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How to handle non-payment of child support

In Colorado, both parents must work together to provide financially for their children. In the event of divorce, this entails the non-custodial parent submitting child support payments as specified by the court. But what happens when an ex just won’t pay? Our legal team at Ciancio Ciancio Brown, P.C. has seen the damage that can occur when divorce turns contentious. While non-payment of child support is definitely frustrating, we urge our clients to keep the following tips in mind if payments are few and far between.

U.S. News & World Report recommends flexibility when it comes to support amounts. Although the courts determine the appropriate amount based on a number of factors (including the income of both parents) life can sometimes take its toll. In this case, it’s better for custodial parents to accept a portion of the money they’re owed instead of insisting on the total support amount. This will allow children to access some of the finances they need to cover necessities, while also making it easier on non-custodial parents who are facing genuine financial hardship.

In the same token, parents should still be allowed to spend time with their kids even if they can’t pay. The well-being of the children in the middle of a divorce is what’s most important, and kids should have a viable relationship with both parents to ensure their emotional needs are met. A healthy parent-child relationship can also serve as an impetus for future payments, especially in the event of obvious financial need.

At some point, it may be necessary to contact the court that issued the child support order about non-payment. The local sheriff’s office can take steps to enforce a support order after a period of six months, including wage garnishment (provided that the non-custodial parent is employed). Please visit us online if you have questions regarding child support and other family law issues. 

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