Child support is one of those issues that never seems to get easier; in fact, if anything it gets more difficult the longer you have been divorced. Even when both spouses seem to look out for the best interests of the children, long held hostilities between the parties often play out in the payment of child support. Now matter how well-intentioned one might be, circumstances often arise where the non-custodial spouse is not paying child support.
If this is happening to you, a Colorado Springs child support lawyer can review your options for enforcing an existing child support order, and how best to proceed with your case. However, if you do not currently have a court order, then non payment of child support could become a much more complicated issue.
With the national unemployment rate at 9.5% and Colorado’s jobless figure just below 8%, the heat is on for parents who are unable to pay their Colorado Springs court-ordered child support. But what is a custodial parent to do if their ex-spouse has stopped looking for a job? If your ex isn’t paying child support and claims he or she cannot get a job of any kind, then it may be time to consult with a Colorado Springs child support lawyer.
Without a trained eye and legal experience, it can be difficult to present a grievance to Colorado family court when a support-obligated parent is unemployed. However, a local Colorado Springs family law attorney who has experience in child support law is aware of the tactics used by parents who want to avoid paying child support. No matter what shape the economy is in, some parents deeply resent paying court-ordered support.
In Colorado, like many other states, child support enforcement is limited to the number of caseworkers vs. the number of cases that need enforcement. With most of these enforcement units considerably understaffed, it is no wonder that they do very little to find these parents. If you are trying to locate a deadbeat parent to enforce an existing court order for child support. Here is why you need a Colorado Springs child support attorney to help you.
Typically, the custodial parent assumes that all expenses related to raising a child are included in child support. Unfortunately, as they soon learn, this couldn’t be further from the truth. As a Colorado Springs child custody lawyer, I am repeatedly asked to petition the court for an increase in child support on behalf of my clients. Most of these requests revolve around unforeseen expenses, such as piano lessons, soccer camp and dance classes. Oftentimes, the custodial parent wants their child to attend overnight camp, or take part in a school-sponsored excursion. However, these expenses and many other entertainment related costs are not included in Colorado’s basic child support calculations.
Anyone who has ever tried to collect child support from a parent who is trying to avoid paying can tell you – child support enforcement can be challenging. As a Colorado Springs child support lawyer, I have seen many clients take legal steps to enforce a support order, only to be faced with long delays and predictable tactics from the non-paying parent.
If you are new to the child support enforcement process in Colorado, here are some key things to remember.
Emancipation laws differ from one state to another, so it is important to be aware of when child support will end and which special circumstances apply. If you feel as if your case requires an extension of normal child support payments, then a Colorado Springs family lawyer may be able to help.
According to state law, Colorado child support will automatically end when the youngest child reaches the age of 19. No formal notification will be provided to either parent, as this is the “age of emancipation” in Colorado. That said, there are some conditions that may allow for continued child support beyond 19.
For custodial parents who are owed a balance on court-ordered child support, a lump sum payment may already be “in the mail.” If you are dealing with child custody support payment issues in Colorado Springs, then you should find out more about the Tax Refund Offset Program (TROP). Keep reading for the basics.
In the state of Colorado, child support orders are taken very seriously and a substantial amount of time and effort is involved in calculating the right amount of support for minor children. Just ask any Colorado Springs child support lawyer; failure to make timely child support payments can result in incarceration for the non-paying parent. While the state has gone to great lengths to ensure support orders are enforced, many parents don’t know how the enforcement system works.
Contempt of Court for Child Support
If you are dealing with an ex-spouse who is trying to avoid paying child support, you are not alone. Thankfully there are ways you can use the Colorado court system to your advantage to enforce court-ordered child support. The most common way to enforce a child support order in Colorado is by filing a petition for Contempt of Court.
The Contempt of Court petition is designed to get a non-paying parent to start paying according to the order. In many cases, this may involve them making a lump-sum payment against their child support arrears in order to avoid incarceration. Failure to show up at a Contempt of Court hearing will also result in a warrant for their arrest.
In today’s tough job market, it’s no surprise that more and more single parents are finding it difficult to collect child support payments. When either parent loses a job, it puts the whole family at risk, but when a non-custodial, support-obligated parent loses his or her job, if often causes them to seek a temporary reduction in payments. This would be fine if it was truly temporary, or if it were a reasonable request. However, as a Colorado Springs Child Support Attorney I see a lot of parents who have no problem staying out of the job market or taking a low-paying job for much longer than necessary – even when it means their children will need to live on less.