Parental responsibilities for child support are not always met

Raising a child may be anything but inexpensive. With the cost of new shoes, extracurricular activity and the ever-growing cost of higher education, some Colorado parents may be feeling the pinch in their wallets. Single or divorced parents may be even more familiar with that struggle when an ex shrugs off his or her parental responsibilities.

Child support often plays an enormous role in ensuring that a child is financially cared for, but nationwide, a lack of child support payments is unfortunately not uncommon. The 2013 arrears figure for child support was a whopping $116 billion. For Colorado alone, arrears have built up to $1.17 billion since 1975.

A third of Colorado parents who have been ordered to pay child support routinely don't pay. Perhaps even more astonishing are the 39,000 children who are affected by the lack of payments. One observer speculated that prompt child support payments could even help get some kids out of the grasp of serious poverty. 

Although the reasons behind a parent's refusal or inability to pay or accomplish parental responsibilities vary greatly, parents are not left without options. For instance, if unemployment or a serious illness has affected a parent's ability to pay, he or she may petition the court to have child support payments lowered to a manageable amount. Conversely, if a parent has not received child support despite an ex's ability to pay, he or she may also file a petition with the court in an attempt to collect any back support that he or she is owed.

Source: postindependent.com, "Colorado tries helping deadbeat parents", Julia C. Martinez, Dec. 30, 2014

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