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New Colorado law affects child support requirements

One of the leading ways resources are provided to single parents and divorced parents in Colorado is the child support program. Noncustodial parents are expected to meet any child support obligation they may have. Custodial parents, on the other hand, have usually been expected to apply for child support benefits when they apply for government-funded programs. A recent change in Colorado law means that this requirement doesn't always apply to everyone, however.

Colorado's governor recently signed a bill that excludes certain individuals from the requirement that they have to apply for child support when they apply for other social services. Specifically, the change applies to teen parents and domestic abuse survivors who apply for assistance to pay for day care. These individuals no longer are required to apply for child support within 30 days of applying for day care assistance.

Supporters of the change no doubt hope that this will encourage teenage parents to continue their education and domestic abuse victims not to feel dependent on their abusers. News reports pointed out that the nationwide high school dropout rate for teen mothers is 62 percent.

What about people who are paying or receiving child support? Delinquent payments can pose problems for payers and receivers alike. Receivers need to get child support payments on time in order to pay expenses associated with raising a child. And payers want to avoid the many negative consequences of not paying child support, not least of which is being perceived as shirking their responsibilities to their children. Parents in either situation should know that they have options and can consult with knowledgeable individuals for more information about those options.

Source: The Denver Post, "New law helps teen moms, domestic violence survivors afford day care," May 20, 2016

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