Child support payments can feel like a burden to parents. Some parents see the obligation as an unfair punishment; others think child support is a reward for the parent receiving the money.
But child support is not a punishment or reward; it is for the benefit of a child. It ensures both parents contribute to the child's well-being and fulfills his or her basic needs. Because of how critical these payments are, failing to pay them fully and on time can result in some serious consequences.
Delinquency in Colorado
A parent who does not comply with a child support order can face enforcement efforts.
To enforce an order, Child Support Services (CSS) may place a lien on a parent’s property. Should you ever sell your home, a car, or other personal property, you will need to pay the lien first to clear the title.
CSS could also withhold a portion of your income, suspend your driver’s license, and intercept tax refunds, stimulus checks, or lottery winnings.
In some cases, the courts could hold a parent in contempt, which can result in incarceration as well as court fees and fines.
How not to enforce an order
If a parent is not receiving full child support, he or she can contact CSS to pursue the above-mentioned enforcement measures. Parents should not keep a child from the delinquent parent or otherwise violate their child custody order. Denying parenting time because of unpaid support only complicates the situation.
What if I cannot pay anymore?
If your resources change and you are unable to fulfill your support obligation, do not ignore the situation or hope it fixes itself. You can work with your attorney to request a support modification in light of your new financial circumstances. In the meantime, though, you should still make every effort to continue paying support per your existing order.
Refusing to pay child support to try and punish the recipient parent or because you do not agree with the order is unwise. Not only can it result in severe financial and legal consequences, but it can also hurt your child. It will be your child who suffers the consequences of fewer financial resources, and your relationship can suffer irreparable damage.
Therefore, parents should take their financial duty seriously and keep up with payments. Those who cannot should explore the options for modification sooner, rather than later.
If you have questions about your child support obligations, do not hesitate to call Law Office of Alexandra White, PC at (303) 647-4245.