Traditional child support enforcement, in Colorado and other states, imposes harsh penalties on parents who fail to meet their monthly payment obligations. Those parents have been labeled as deadbeats, had driver's and professional licenses suspended, and even been incarcerated for failure to pay child support.
Child support obligations in Colorado are based on presumptive guidelines which take into account each parent's gross monthly income. Sometimes, however, a change in circumstances such as job loss or serious illness makes it impossible for a parent to keep up with the payments.
For a Colorado parent who is awarded custody of a child, obtaining an order requiring their former spouse to pay child support is sometimes only half the battle. If the other parent defaults on the payments, collection of the delinquent payments can sometimes be difficult. Recently the state of Maryland instituted changes in its efforts to enforce child support obligations, with dramatic results. The lessons learned there may be of interest to readers in Colorado.