Frequently Asked Child Support Questions 3

As child support lawyers in Denver, the experienced attorneys at Plog & Stein, P.C. represent men and women in all types of child support matters. We understand the importance of making sure your children are taken care of financially. For payors, we also recognize the importance of making sure you are treated fairly when it comes to calculating your child support obligation. On a daily basis, our attorneys are asked various questions regarding child support. Below some of the questions frequently asked of us related to child support. From time to time, we will provide updated questions for the information of our readers.


(See Colorado Revised Statutes, Title 14, Article 10, Section 115)

What is the difference between the Family Support Registry and Child Support Enforcement Unit?

Both the Family Support Registry (FSR to us attorneys) and the Child Support Enforcement Unit (CSEU to us attorneys) are state level governmental agencies which deal with collection of child support. As Denver are child support attorneys, it is quite common for us to talk to people with mistaken beliefs as to the entities and their roles or functions. The Family Support Registry is a state run central holding tank which receives child support (and alimony) payments from the payors and, then, distributes the funds out to the payees. The FSR can now distribute payments to the recipient via check, direct deposit, or directly onto an FSR card, which functions much like a credit card. The FSR is also a good tool for keeping track of the child support payment history in your case. In Colorado, if either party to a child support case requests that payments be made through the FSR, the court will grant that request over any objection from the other party. The FSR is not a child support collection agency. It does not deal with enforcement of orders, non-payment, or collection from those who are not paying.

People often presume that the FSR is the same thing as, or a branch, of a county’s Child Support Enforcement Unit. Each county has its own CSEU, which generally functions in tandem with a special branch of the District Attorney’s office. The CSEU is primarily charged with establishing, modifying, and enforcing child support, and sometimes alimony, orders. Any party to a child support case can sign up for CSEU services for nominal intake fee. Unlike the FSR, the CSEU is the agency which will take various types of measures to see that child support orders are followed, including income assignments, wage garnishment, liens, contempt of court proceedings, tax refund intercepts, and the suspension of driver’s or other professional licenses for non-payment of child support.

The CSEU can also be a helpful tool in terms of tracking finding employment information on a payor who is not paying, as it can access Department of Labor records. The CSEU can also assist with transferring child support matters to other states, or enforcing foreign child support orders. Though private attorneys can take many of the same steps, their reach may not be as far as the CSEU and generally does not cross state lines. At the same time, the CSEU may be slower than a private attorney in terms of establishing, modifying, or collecting child support. People signing up for enforcement services, may also give up some of their rights in terms of having a say in terms of how much back support is collected.

My kid is 19 and still in high school, does my child support stop?

No. Pursuant to C.R.S. 14-10-115 (13)(III), if a child over 19 is still in high school or an equivalent program, child support can continue until the end of the month following graduation. If the child drops out and then returns, child support can also continue. However, it cannot continue beyond age 21.

My ex-husband is not letting me see the kids, can I just quit paying child support?

No. Most Colorado family law courts loathe parties taking self help measures to remedy situations. The old adage, “two wrongs don’t make a right,” comes to mind. If the other party in your case is violating custody or visitation orders, there are remedies for dealing with that. A court will not applaude your efforts to take matters into your own hand. Rather, if you quit paying your support, you may be subject to an array of trouble, including potentially jail. The attorneys at Plog & Stein can help you resolve your issues and enforce your orders in a proper legal fashion.

Can I get interest on back child support owed to me?

Yes. Pursuant to C.R.S. 14-10-122, each child support payment not made automatically becomes an enforceable judgment as a matter of law. Additionally, statute indicates the interest shall accrue on the back child support at the rate of 12% per year, compounded monthly, on each payment. The Denver divorce and custody attorneys at Plog & Stein have represented both payors and recipients in cases involving back child support and interest. We have seen instances in which someone may be behind many years in child support. For example, we have seen cases in which the principal amount of child support owed might be $100,000. However, after many years of non-payment, the principal and interest total might be $300,000. It is important for payors to know that this interest is accruing on each missed payment. It is also important for Colorado child support recipients to know that they, or rather their children, are entitled to this interest. Parties to a child support case should be aware that most Child Support Enforcement Units will not deal with the establishment of interest, but will enforce orders or judgments which have interest already calculated.

To learn more about Colorado child support, including establishment, modifications, and enforcement, contact Plog & Stein to speak with one our experienced Denver divorce, custody, and child support lawyers.