)  Determine the total arrearage

Section V of the worksheet is used as provided in this subdivision to determine the total arrearage to be paid.

(A) Enter on line 27 the total of all delinquent amounts that have become due and payable under a current support order, but which have not been reduced to a judgment or an arrearage finding.

(B) Enter on line 28 the total of all unpaid support amounts that have been reduced previously to a judgment or arrearage finding.

(C) Enter on line 29 the total of all support amounts due for periods prior to the initial determination of a support order, calculated as provided in subparagraph (2)(C) of section 46b-215a-1 of the Regulations of Connecticut State Agencies.

(D) Enter on line 30 the sum of the line 27 through line 29 amounts. This amount is the total child support arrearage.

(2)  Determine the arrearage payment

Section VI of the worksheet is used as provided in this subdivision to determine the periodic payment to be applied to the total arrearage.

(A) Enter on line 31 either:

(i)  the amount of the recommended current support order from line 23 of the worksheet, or

(ii)  the imputed support obligation for the child for whom the arrearage is owed if there is no current support order in effect for any child of the parties or the child is living with the obligor.

(B) Enter on line 32 twenty percent (20%) of the line 31 amount and refer to subparagraph (C) of this subdivision unless one of the following paragraphs (i)-(iv) applies.

(i)  If line 14 on the worksheet is checked because the noncustodial parent is a low-income obligor, skip line 32, go to line 37, and refer to subparagraph (G) of this subdivision.

(ii)  If the child for whom the arrearage is owed is deceased, emancipated, or over age 18, skip line 32, go to line 39, and refer to subparagraph (I) of this subdivision.

(iii) If the child for whom the arrearage is owed is living with the obligor and the obligorís gross income is not more than 250% of the poverty guideline for the obligorís household size, skip lines 33-39, enter $1 on line 40, and refer to subparagraph (J) of this subdivision.

(iv) If the child for whom the arrearage is owed is living with the obligor and the obligorís gross income is greater than 250% of the poverty guideline for the obligorís household size, enter on line 32 twenty percent (20%) of the line 31 amount, skip lines 33-39, enter the line 32 amount on line 40, and refer to subparagraph (J) of this subdivision.

(C) Enter on line 33 the obligor's net weekly income from line 11 of the worksheet and refer to the following subparagraph (D).

(D) Enter on line 34 fifty-five percent (55%) of the line 33 amount and refer to the following subparagraph (E).

(E) Subtract the line 31 amount from the line 34 amount, enter the result on line 35, and refer to the following subparagraph (F).

(F) Enter on line 36 the lesser of the line 32 or the line 35 amount. Skip lines 37-39, enter the line 36 amount on line 40, and refer to subparagraph (J) of this subdivision.

(G) Enter on line 37 ten percent (10%) of the line 31 amount, and refer to subparagraph (H) of this subdivision.

(H) Enter on line 38 the greater of the line 37 amount or $1. Skip line 39, enter the line 38 amount on line 40, and refer to subparagraph (J) of this subdivision.

(I)  Enter on line 39 fifty percent (50%) of the line 31 amount. Enter the line 39 amount on line 40, and refer to the following subparagraph (J).

(J)  If the amount entered on line 40 differs from the arrearage payment order, state the applicable deviation criterion on line 47.

Section 46b-215a-5a. Worksheet for the Connecticut child support and arrearage guidelines

The worksheet in this section is intended for use with all applicable instructions in sections 46b-215a-2a and 46b-215a-4a of the Regulations of Connecticut State Agencies. The use of computer-generated worksheets in substantially similar format is specifically authorized, provided the line numbers in such worksheets correspond to those set forth in this section. All money amounts entered on the worksheet may be rounded to the nearest dollar by dropping amounts under 50 cents and increasing amounts from 50 to 99 cents to the next whole dollar. Following is the Worksheet for the Connecticut Child Support and Arrearage Guidelines:

CCSG-1 NEW 8-99

C.G.S. ß46b-215a

STATE OF CONNECTICUT

 

ß46b-215a-5a, Regulations of

Connecticut State Agencies

COMMISSION FOR CHILD SUPPORT GUIDELINES

 

WORKSHEET for the Connecticut Child Support and Arrearage Guidelines

MOTHER

FATHER

CUSTODIAN

MOTHER FATHER OTHER:

COURT

D.N./CASE NO.

NUMBER OF CHILDREN

CHILDíS NAME

DATE OF BIRTH

CHILDíS NAME

DATE OF BIRTH

       
       
       
 

I. NET INCOME (Weekly amounts)

MOTHER

FATHER

1.

