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Child Support Enforcement has a variety of options for enforcing child support orders. These may include: issuing an income withholding order; suspending a driver’s license; garnishing bank accounts; intercepting tax refunds; withholding unemployment benefits and workers’ compensation benefits; placing liens on personal and real properties; reporting past due balances to credit agencies; suspending professional, occupational, and recreational licenses; passport denial; contempt proceedings; or sending a request for action to the state where a non-custodial parent resides for establishment, enforcement or modification of a child support order.
Child support and visitation are two separate matters. Regardless of visitation, a non-custodial parent must continue to provide the child with financial support. Child Support Enforcement cannot address visitation or custody issues and cannot provide legal advice. Parents may seek legal advice from an attorney. Please also ask your Case Specialist for information on low or no-cost mediation services that may be available.
Colorado uses a formula that is based upon both parents’ gross income as well as the number of overnights the child spends in each of the parent’s homes. The formula also considers certain expenses related to the child, such as health insurance and daycare expenses. It does not consider the income of step-parents or partners. These guidelines and detailed instructions are available at www.courts.co.us.
Child Support Services can arrange a negotiation conference to review financial information for both parents. We will send both parties a financial affidavit prior to the conference and require supporting documents such as pay stubs. During the conference, we will work to calculate the recommended monthly child support obligation using the child support guidelines.
The Family Support Registry is the agency responsible for receiving and disbursing child support payments and maintaining payment records. The mailing address for the Family Support Registry is P.O. Box 2171, Denver, CO, 80202. The telephone number is 303-299-9123. Please ensure that you note your FSR account number on your check or money order.
Child Support Services can determine parentage by taking a DNA sample from the mother, child and presumed father. A certified technician will take samples of each individual’s cheek cells along the inner mouth using a cotton swab. The samples are sent to an accredited lab for genetic testing. Results are typically available within 3 weeks. An individual is determined to be the biological father if genetic testing results indicate a DNA match of 97% or greater.
Either party can request a review of their child support. There are some cases where Child Support Services will start a review. Child support orders should be reviewed at least every thirty-six (36) months. Colorado requires there be at least a 10% change in the amount of current child support obligation in order for a modification review to proceed. If a review is done and the 10% threshold is not met, the modification review will be terminated. In order to have a review in less than 36 months since the last review, a continuing and substantial change in circumstance must be shown. A brief explanation of the continuing change and any proof of the change has to be provided with the written request for review. If no change or proof is provided, the request may be denied or more information may be requested.
A Stipulation for Modification or an Administrative Order may be done if the parties agree. If an agreement cannot be reached, a Motion to Modify Child Support may be filed with the Court by Child Support Services. Note that this does not mean an automatic court appearance. Once the motion is filed, if no objection is received within 15 days, the Court may grant the Motion to Modify Child Support. With any court filing, a copy must be provided to Child Support Services and the other party. If an objection is filed in a timely manner, the Court may request a hearing.