The first step is to determine paternity.

The second step is to establish the amount the non-custodial parent will pay for child support.

This blog deals with the next step – collecting child support.

In Connecticut, there are three avenues to consider:

  • Hire a lawyer;
  • Represent yourself; or
  • Request the assistance of the State through Child Support Enforcement.

Child Support Enforcement no longer charges a fee for its service. Nice. Simply contact your local Department of Social Services and complete an application. This is certainly the most cost effective way to go. The drawback is the volume of cases handled by Support Enforcement. Often a significant amount of time passes before a Motion for Contempt or other enforcement action is pursued.

When you represent yourself or hire a lawyer, you can take enforcement action at your tempo rather than waiting for Support Enforcement. Of course, the downside to hiring a lawyer is the potential cost of representation. It is often not a wise investment to retain counsel unless there is a substantial child support arrearage or there are complex legal issues involved.

I suggest to folks that try Support Enforcement first and keep on them before the arrearage gets too high. If there is a big delay or you become dissatisfied, it may be time to hire a lawyer to collect child support.

Besides filing a Motion for Contempt, child support may also be collected through a wage execution and/or intercepting a tax return.


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