Legally Enforcing Child Support Orders in Denver, Colorado
Child support is a common point of contention among couples after separation. Both the parent that should receive the support and the parent ordered to pay it often find the situation stressful. However, when one parent refuses to pay or feels the order is wrongful, things get much more complicated fast.
At Littman Family Law and Mediation Services, we have extensive experience handling child support orders. Our knowledgeable child support attorneys can guide you through the process of petitioning the court to enforce a child support order or understand your rights if you have been ordered to pay child support.
What Can Happen When the Courts Begin Enforcing a Child Support Order?
The parent owed support (the obligee) can petition the court to begin enforcing child support orders anytime the other parent fails to pay the amount due. A failure to pay child support can result in serious legal consequences that include but aren’t limited to charges of contempt of court, arrest, and even jail time.
A child support order is essentially a contract between parents to ensure the child(ren) continue/s to enjoy the same standard of living as they did prior to the separation. As a result of a breach in this agreement, the court may enact child support enforcement actions such as:
- Garnishing wages from employment
- Garnishing federal and/or state tax return payments
- Applying monetary judgments to the case which adds interest penalties
- Suspending driver’s, occupational, and/or professional licenses
- Suspending recreational licenses (fishing/hunting)
- Placing liens on personal property, real estate, and motor vehicles
- Reporting non-payment to collection bureaus
- Charging the non-paying parent with contempt of court
- Sentencing the non-paying parent to jail time
Colorado courts take child support orders very seriously. The state may use a county child support enforcement unit to help collect past due child support. Past-due child support is also often subject to interest and penalties that ultimately increase the amount due.
A child support attorney with experience in mediation is the best resource for guidance through difficult disagreements about child support orders. While family law is complex, our team at Littman Family Law offers a variety of services designed the make this stressful time as hassle-free as possible.
What Happens When a Parent Under Orders to Pay Child Support Deliberately Reduces Income?
In some cases, the parent ordered to pay child support quits their job, or takes other actions to attempt to deliberately reduce their income. The courts may adjust the order in reaction to this behavior.
The Colorado court system bases imputed income on the earning potential of the parent responsible for child support payment. The parent that owes child support will still have to pay an amount calculated on their potential earnings rather than actual earnings.
How Can a Family Law Attorney Help With a Child Support Order?
A knowledgeable and experienced family law attorney like those on our team at Littman Family Law and Mediation Services will be familiar with the intricate laws surrounding child support. A consultation with our team can help you explore your legal options when it comes to child support enforcement.
Parents under obligation to pay child support can learn more about their options for payment plans, modifications, and more. Parents seeking child support can discuss filing motions, requesting modifications, and amicable solutions.
We have the knowledge and experience to offer multiple options that help separated parents contribute to their child(ren)’s life. Some of the alternative dispute services we offer include:
- Collaborative law emphasizes a joint approach to cooperative problem solving and an option to keep disputes out of court.
- Mediation and arbitration offer the opportunity to find resolutions between parental parties without the court’s involvement.
- Early neutral assessments bring in a neutral lawyer and a neutral mental health professional to assess the family and develop a coordination-based parenting plan. A four-hour time limit on this service helps to control the associated costs.
- Parenting coordinators can advise and facilitate communication between parties. They can also interpret parenting plans but have no authority over decisions.
You can also opt to defer to a decision-maker, who will be granted the ability to file binding decisions with the court.
Whether you are seeking child support or responsible for paying child support, we want to help you reach a healthy resolution. Call 303-832-4200 to schedule a consultation with or team at Littman Family Law and Mediation Services to explore your options.