The Court Ordered Me Support. Now What?

Having a Court Order, i.e. a piece of paper, that says you get child support or spousal support (referred to as maintenance in Colorado) is just the first step. Ideally the other party in your case will pay you as ordered with no hiccups. But what if they don’t?

There are several options available to you to enforce a support order:

Option 1: Income Assignment

What is it: An income assignment is issued to the other party’s employer to deduct the support directly from their wages.

This option is available if:

  • You have a current support order.
  • You know where the obligor works.

How is it helpful: The employer will issue the payment directly to the court or Family Support Registry, who will then forward it on to you.

Option 2: Verified Entry of Support Judgement

What is it: The verified entry of support judgment is a motion stating the amount of money owed and requesting the court enter a corresponding judgment.

This option is available if:

  • Support has been ordered and not paid.
  • You know what payments have been ordered, what payments have not been made, and what is now owed.
  • You can attach current payment records as supporting documentation.

How is it helpful: A judgment stays on a person’s credit report until paid in full and then 7 years after. You can garnish their wages and bank accounts and put liens on property. You are also entitled to interest of 12% per annum compounded monthly on child support, and 8% per annum on spousal support/maintenance. Interest continues to accrue until the debt is satisfied.

Option 3: Contempt of Court

What is it: Contempt of Court is willful failure to obey an order of the court. This can include failure to pay support. The court’s power to punish for contempt includes fines and/or jail time.

This option is available if:

  • You have a support order.
  • The other party has the present ability to comply with the order.
  • The other party willfully refused to comply with the order.

How is it helpful: Once the motion is filed, the court will issue a Citation to Show Cause, which sets a date for an initial hearing. You must have the other party served with notice of that hearing at least 21 days in advance. At the hearing, the other party will be advised of the contempt charges. Because contempt charges are quasi-criminal in nature, the other party will also be advised of the right to an attorney. Depending on the nature of the charges and the punishment requested, the judge may hold the contempt hearing at that time. However, it is most likely that the judge will set a future date for the contempt hearing.

Not sure what option is best for you? Have more questions? Contact us today to set up an appointment: (970) 888-3093

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