Are you having trouble collecting the child support due to you? This article should help!
You will need to gather up your paperwork: find your most recent Child Support Order. If you are paid through the family support registry, get a print out of payments. Figure out how much is due to you, and what day it was due. Be sure to check whether the amount of child support due to you changed at any point. Has interest accumulated? The statute is 12% compounded monthly beginning as the date the payment was due. Software is essential to make that calculation.
You need to determine how you want to approach the issue with the other parent. If the two of you can work out the issue then you have a much better chance of staying out of court and saving yourself stress, time, and money.
It may be that the other parent really does not have the money to pay. As the saying goes, you can’t get blood out of a turnip. But keep in mind, if that is the case, it is not your responsibility to ask the Court to modify child support, it is the other parent’s responsibility. A Court may only modify child support back to the date of the filing of a Motion and no further.
On the other hand, sometimes a parent, for whatever reason, simply decides to prioritize something other than the right of your child to support. Fortunately, the law will not favor that decision. The interest alone should be enough to deter that kind of decision!
Review the Law
If you cannot work the issue out with the other parent, review C.R.S. §14-10-122. What that statute says is that child support becomes a judgment against the parent who was supposed to pay it the day it is due and not paid.
Going Forward through the Court
You can follow the procedures in C.R.S. §14-10-122 and file a Verified Entry for Support Judgment with the clerk. You can find JDF 1813 on the state court website. A Verified Entry for Support Judgment is not required to be served upon the other parent at the time that you file it. Nevertheless, some courts will wait 21 days prior to entering the judgment. Other courts will enter the judgment on the spot.
Once the clerk enters the judgment, you can then follow the C.R.C.P. 103 procedures for issuing writs of garnishment. It is at that point that the other parent has to be served with the underlying judgment.
Also, if you have never obtained an income assignment, you can make a Motion for Income Withholding for Support at any time. That way, each time the other parent gets paid you will get paid from the other parent’s employer directly.
The Child Support Enforcement Unit
Another solid option is to then go to the Child Support Enforcement Unit (CSEU) in your county. They have a lot more power than you do as a private citizen. They can take away the other parent’s driver’s license among other measures to try to force compliance with the Court Order.
Contempt of Court
Likewise, you have the option to file a Verified Motion and Affidavit for Citation for Contempt of Court against the other parent. You can pursue judgment and contempt at the same time.
Remember that child support is the right of the child. As such, the child has certain rights to collect the judgment and a statute of limitations that may differ from your own statute of limitations. As long as either you or your child act within the timeframe set by the statute of limitations, the support that was due to your child became a judgment against the parent who did not pay it the day it was due and not paid. Therefore, it potentially collected interest since that time. So, even if your child was unable to collect (in full) upon a judgment at an earlier point in time, it may be that the other parent’s finances turn around later and the child can collect later.