Colorado Child Support

In order to apply for Colorado child support, you must contact your local county Child Support Enforcement (CSE) office to find out what they will require. You may need to fill out an Application for Child Support Services.  You can obtain this application from your local office.

There is a one-time application fee of twenty dollars. If you are currently receiving public assistance you will be automatically referred to a CSE office and you will not have to pay the application fee.

How Is Child Support Established in Colorado?
Child support orders are established using the Child Support Laws detailed in Legal Authority, Section 14-10-115, C.R.S.  A child support order is created via a legal process in which the monthly amount of child support to be paid by the non-custodial parent or by both parents is designated. This court order is established using the Colorado Child Support Guidelines, which takes into account factors such as the financial needs of the children and the financial status of both parents. You can view a copy of these guidelines at your local CSE office.

The Colorado Child Support Enforcement Program also requires that child support orders establish health insurance coverage for the children in question. The court will determine which parent is responsible for providing health insurance coverage.  Medicaid is considered public assistance and is secondary to private health coverage plans. If the children are on Medicaid, the parent ordered to supply health coverage is still held responsible to provide other health coverage.

How Is Colorado Child Support Calculated?

Colorado child support laws are calculated using the monthly gross incomes of both parents and general information about what other families in Colorado spend on their children. The financial amount of the child support order is based upon the non-custodial parent's share of the obligation. The amount of child support a parent is required to pay is also affected by the amount of visitation with the child. Both parents must also share costs for childcare, medical insurance and uninsured medical expenses. Again, the share required from each parent is determined by the financial needs of the children and the financial status of each parent.

How Are Child Support Orders Enforced?

The Colorado laws and the CSE office can use a variety of methods to ensure that child support orders are satisfied. These include withholding from employment wages, unemployment compensation benefits, or worker’s compensation benefits; suspension of driver’s license or professional/recreational licenses; passport denial; federal and state tax offsets; lottery winnings interception; credit bureau reporting; new hire reporting; and judicial actions such as judgments, liens, garnishments, or federal prosecution.

How Do I Make A Child Support Payment?
The state of Colorado maintains a centralized collection and disbursement office called the Family Support Registry (FSR), through which child support payments are processed and tracked. You can submit a child support payment to the FSR office either via mail, phone, or recurring automatic withdrawal.

Via Mail
To make a child support payment through the mail, make sure your check or money order is made out to the "Family Support Registry." Also be sure your payment is accompanied by the following information: your FSR account number, your name, and your court case number. Mail payments to the following address:

Family Support Registry
P.O. Box 2171
Denver, CO 80201-2171

Via Phone
You can fill out a pay-by-phone application that allows you to call in and make child support payments directly from your bank account. After submitting the application, the FSR office will issue you a PIN number. When you are ready to make a payment, simply call 303-299-9123 (local) or 1-800-374-6558 (toll-free) and follow the instructions for pay-by-phone.

Via Recurring Automatic Withdrawal
Recurring automatic withdrawal allows you to make child support payments automatically by scheduling regular withdrawals from your bank account.  In order to utilize this option, you must complete and submit a recurring automatic withdrawal application to your local CSE office.

How Do I Receive A Child Support Payment?
Child support payments are disbursed through the FSR office. They can be sent by check, or directly deposited into a bank account that you designate. You can also apply for an FSR card to receive your payments.  The FSR card can be used just like any other debit card, anywhere that VISA is accepted.

How Do I Make Changes to a Child Support Order?
A review of the child support order will be conducted every three years at the request of either parent. If special circumstances exist, the CSE office will review your case at any time, as long as you can provide documentation of the reason for the review. Examples of special circumstances include the loss of a job or a change in visitation.

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