[Frequently Asked Questions] [Other Sites of Interest]
The Bureau of Child Support Enforcement (BCSE)
The goal of the Child Support Enforcement Program is to improve the self-sufficiency of families through increased financial and medical support and to establish paternity for children born out of wedlock. This program locates absent parents, establishes paternity, establishes and modifies orders of support, and collects and distributes child support payments. Child support services are available to both custodial and non-custodial parents, regardless of their income.
Child support collected for TFA families is reflected when calculating the monthly grant amount. As of October 1, 2001 the first $50.00 of any current child support collected each month is disregarded and passed through to the custodial parent. Child support payments collected for non-TFA families are sent directly to the custodial parent.
DSS administers the program in cooperation with the Office of the Attorney General, and the Support Enforcement Services Unit of the Judicial Branch. The Judicial Branch enforces the child support orders and reviews and modifies orders; the Attorney General provides legal representation for the program in court. Over 500 people are involved in the program from the three agencies.
Who is Eligible for BCSE Services
Under Federal regulations, BCSE is required to provide child support services to any individual or agency upon request. To request BCSE child support services, an individual may either apply through their local child support agency or submit their request to BCSE directly.
Applying For Child Support Services In Connecticut
The Department of Social Services offers child support services for any individual, who would like to locate a noncustodial parent, establish paternity for their child, establish an order for support or enforce an existing child support order. Additional information about the full range of child support services can be found in “A Brief Guide to Child Support Services in Connecticut”. There is no initial application fee, however, the Bureau of Child Support Enforcement (BCSE) will deduct a $25 annual fee from payments sent to a custodial party who has never received TANF assistance if at least $500 child support is disbursed by the State of Connecticut to the custodial party during a federal fiscal year (October1 – September 30). This fee will be deducted for each noncustodial parent against whom child support is being enforced.
If I am currently receiving financial or medical assistance from the State of Connecticut, should I follow these procedures?
No. These procedures are only for individuals who are not currently receiving assistance from the State of Connecticut. If you currently receive cash assistance (TFA) or Husky “A” medical insurance from the state, you should contact your local child support office for further information.
How do I file an application for IV-D Child Support Services?
1. Print the attached Application for IV-D Services (F0699N), Financial Affidavit (JD-FM-6) , Arrearage Payments Affidavit (F027CP), and “A Brief Guide to Child Support Services in Connecticut”.
2. Contact the local child support office for your city or town of residence. You must call to make an appointment with an investigator; walk-in applications are not taken. Please click on the following link to find the number for the local office.
DSS: Bureau of Child Support Enforcement
3. Complete all documents and bring them with you to the appointment. If you do not have a pre-existing child support order, you will not need to complete the Arrearage Payments Affidavit. DO NOT SIGN any of the forms as they must be done in front of a child support investigator.
What items will I need to bring to my appointment?
1. If you have a pre-existing order you would like to have enforced, you must bring a certified copy of the order(s) to your appointment. This includes the original order and any modifications of that order.
2. A copy of any document(s) verifying paternity for your child. (i.e. Acknowledgment of Paternity(VS56) or child’s birth certificate)
3. A picture ID (ex. Driver’s license, State issued I.D., passport)
4. Picture of the noncustodial parent (if available)
Frequently Asked Questions:
The topics below are based upon the most frequently asked questions about Child Support Enforcement.
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 (PRO SE). The court papers you will need are called Application for Contempt Order, Income Withholding, and/or other Relief (JD-FM-15) - ( PDF format).
How do I change or modify a Child Support Order?
The court may change a support order as the result of a modification hearing. All requests for changes MUST be in writing and filed with the court before a hearing will be scheduled. At the hearing, the parent asking for the modification must present evidence that supports their request to change the order. A judge or family support magistrate must order all changes to a child support order.
Filing for a modification:
- You may file a motion to modify and represent yourself in court (PRO SE). Click here for a copy of the court form JD-FM-174.
- You may hire an attorney to file a motion to modify and represent you before the court.
- If you have applied for IV-D services, you may ask the Support Enforcement Services Unit to review your court order to see if a change is needed. If the support order 'substantially deviates' from the amount recommended by the Connecticut Child Support and Arrearage Guidelines, then Support Enforcement Services will file a motion requesting a change in your court order. A 'substantial deviation' means that your current order is more than 15% different from the order recommended by the Guidelines. This service is called 'review and adjustment' of child support orders. Please note that Support Enforcement Services does not represent either the custodial or non-custodial parent at modification hearings.
- If you are asking for the modification, you must attend the court hearing or the judge or magistrate will not change the order.
Information of interest to Parents:
Other Sites of Interest:
Click here to visit the Connecticut
Fatherhood Initiative website
Contact us by E-mail regarding any questions