Law Office of Lori Crystal, LLC
How Can Parents in Colorado Enforce Child Support Orders?
In a perfect world, if a parent is ordered to pay child support, all payments will be made in full and on time. Unfortunately, we do not live in a perfect world, and some parents in Colorado fail to meet their child support obligations. When this happens, the spouse receiving child support has options for obtaining the amount of support they are owed.
One way to ensure you receive your child support payments in full and on time is to have them taken directly out of the paying parent’s paycheck. Known as “income assignment,” employers will take the child support funds owed out of the paying parent’s wages. These payments will then be sent either directly to you or will be sent to you via the Family Support Registry.
Another option, if payments are not being made via income assignment, is to have the paying parent’s wages garnished. In Colorado, if the paying parent is not paying the full amount of child support on time, then an automatic money judgment will be entered. Once that happens, the receiving parent can then enforce that judgment. Wage garnishment is one manner of enforcement in such circumstances.
Another option that may be available in lieu of income assignment or wage garnishment is to have a lien placed on the paying parent’s property. Like wage garnishment, an automatic money judgment first needs to be entered. Once that happens, the receiving parent can pursue having a lien placed on the paying parent’s property.
Finally, if you are not receiving the child support you are owed, you can seek to hold the paying parent in contempt of court. This means that you will move the court to find that the paying parent has not followed the child support order, and thus should be deemed to be in contempt of court. If a person is found to be in contempt of court, they could be subjected to fines or even incarceration.
Of course, when a parent is ordered to pay child support, they should obey that order and pay the full amount due on time. However, that doesn’t always happen. Fortunately, the parent owed child support has options with regards to enforcing a child support order if they are not receiving what they are due. Parents in such situations may want to seek guidance from a family law professional on how to pursue the best option given their circumstances.