Resolving child support disputes effectively

Although there are many Connecticut parents who dutifully pay child support to the custodial parent every month without fail, there are also many who do everything possible to avoid the payments. They may have a low-paying job or no job at all. They may be men who deny they are the children's fathers and want nothing to do with them. Although there are penalties for those who fail to pay child support, the reality is that they do little to encourage parents to pay up. That is why it is in a custodial parent's best interest to attempt to work with the other parent to try to come up with a fair solution.

If the parents are on speaking terms, their best bet is to negotiate a fair settlement among themselves. They can involve lawyers if necessary, but they are allowed to reach an agreement on their own. The terms and conditions will need to be spelled out in writing so that a document can be formalized.

Collaborative law is another option. This includes mediation, which is a process in which both sides discuss the issue and negotiate until an agreement is reached. A neutral third party - the mediator - answers any questions and helps move the process along, but does not side with either party. The parties may, however, involve their lawyers, if they would like.

If neither of these options is viable, then the non-custodial parent may wish to petition the court and seek a child support modification. This allows the parent to discuss the situation with the court and ask to delay payments for a temporary period due to job loss, disability or other short-term situation.