Gross income (attach verification)

$

$

2.

Federal income tax (based on all allowable exemptions, deductions and credits)

$

$

3.

State and local income tax (based on all allowable exemptions, deductions and credits)

$

$

4.

Social security tax or mandatory retirement

$

$

5.

Medicare tax

$

$

6.

Medical, hospital, dental, or health insurance premium payments (for other than child)

$

$

7.

Mandatory union dues or fees

$

$

8.

Non-arrearage payments on court-ordered alimony and child support awards (for other than child)

$

$

9.

Imputed support obligation for qualified child

(Current support for all children/total number of children x number of qualified children)

$

$

10.

Sum of lines 2-9

$

$

11.

Net income (line 1 minus line 10)

$

$

 

II. CURRENT SUPPORT

   

12.

Combined net weekly income (rounded to nearest $10)

$

13.

Basic child support obligation (from Schedule of Basic Child Support Obligations)

$

14.

Check here if noncustodial parent is a low-income obligor and refer to instructions:

 

15.

Childís health insurance premium

$

$

16.

Total current support obligation (line 13 minus noncustodial parentís line 15 amount if line 14 is checked; line 13 plus total of line 15 amounts for all other cases)

$

17.

Each parentís decimal share of line 12 (If line 14 is checked, skip this line and line 19, and enter the line 16 amount in the noncustodial parentís column on line 18.)

   

18.

Each parentís share of the total current support obligation

(line 17 times line 16 for each parent)

$

$

19.

Health insurance premium adjustment (enter line 15 amount for each parent)

$

$

20.

Social security dependency benefits adjustment

$

$

21.

Sum of lines 19 and 20 (for each parent)

$

$

22.

Presumptive current support amounts (line 18 minus line 21)

$

$

23.

Recommended current support order (noncustodial parent only)

(If different from line 22, state applicable deviation criterion on line 47.)

$

$

   

CONTINUED ON REVERSE

 

III. UNREIMBURSED MEDICAL EXPENSE

MOTHER

FATHER

24.

Net disposable income (line 11 plus noncustodial parentís line 23 amount for custodial parent; line 11 minus noncustodial parentís line 23 amount for noncustodial parent)

$

$

25.

Each parentís decimal share (rounded to two places) of combined net disposable income (each parentís line 24 amount divided by the sum of the line 24 amounts)

   
 

IV. CHILD CARE CONTRIBUTION

   

26.

Qualifying costs (enter contribution amount on line 43)

$

$

 

V. ARREARAGE

 

(OBLIGOR ONLY)

27.

Delinquencies on current support orders

$

28.

Unpaid court-ordered arrearages

$

29.

Support due for periods prior to the support action (not court-ordered)

$

30.

Total arrearage (sum of lines 27 through 29)

$

 

VI. ARREARAGE PAYMENT

   

31.

Recommended current support order from line 23 (OR imputed support obligation if there is no current support order or the child is living with the obligor)

$

32.

20% of line 31 (but see instructions below)

$

 
  • (If line 14 is checked, skip line 32 and go to line 37.)
  • (If the child for whom the arrearage is owed is deceased, emancipated, or over age 18, skip line 32 and go to line 39.)
  • (If the child is living with the obligor, skip lines 33-39 and: (1) if the obligorís gross income is not more than 250% of poverty level, enter $1 on line 40; OR (2) if the obligorís gross income is greater than 250% of poverty level, enter the line 32 amount on line 40.)

33.

Obligor's line 11 amount

$

34.

55% of line 33

$

35.

Line 34 minus line 31

$

36.

Lesser of line 32 or line 35 (Enter here and on line 40, and skip lines 37-39.)

$

37.

10% of line 31

$

38.

Greater of line 37 or $1 (Enter here and on line 40, and skip line 39.)

$

39.

50% of line 31 (Enter here and on line 40.)

$

40.

Recommended arrearage payment (If different from line 45, explain on line 47.)

$

 

VII. ORDER SUMMARY

   

41.

Current support order

$

42.

Unreimbursed medical expense order

 

43.

Child care contribution

 

44.

Total arrearage

to state

to family

45.

Arrearage payment order

   

46.

Total child support award:

$

 

VIII. DEVIATION CRITERIA

   

47.

Reason(s) for deviation from presumptive support amounts: (Attach additional sheet if necessary)

   

PREPARED BY

TITLE

DATE