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What are the child support enforcement procedures?

Child support payments are a serious responsibility and should be treated like any other bill. Colorado law stipulates that the payments must be made on time or Child Support Services can begin to take measures to enforce the child support payments. This can be anything from a judgement against you to garnishing your wages to prosecution.

There are usually some intermediary steps taken by Child Support Services to collect past due amounts before the more serious repercussions begin, which is why it is important to pay attention to all written notices or phone calls from Child Support Services. Ignoring the notices and communication attempts will only make things worse.

Once Child Support Services gets to the enforcement process, it may put a lien on any property or vehicles you own. The lien will stay in place until the support amount has been paid in full. Child Support Services may also garnish your wages to pay past due support amounts, and it is authorized to take up to 65 percent of your income deemed as disposable income. The exact amount will depend on your specific financial and family situation.

In extreme cases, Child Support Services also has the legal authority to prosecute your criminally for failure to pay your child support obligation. These cases can even be prosecuted at the federal level, which can mean serious penalties if you are convicted. If you are unable to make your payments because of a specific reason, you may also contact a family law attorney to see if there is anything you can do to have the child support amount modified.

Source: Colorado Department of Human Services, "Judicial Actions," accessed July 28, 2015

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