Child Support Enforcement
Enforcing child support in the state of Colorado
The State of Colorado takes child support enforcement very seriously. In family law cases that involve children, the final Decree or Court Order will include either a separate Child Support Order or specific provisions within the Decree that specify the amount and frequency of child support payments. Once the Child Support Order is in place, there are several ways to ensure that your children benefit from regular, ongoing support.
A separate income assignment may be included as part of the Child Support Order. An income assignment is directed to the employer of the parent who has a child support obligation. The employer must withhold the correct amount of child support from the obligated parent’s regular wages each pay period. The withheld amount may be mailed directly to the other parent by the employer.
In some instances, the parents may agree for the employer to pay the withheld wages into a centralized Family Support Registry. The Registry then distributes the funds to the parent receiving child support. One advantage of using the Family Support Registry is that accurate records kept by a reliable third party could become useful if a parent later disputes whether payments were made timely and in the correct amount.
Contempt of court
Sometimes a parent who was ordered to pay child support willfully refuses or fails to pay support as ordered by the Court. In those instances, the other parent may request that the Court find the willful parent in contempt of Court. After a hearing on the matter, the Court may decide to fine or jail the parent who has refused to meet his or her child support obligation.
Whenever child support becomes past due, the parent receiving child support can ask the Court to issue a judgment against the other parent for a specific dollar amount of child support due. The judgment will specify the time period for which the support was not paid, and the amount that the owing parent is still obligated to pay. Judgments on past due child support must then be paid in addition to any ongoing, regular monthly child support payments. Child support accrues interest at a rate of 12% monthly, and the Court will include that interest when it issues a judgment.
Once a judgment has been obtained from the Court, the judgment can be used as a lien on personal property, real estate, or motor vehicles owned by the person obligated to pay child support. In order to have the lien released on the property, the obligated parent must fully satisfy the judgment by paying the entire amount of child support still due to the other parent.
Whether there is or is not an income assignment in place, a parent who is owed past due child support may petition the Court to issue a continuing Writ of Garnishment. Through this type of garnishment, up to 65% of the obligated parent’s disposable income will be withheld and paid to the other parent until the past due obligation has been fully met.
A parent may also request the Court to issue a one-time Writ of Garnishment with Notice of Exemption and Pending Levy. This type of garnishment is used to collect money for past due child support from the obligated person’s bank accounts or other non-income personal property.
Child support enforcement program (CSE)
The Colorado Department of Human Services has developed a Child Support Enforcement Program (known as CSE) that also assists parents in meeting the economic and social needs of their children. Ross Law Firm can help you decide when and whether to involve CSE. If CSE has already become involved in your efforts to collect child support, Ross Law can assist you in communicating with CSE or resolving any disputes you may have with CSE.
Payment of child support obligations may be enforced in any or a combination of the following ways:
- Monitoring the Hiring of New Employees – locating parents who owe child support
- Unemployment Compensation Benefits – child support will be deducted from the weekly benefits of parents receiving unemployment insurance who have child support obligations
- Workers Compensation – weekly benefits and lump sum payments may be withheld from those parents who are obligated to pay child support
- Revocation, suspension or denial of any of the following from a person who owes past due child support: Driver’s Licenses, Professional and Occupational Licenses, Recreational Licenses (such as hunting, fishing and boating licenses), Passport Denial
- Federal and Colorado state tax refunds – may be offset to pay past due child support obligations
- Credit Reporting to Major Credit Reporting Agencies
- Federal Felony or Misdemeanor Prosecution – for non-payment of child support when the obligated party has left the state of Colorado
An attorney from Ross Law can help make sure that your and your family’s needs are met
It would be nice if parents could simply agree on when and how child support payments will be made. Unfortunately, that is not always possible, practical or effective. So, how can you be sure that your children’s financial needs are met consistently each month? The experts at Ross Law Firm understand that the process can be complicated, messy and time-consuming. We can help you decide the best way to approach child support enforcement in your unique situation. We are trained to assist families in making sure that children receive the appropriate amount of economic support to ensure their health, well-being and stability.
Contact Ross Law Firm for your initial consultation with a child support enforcement attorney to discuss your child support matters.