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How to Open a Child Support Case in Colorado

Thursday, 10 February 2011

blog-logoIf you are facing a divorce, then you may be dreading a property settlement or possibly a custody battle, but you probably don’t expect the payment of child support to be a big deal. However, if you spend any time in Colorado family court you will soon learn that more time is spent enforcing child support than any other aspect of a divorce.  As a Colorado Springs child support lawyer, my clients often continue the battle over child support for many years after the divorce is final.

No matter how amicable the divorce may be, I always advise the custodial parent to get a court order for child support.  An informal agreement that does not involve the State of Colorado could result in difficulties collecting support later on.  Without the state’s involvement, there is no legal way to keep track of missing payments.

Setting up Colorado court-ordered support will protect you from losing track of your ex-spouse, and ensure your children receive support until the age of emancipation.  This can be done with or without a Colorado Springs child support lawyer, but it is always easier to work with an attorney who is familiar with the Colorado family court system.

To open a new Colorado child support case, you will need to contact the nearest Child Support Enforcement (CSE) office in your county and fill out an Application for Child Support Services.  There is a one-time charge of $20 for the application, but some counties may waive the fee if you are receiving public assistance for financial hardship. 

Once you start receiving court-ordered support, the payments made by the non-custodial parent will be paid to the State of Colorado and then distributed to you.  The state will keep track of any balance that is owed to you in arrears, and your court order may be adjusted to include a monthly amount to be paid on arrears balances.  Every three years, you will be able to file for a “cost of living increase”, which will require a current review of both parents’ income.  Also, if the non-custodial parent fails to pay support, the state can enforce certain penalties, up to and including incarceration.  

If you need help opening a child support case in Colorado, consult with a Colorado Springs child support lawyer from the Marrison Family Law LLC.

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