By Mike Stetzer
July 27, 2007 — Child support laws in Connecticut will soon change thanks to Governor M. Jodi Rell's recent signature to a House Bill that aimed to bolster compliance with child support orders and bring state statutes more in line with federal law.
A Ridgefield Press story detailed that Rell specifically signed substitute House Bill 7361, An Act Concerning Child Support Enforcement Program Compliance and Improvements, into law earlier this month. This new Connecticut child support law gives the state several new powers.
• Under this new child support law, the state will soon have the authority to collect overdue child support in certain cases for children who are 18 years of age or older. How will the state collect this past-due Connecticut child support? The story says through the offsets of state and federal tax returns for children who are at least 18.
Previously, Connecticut could only collect overdue child support for minors. This provision in this new Connecticut child support law will allow the state to do so for children above the age of 18 in cases in which the custodial parental has asked the state to do so or when the child has received state assistance through programs like HUSKY or Temporary Family Assistance.
What else will this new Connecticut child support law do?
• This new child support law in Connecticut will authorize the automatic suspension of child support payments when the Superior Court changes the custody of a child.
• The new Connecticut child support law will also allow child support payments to continue for children up to the age of 19 regardless of whether or not the child in question lives with his or her parent.
• In terms of determining whether a parent should pay for medical insurance, this new Connecticut child support law will set a reasonable cost standard for courts to consider. Courts will also have the power to order both parents to foot the bill for medical insurance under this new child support law in Connecticut.
Governor Rell recently expressed her satisfaction with this new Connecticut child support law, Public Act 07-247, especially the fact that it would mean more money for people who rely on child support to get by. She was also described in the Ridgefield Press story as calling this new child support law fair for both those who pay and receive the child support.
Another benefit of this Connecticut child support law includes the fact that it brings the state's laws in line with the Uniform Interstate Family Support Act and a federal law like the Deficit Reduction Act of 2005. Governor Rell said this compliance will keep Connecticut "in good standing" for federal funding.