Parents in Colorado are generally required to continue making child support payments even if they lose their jobs. Failure to do so could result in a variety of penalties such as paying interest on a past due balance or spending time in jail. However, it may be possible to work out alternate child support arrangements while a parent is unemployed. For instance, those who are entitled to unemployment benefits may be able use them to stay current on child support payments.
Those who aren’t entitled to unemployment benefits are encouraged to work with the family court that has jurisdiction in the matter. Parents should keep a record of any steps that they have taken to find work. This is important because it can help to prove that an individual does not want to be unemployed. If a judge believes that a parent is intentionally unemployed, he or she may impute an income to that parent.
In some cases, noncustodial parents are also required to provide health insurance for their children. If a parent loses access to an insurance policy after being laid off or terminated, it may be a good idea to consult with the child’s custodial parent. It may be possible for a custodial parent to add a child to his or her employer plan or buy a policy through the federal government.
Parents who are struggling to make child support payments on time may have options to help them stay current. For instance, it may be possible to ask for a child support modification order. This might be helpful for those who have lost a job or otherwise lack the resources needed to make payments as currently ordered. Individuals may also be able to work privately with a custodial parent to resolve payment issues.