Child support is essential to provide children of separated parents with a decent quality of life. The income of just one of the parents make not cover all expenses associated with raising a child. With the Child Support arrangements in the state of Colorado, non-custodial parents also take part in paying for the child’s welfare, allowing the child to get more out of life. Payments are instituted to be paid periodically, usually every month.
Child Support Process After Divorce
In Colorado, child support assistance is handled by the Child Support Services (CSS) program. A parent who wishes to get child support from the child’s other parent would need to file an application with the CSS by filling the form found at https://childsupport.state.co.us/siteuser/do/general/application/eAppforservices and signing up. A fee of $20 is required when applying but may be waived for people receiving public aid. When filing the application, certain documents will be requested, these include income verification documents (pay stubs), personal identification, birth certificate of the child, a picture of the other parent, marriage certificate, etc.
Child Support Services then begins the process of establishing the case. Efforts will be made to locate and contact the other parent. This is done using various available resources and information like full names, tax records, home address, etc. When the other parent is located, a notice is served, informing of the child support case being brought against them. The CSS also helps in determining paternity if there is any contest by the parent. Afterward, the case is decided upon in court, where the exact child support obligation of the non-custodial parent is determined. Additional information on this process is obtainable at https://www.denvergov.org/files/assets/public/denver-human-services/documents/childsupport_application_eng_5-18.pdf.
How Do You Receive Child Support?
Parents who apply through Child Support Services will have a Family Support Registry (FSR) account. They will also be given a 10-digit number for identification. Payments may be received through direct deposit or a Child Support Payment Card.
A direct deposit arrangement credits the child support funds directly to the bank account of the parent receiving the support and no fee is charged. In order to set up accounts for direct deposits, parents can fill out the direct deposit form on https://co.smartchildsupport.com/?AspxAutoDetectCookieSupport=1.
Using the Child Support Payment Card option, the parent is issued with a Visa debit card to which the child support payments are credited monthly. This card is prepaid and directly recharge by the support payments for the month. Cash withdrawals and card purchases can be made using this card, at any place where Visa cards are accepted. The card payment option can be set up at https://co.smartchildsupport.com/.
Maximum Amount Receivable as Child Support
The CSS has guidelines to ensure that both parents pay a fair share towards the upbringing of their child. The guidelines apply a formula to get an approximate value of what each parent would have spent on raising the child in a family scenario. Factors such as the income of the parents, timesharing between the parents, insurance costs, existence of other child support obligations for a parent, etc. may be taken into account to arrive at the final child support payments due per month. For more details on this, visit https://childsupport.state.co.us/calculating-payments.
A child support calculator is also available online at https://www.alllaw.com/calculators/childsupport/colorado. This gives an approximate value of what each parent can be expected to pay as child support.
The child support payments are maxed out at a certain income level. The guidelines will only apply to $30,000 of income per month. Even if the parents earn above that, the child support will be pegged at what would be applicable for an income of $30,000. This information is available at https://www.colorado-family-law.com/family-support/child-support-basic-obligation/.
Enforcement of Child Support
Unpaid child support obligations are not disregarded by the CSS. Any unpaid support is added to the back balance and may have interest charged on it. This unpaid support may be a result of partial or nonpayment of support for the month. CSS can take administrative action to enforce payment, such as making a report to credit agencies, suspending recreational and driver’s licenses, etc. All these can be done without a formal court hearing. In extreme cases, the defaulting parent may be prosecuted. Consideration is however given for parents who call their caseworker and give valid reasons that they cannot meet up with their payments for the month. While the payment still must be made, administrative action would be delayed to give them some time. For more details of this, visit the CSS website https://childsupport.state.co.us/child-support-orders/enforcing-orders.