As you're probably aware, the nonpayment of child support in the United States is an all too common problem. To address the high rate of noncompliance, child support agencies have been given special tools to collect child support not granted by law to other kinds of creditors
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Contempt of Court
If a non-custodial parent is ordered to make child support payments and willfully fails or refuses to do so, they may be held in contempt of court which could result in a fine, jail time, or both, depending on the judge or magistrates ruling. Contempt is a remedy of last resort.
§14-14-110 C.R.S. Colorado Rules of Civil Procedure - Rule 107
Credit Bureau Reporting
If selected, the IV-D agency regularly reports child support orders to the major U.S. credit bureaus. Unpaid child support amounts could mar an obligor's credit report and make obtaining credit very difficult, while a consistently paid child support order could help build good credit.
Deductions for Health Insurance
The National Medical Support Notice (NMSN) involves a notice similar to that used for an income assignment that is sent to an employer directing the employer to enroll the children in the employer's health insurance plan and to deduct the premium payments from the obligor's pay, if it is deemed obtainable at a reasonable cost.
§14-5-125, 14-10-115 (2) (b), §14-10-115(13.5) and §14-14-112 C.R.S.
Financial Institution Data Match
Financial Institution Data Match (FIDM) is an automated program designed to locate assets owned by delinquent obligors which may be held at banks, credit unions, brokerage accounts, retirement accounts, stocks, bonds, certificate of deposits, etc. The program issues a Notice of Lien & Levy and the assets are seized and then applied to past due child support.
§14-10-122 & §26-13-128 C.R.S.
Garnishing Bank Accounts
If the support enforcement unit believes an obligor has an account at a financial institution, they may compel the bank to turn over the funds in the account to cover the amount of any back child support due. Such a garnishment may be levied on joint bank accounts, too. A Garnishment is similar to FIDM but does take prior court approval and a Verified Entry of Judgment must be in place.
§13-54.5-101 C.R.S. Colorado Rules of Civil Procedure - Rule 103
An income assignment is a notice sent to the employer directing the employer to withhold an amount of child support directly from the obligor's pay. The employer then forwards the money to the Family Support Registry.
If you are paying child support through an income assignment and you change jobs, be sure to notify your Child Support Specialist within 10 days by calling 248-2780. §14-14-111.5 C.R.S
Under Colorado Revised Statutes (C.R.S.), interest can be calculated for child support arrearages. The following interest percentages can be calculated:
- Prior to June 30, 1975, 6% simple interest
- July 1, 1975, through June 30, 1979, 8% simple interest
- July 1, 1979, through June 30, 1986, 8% compounded interest
- July 1, 1986, through the present, 12% compounded interest
Effective 02/01/2004, the Child Support unit will no longer calculate or collect interest on past due child support. Any interest calculated and added by Child Support division, will continue to be collected until paid in full.
Liens on Real and Personal Property
The child support enforcement unit can place liens on real estate as well as on personal property like cars and boats if large amounts of unpaid child support accumulate.
Lottery Winnings Offset
Child Support division intercepts cash prizes, non-cash prize merchandise or a combination of merchandise and cash lottery winnings from parties who owe past due child support.
- Section 26-13-118, C.R.S.
- Section 26-13-106, C.R.S.
Gambling Payment Intercepts
Colorado law allows the Child Support division to intercept Colorado race track and casino gambling cash winnings from parties owing past due child support and/or costs.
- Section 19-35-24, C.R.S.
- Section 26-13-26, C.R.S.
If a non-custodial parent owes past due child support in the amount of $2,500 or more, the U.S. Secretary of State will refuse to issue a passport and may revoke, restrict or limit a passport which was previously issued.
42 U.S.C 652 (K)
Suspension of License
Driver's License Suspension
If full payment is not received, Colorado Child Support Enforcement (CSE) has the authority to suspend a driver's license. If suspended, an individual must get a Notice of Compliance from CSE and meet Department of Motor Vehicle requirements to reinstate the privilege to drive.
- 42 U.S.C 666(a)(16)
- Section 26-13-123, C.R.S.
Professional and Occupational License Suspension
CSE is authorized to suspend professional and occupational licenses of individuals who are past due to their child support obligations. If suspended, they must obtain a Notice of Compliance from CSE and meet the requirements of their particular licensing board at Department of Regulatory Agencies to regain a professional/occupational license.
- 42 U.S.C. 666(16)
- Section 26-13-126, C.R.S.
Recreational License Suspension
CSE is authorized to suspend or deny hunting and fishing licenses of individuals who are past due in their child support payments. Individuals who are seeking to hunt or fish must meet the requirements of CSE and Division of Wildlife to regain the privilege to hunt and fish.
- 42 U.S.C. 666(7)(D)(13)
- Section 26-13-126, C.R.S.
Tax Refund Intercepts
A non-custodial parent owing child support may see their state and federal tax refunds intercepted by the child support enforcement unit to cover the amount of the past due child support.
§26-13-108 C.R.S. 42 U.S.C 664 & 26 U.S.C. 6402
Child Support Enforcement (CSE) payments to vendors who owe child support debt or arrearages. A state vendor is an individual who has entered into a contract with the State of Colorado to provide goods or services for a fee. Vendor Offset can also collect money for other debts owed; however, child support arrearage takes priority over other state agency collections.
Section 24-30-202.4, C.R.S.
Verified Entry of Judgment
It is well established in Colorado that a child support payment that is not paid when due becomes a judgment. A Verified Entry of Judgment finalizes the child support arrearages into a judgment for a specific time frame and amount.
A judgment is valid for twenty (20) years in the State of Colorado and may be renewed for additional twenty (20) years period upon application to the Court. A judgment gives way to placing liens on personal property.
Important Numbers - Assistance Programs
|Department of Human Services
Main Line (970) 241-8480
|Parent Help Line
|Adult Protective Services
|Welfare Fraud Hotline
|Area Agency on Aging
|Western Colorado 211
2-1-1 or (970) 244-8400
|Assistance Programs - Fax Number