The purpose of the Colorado Child Support Services Program is to assure that all children receive financial and medical support from each parent. This is accomplished by locating each parent, establishing paternity and support obligations, and enforcing those obligations.
Our goal is to foster good relationships with both the custodial and non-custodial parents. We do everything in our power to help the non-custodial parent succeed in making his/her child support payments as ordered. Regular child support payments contribute to more successful and promising futures for the children that we serve.
Child Support Establishment
Establishing an order for child support is a legal process that sets a monthly support obligation, determined by the Colorado Child Support Guidelines, to be paid by the non-custodial parent for the support of the child. This process can be done either administratively or judicially, depending on the circumstances of the case. If paternity is in question, paternity will be established either by admission or by genetic testing, before a child support order can be put into place. Once a child support order is established, the CSE unit enforces that order to make sure payments are being on a monthly basis. Some enforcement tools we use are income withholding, tax return intercept, driver’s license suspension, professional license suspension and the contempt of court process. Medical coverage is also ordered and enforced. In addition, to establishing and enforcing a child support order, the CSE unit also modifies the order when there is a change in circumstance (such as change in custody, number of overnights, or income amount of either parent). The monthly support obligation is changed to reflect the current circumstances of the case, and the new amount is enforced.
The child support or parental fee order is based on Colorado child support guidelines. The guidelines consider factors such as the needs of the children and the finances of both parents. These guidelines are available through the Colorado Judicial Department website.
Application for Child Support Services
Myth: nobody pays their child support.
Many movies and TV shows falsely imply that parents who owe child support simply don’t pay it.
In reality, according to the most recent research from Census.gov (published in 2016), close to 75% of custodial parents who were owed child support in 2013 received either full or partial payments.
Further, it’s assumed that those who don’t pay their support don’t want to. However, the Office of Child Support Enforcement (OCSE) clarifies that’s not always the case: “Most parents who do not live with their children want to support them. The child support program is there to engage and assist them. If parents are unwilling to support their children who live apart from them, the program is there to enforce that responsibility.”