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What child support enforcement may look like in Colorado

It goes without saying that when a court issues an order, the subject of that order is legally bound to abide by it. Yet, significant sums of court-ordered child support go unpaid every year.

Sometimes, Longmont residents have legitimate reasons for being unable to make their child support payments. They may have lost a job, or be unable to work for medical reasons. In situations like these, parents may wish to seek a modification to the court order to account for changing circumstances. But, in other cases, it becomes necessary for a court to take action to enforce a child support order. Let us look briefly at a few things that Colorado Child Support Services (CSS) do to recover unpaid child support.

Issuing a judgment against the non-paying parent is one action that CSS can take. The judgment will indicate the period covered and the amount owed. CSS can also put a lien on a parent's home, vehicle or other property (real or personal). They can even ask a court to hold a non-paying parent in contempt, which can lead to fines and even incarceration.

CSS can also garnish wages, if the parent earns income. They may seize a certain amount (up to 65 percent) from each paycheck. They may also make a one-time seizure of a certain amount from the parent's bank account. If a parent who is delinquent on child support leaves this state, they can be charged with a federal crime. Depending on the severity of the delinquency, they may face misdemeanor or even felony charges.

How likely are any of these strategies to succeed? Whether a custodial parent seeks a modification to child support or enforcement of an existing order, a family law professional can advise on the likelihood of recovering the amount owed.

Source: ChildSupport.State.Co.US, "Judicial Actions," accessed on Jan. 26, 2018

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