The amount of child support that is owed by one parent another can be modified (up or down), under the following general circumstances:
The parties consent or agree - the Court will generally adopt the parties’ stipulation if in the best interest of the child(ren);
A motion for modification is filed with and ruled on by the Court. The Court will consider, among other things:
Whether there is a showing of changed circumstances that are substantial;
Whether the substantial changes are continuing in nature;
Whether there is a 10 percent (or greater) change in the amount of child support that is owed under the child support guidelines;
Whether one or more of the children has reached the age of emancipation, with some exceptions;
Whether there is a significant change in parenting time;
Whether the child(ren) has special needs, a high standard of living, etc.
Normally, a change in child support will be effective when the Court enters its decision.
If the Court agrees with the proposed motion to change the amount of support owed each month, the Court will generally consider whether the modification should be made retroactive to the date of the filing date of the motion to modify child support.
If you owe child support, you need to make sure that you continue paying the amount that you owe each month, if and until the Court issues an order changing it. Otherwise, you may become liable for contempt, back child support, and possible penalties.
If you are obligated to pay for child support, you need to take the obligation very seriously. Failure to timely pay child support often leads to very serious negative consequences. Child support that you owe cannot be discharged through bankruptcy. It will follow you to each employer you go to. Ultimately, you could even go to jail.
The parent who is owed child support can do any or all of the following:
Property Liens: liens can be placed on any real estate or personal property that is owned by the obligated party.
Contempt Filing: failure to pay support can result in a contempt filing, which will most likely result in a court appearance before a judge – the outcome of which can be an order to remediate the situation through payment, jail time, or both jail time and payment of the amount owed.
Proceeds from Gambling Winnings: any gambling establishment is required to withhold winnings from a parent who owes child support.
Proceeds from Lottery Winnings: as with gambling winnings, if you “hit the lottery”, the state will withhold the amount owed from your winnings.
License Suspension: the parent who is owed money can seek to have any license you have suspended for non-payment of child support. This includes your driver’s license as well as any professional licenses you may hold.
Checking Your Records Against New Hire Directories: your name can be checked against a list of employers who hired new employees and those who owe back child support.
Credit Reporting Agencies: back child support can be reported to credit agencies and not get removed until the obligation is paid.
Health Insurance: wage garnishments can be applied to your gross wages in order to provide medical support for your child(ren).
Freezing Bank Accounts: any financial assets, including bank accounts, can be garnished, seized or frozen in order to satisfy the back child support obligation.
Any Tax Refunds That You May Be Entitled To: if you owe child support, the state and federal tax agencies communicate with each other. The Colorado Child Support agencies report the names of those who owe back child support to the tax agencies and cross-check against those who are entitled to a tax refund. Any tax refund to which you may be entitled will be taken and applied to the back-child support that you owe.
In sum, paying your child support needs to be a top priority in your life. Your children depend on it.
If you need assistance resolving back child support issues, Contact Us.