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When Your Spouse Stops Paying Child Support

Raising a child after divorce is difficult and expensive. Fortunately, Colorado law compels both parents to provide financial support for their children when the marriage is terminated. Sadly however, some parents begin to shirk this financial responsibility, either right away or over time. When this happens, there are steps you can take to pursue the support your child needs and deserves.

Enforcing Child Support Payments in Colorado

Both federal and state law provides child support collection options. These methods allow you to go after both back-child support and current payments. They include some of the following measures:

  • Income withholding - Your attorney can submit a writ of garnishment to your ex-spouse's employer to fulfill a child support obligation.
  • New hire reporting - Employers are required to report new employees to a state directory. So, if your ex-spouse changes jobs and stops paying child support, you can pursue payments through the new employer.
  • Unemployment or Workers' Compensation - Unemployment Compensation Benefit (UCB) and Workers' Compensation payments are subject to child support payment deductions.
  • Tax offsets and bank garnishments - If your ex is owed a tax refund, you can intercept these funds for an unmet child support obligation.
  • Court judgment and liens - You may be able to obtain a court judgment for back child support and use this to attach a lien to your ex-spouse's property.
  • Punitive action - Continued failure to pay child support can lead to suspension or denial of a professional occupation license, driver's license, passport and/or recreational license. Your ex may also face criminal charges. While these actions don't recover financial support for you and your child, they often encourage your ex to start complying with the support order.

If you find yourself struggling to support your child after a divorce, don't take the law into your own hands. Keep in mind that you don't have the legal right to withhold visitation or parenting time due to non-receipt of child support. Instead, turn to a knowledgeable family law attorney to help you pursue legal avenues to start receiving the financial support your child is rightfully entitled to.

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