Colorado has some of the most comprehensive child support laws in the United States. Failure to make payments at the right time can put you in a lot of trouble with the authorities, with garnishment, fines, and jail time all likely punishments for defaulters. Back child support will follow you anywhere you go and cannot be discharged in bankruptcy.
Here are some of the consequences of failing to pay child support in Colorado:
License suspension: Parents who fail to comply with child support orders in most states in the U.S., Colorado included face potential suspension of their driver’s license and fishing or hunting license.
Contempt charges: If you are summoned by the court for contempt, you are likely to be ordered to clear back child support there and then or face jail. The “pay it and pay it now” order is known as remedial contempt and is not mutually exclusive with jail. You may be locked up until all missed child support is covered.
Lottery intercepts: The court may give an order that any winnings made in the lotto be intercepted and used to clear missed child support. This may extend to gambling payments, where racetracks and casinos may be ordered to intercept racing wagers and slot machine winnings.
Bad credit rating: Skipping child support payments will almost always impact your credit score. This will make it extremely hard to get loan financing, especially for home loans and other huge loans, where the financial institutions want a clean record before lending money. You may want to complete an affidavit of arrears or just pay up your unpaid child support to clear your name from credit bureaus.
Liens on property: A lien is the right to keep possession of another person’s property until they pay up a debt they owe. Unpaid child support may result in liens on personal property such as boats and cars as well as real estate.
Tax refund: Parents with unpaid child support in Colorado may see their tax refunds (both state and federal) intercepted to clear the arrearage.
Wage garnishment: Wage and bank account garnishment is one of the most common ways Colorado courts go about recovering unpaid child support. It involves the deduction of predetermined amounts of money from your salary until the missed support payments are cleared.
Health insurance deductions: In this, the court sends a notice to the parent’s employer asking them to include the child in their insurance plan and deduct premiums from the parent’s salary.
Clearly, running away from child support in Colorado is a scene straight out of “Mission Impossible”. Unpaid child support can ruin other aspects of your life and end up costing you even more in the long run. The best thing to do is to make child support your first priority every time you get paid. If circumstances have changed, such as the child dropping out of school or dying, hire a lawyer as soon as possible to help you get your child support adjusted.