What if child support payments are not being made in full?

On Behalf of | Aug 24, 2021 | Family Law

A fundamental part of a family law case in Colorado is the child support order. The supporting parent is expected to make the payments to the custodial parent on time and in full. Failure to do so will negatively impact the child as he or she might not have enough food, clothing, a place to live, school necessities and more. Even with the current situation leading to major changes in incomes, it does not mean that a parent’s obligation is automatically reduced. For parents who are not getting what they are owed in child support, it is imperative to know how enforcement is handled.

How are child support orders enforced?

Not paying what is owed in child support does not eliminate it. On the contrary, it will accrue as it is not paid and the supporting parent will be obligated to pay the arrears as well as the monthly payments. If payments are late, short or unpaid, the custodial parent should contact Child Support Services (CSS) to take steps to enforce it. The court can penalize the supporting parent in several ways. For example, the parent can have his or her driver’s license, a professional license or a recreational license suspended until the payments are made. For those who need to drive for work or personal reasons, losing the license will inevitably be problematic. Losing a professional license can prevent the person from working.

Other penalties that can be assessed include reporting the failure to pay to credit agencies. A negative credit report can hinder the ability to get loans, rent an apartment and complete other crucial aspects of daily life. Getting or renewing a passport can be denied, wages can be garnished, workers’ compensation can be intercepted, tax refunds can be taken and even lottery winnings can be diverted to pay the support.

There are options available for child support payment issues

Under Colorado family law, there are alternatives available for both the paying parent and the receiving parent. If a parent’s financial circumstances are changed, there are ways to modify the support order if there is sufficient evidence to do so. Simply not paying is in violation of the agreement and will result in sanctions. From the perspective of the custodial parent and the supporting parent, it is essential to have professional assistance to address these challenges to ensure the payments are up to date or modified if that is warranted.