All across the nation failure to pay child support is a major issue, and in Colorado it is no different. Many families are left without the financial assistance they need when non-custodial parents try and skirt their child support orders.
Parents who are behind in their payments may not realize that there are numerous enforcement strategies in place to help collect the delinquent payments and penalize the individual as needed. A recent article outlined many of the legal issues that one may face if they let their payments get behind.
For example, the Colorado Division of Child Support Services has the right to garnish wages of non-paying parents. This may be in the form of a one-time payment taken from bank accounts or personal property, or it may be taken regularly from a person's income.
Child Support Services may also take a lien out on the house or car of someone who has consistently missed their support payments. When there is no property present, or if the person doesn't have income that can be verified, the state organization may issue a subpoena requiring that the obligated party attend a court hearing. Some parents who are past due on their child support payments will face jail time or lose their driver's license.
The legal ramifications extend out on a federal level as well. Depending on how much is past due, if the obligated party leaves the state they may face felony charges. It is important for parents to understand that these legalities only apply when a formal child support order is present. Families that have their own informal agreement will not receive the same protections as those who have established clear guidelines through the court.
Source: KOAA 5, "News 5 Guardians Update: Unpaid child support in Colorado," Eric Ross, Dec. 16, 2013