If you have children with your spouse, one of you will likely pay child support if you decide to end your marriage. Connecticut uses the income shares model to determine a fair arrangement that ensures financial stability for the divided family. 

Review the specifics of child support calculations in Connecticut before filing for divorce in the state. 

The child support formula

With the income shares model, the court estimates the amount a household with two parents spends on their children each month. Connecticut calls this amount the basic child support obligation. The judge in your case will divide the BCSO amount proportionately between you and your spouse based on the monthly income you each earn. 

Adjustments to the formula

Connecticut law allows the court to adjust or even deviate from the BCSO guidelines, which apply to a family in which one parent has sole physical custody and the other has standard visitation. Judges may change the amount of support based on child care expenses, unreimbursed medical expenses or shared physical custody. 

In addition, the court can completely deviate from the formula if your child has special medical or educational needs, if either of you has a child from another relationship who has special medical or educational needs, or in other extenuating circumstances. 

You can also negotiate with your child’s other parent to agree on a fair amount of child support. In this case, however, you still need to bring your agreement before the judge for approval. 

Make sure the amount of child support makes sense for your family before you sign an agreement. You will have to get another court order to have the child support amount changed.