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Family Law Basics: how do i pay child support?
Family Law Basics: how do i pay child support?

There are several ways to make your child support payments in Colorado.  First, you can pay your child support directly to your co-parent.  This can certainly save some time, whether you use checks or bank transfers.  However, the thing to be cautious about is maintaining complete documentation of your payments.  This can be in the form of signed receipts, canceled checks, or bank statements.  This documentation is crucial, because if your ex accuses you of failing to pay your required support, you’ll want to be able to prove what you’ve paid to the cent.  Also, if you’re late on a payment or don’t have enough funds in your account to clear a check, there can be some increased tension between you.  You don’t want to be at an exchange of your kids while you’re arguing about child support.

The second way to pay is through a state agency called the Family Support Registry.  This agency acts as a facilitator for child support payments.  You pay the Family Support Registry, and the Registry pays the other party.  The biggest advantage of using the Family Support Registry is that it keeps complete documentation of every payment you’ve made and every payment issued to your co-parent.  The records are admissible in court, and both parties can check on the status of payments through a real-time system at any time.  You can write checks to the Family Support Registry or set up automatic bank transfers.  Your co-parent can also choose to be paid by check or by transfer. The Family Support Registry has a $20 fee per year, but it is well worth it to avoid arguments with your ex and to have confidence that your payments are accurately reported.

Finally, you can pay your child support through an income assignment.  Income assignments are administered through the Family Support Registry, but the payments come directly from your paycheck.  The child support payee can direct the child support be paid through an income assignment on request, but the payor can also take advantage of the convenience.  The downside to the income assignment is that you’ll need to keep the Family Support Registry updated if you change jobs, and that your child support payments will show up on your paystub, which can feel awkward for some people.

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