My Ex Isn't Paying Child Support. Can I Make Them?

According to the Federal Office of Child Support Enforcement (OCSE), states across the U.S. collected about $32 billion on behalf of the 14.7 million children served by child support enforcement programs during the fiscal year of 2018. During a divorce or legal separation, quality child support arrangements are often established to ensure that children living with single parents are adequately cared for. Unfortunately, a lot of children grow up without the financial support they need due to the parent's failure to make court-ordered child support payments.

If you live in Colorado and are trying to enforce a child support order, you can’t afford to wait to consult with a knowledgeable Colorado child support attorney for detailed guidance. With over 20 years of family law experience, I’m committed to offering experienced legal counsel and comprehensive guidance to clients facing legal matters related to divorce and child support. As your legal counsel, I will help you understand your rights as a parent and educate you on the necessary legal steps you can take to enforce the child support order in place. Duncan Legal PC is proud to serve clients throughout Centennial, Littleton, Arapahoe County, Parker, Greenwood Village, and Douglas County, Colorado.

How is Child Support Calculated in Colorado?

Under Colorado laws, both parents are required to support their children or pay child support. Child support is a percentage (approximately 20% for one child) of the combined gross income of each parent. Gross income includes all income sources for each parent, excluding a second job, child support payments, public assistance, or retirement plan. The support payment is then divided between both parents, depending on a variety of different factors.

What Factors are Considered When Calculating Child Support Payments?

When determining the amount to be paid for child support, the court will consider all relevant factors, including:

  • The child's financial resources
  • The custodial parent's financial resources
  • The standard of living the child enjoyed before the marriage was dissolved
  • The child's emotional and physical condition
  • The child's educational needs
  • The noncustodial parent's financial resources and needs

What Can I Do If I'm Not Receiving Court Ordered Child Support Payments?

Colorado courts take the failure to pay child support seriously. Some of the available ways to collect overdue payments from defaulting parents include:

Income Assignment

An income assignment may be issued to the other parent's employer to deduct the required amount of child support payments from his or her wages or other income.

File a Domestic Relations Order

A domestic relations order (DRO) is a court order that gives a spouse or dependent the right to receive all or a portion of the benefits of an employee's qualified retirement plan in the event of a divorce or legal separation. You can enforce child support payments by filing a domestic relations order that relates to the provision of child support.

File a Judgment Lien with the County

A judgment lien is a court order that allows a creditor to take possession of a debtor's personal or real property if the debtor fails to fulfill his or her contractual obligations. Filing a judgment lien with the county gives you an interest in the other parent's home or land. With this, you can collect the cash value of the required child support payments.

File a Contempt Action in Court

Filing a "motion for contempt" is the most common way to enforce child support payments in Colorado. You can file a motion for "remedial contempt," asking the court to place the other parent in jail until he or she pays some or all of the past-due child support. Also, you can file a motion for "punitive contempt," asking the judge to punish the other parent for deliberately refusing to pay court-ordered child support. 

What Are the Penalties for Not Paying Child Support?

Some possible penalties for non-payment of court-ordered child support include:

  • Suspension of professional, occupational, and recreational licenses when six months behind on child support payments.
  • Child Support Enforcement Units (CSEU) will notify credit reporting agencies about the delinquency, thus, reducing credit scores.
  • Child Support Enforcement Units (CSEU) will report to the Colorado Division of Motor Vehicles, which may lead to driver's license suspension
  • Seizure of assets, including real property and bank accounts

How Duncan Legal Can Help

Parents that are divorced or legally separated have the legal obligation to support their children. Sadly, many parents fail to pay court-ordered child support. If you are trying to enforce a child support order, consulting with a knowledgeable Colorado child support attorney can be crucial to protect your rights as a parent and achieve the outcome you need.

At Duncan Legal PC, I have devoted my career to providing outstanding legal services and strong representation to clients in matters of divorce and child support. As an experienced Colorado family law attorney, I will review every aspect of your case and determine the best course of action you can take to enforce the existing child support order. I will use my extensive experience, knowledge, and negotiation skills to help guide you through the process, and answer any questions you have along the way.

Contact Duncan Legal PC today to schedule a free one-on-one case consultation with an experienced Colorado child support attorney. I can offer you the compassionate legal counsel and advocacy you need to help you and your child move forward. I proudly serve clients throughout Centennial, Littleton, Arapahoe County, Parker, Greenwood Village, and Douglas County, Colorado.


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