Should you go to court over unpaid child support?

After a divorce, both Colorado parents have the legal obligation to continue to support their children financially. This is true regardless of whether the one parent has primary custody or parents share custody through a negotiated parenting plan. In most cases, the non-custodial parent will pay the custodial parent to assist with things such as childcare, health care needs, tuition, daily needs and more.

Your child support agreement may come directly from a family court, or it may be something you and your ex-spouse agreed to before finalizing your divorce. Regardless, if you are the recipient, you have the right to expect the other party to adhere to the terms of your agreement. If he or she is failing to meet child support requirements, you may have to go to court for help with this matter.

What can the court do?

You may not know what the court can do to help you. You may even feel reluctant to head to court if your divorce is only recently final. You may not want to incur the expense associated with another complex legal process. In some cases, you may be able to speak with the other parent about your concern. It is possible that a temporary adjustment to payments is necessary and appropriate, or a simple conversation about the possibility of court intervention may be enough to compel cooperation.

If these methods do not work, you may want to seek assistance from the court. There are a few different things the court can do to compel the other party to make child support payments as required. Some of these include the following:

  • Garnishing wages
  • Revoking commercial licenses necessary for work
  • Suspending a business license
  • Seizing property
  • Suspending a driver’s license
  • Withholding tax refunds and using them as payment

In your situation, going to court may be the only option you have to secure the financial help you need for the care and support of your child.

Where should you start?

If you aren’t sure about what to do regarding missed child support payments, it may be helpful to simply reach out for help from an experienced family law attorney. An assessment of your case can help you understand what legal options are available to you and what the court is likely to do to enforce the terms of your child support order.

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