The Gasper Law Group, PLLC
Parents are expected to provide financial support for their children. Generally, the parent without primary parental responsibilities is the parent ordered to pay child support. There are Child Support Guidelines that are followed in determining how much child support should be paid per month by each parent. These guidelines are based on the combined income of each parent and the number of overnights spent with each parent.
Child Support must be paid. There are several circumstances that apply when paying child support while in prison:
• child support that was ordered prior to a prison sentence;
• child support that is requested while in prison;
• public assistance that is being paid to child(ren) while in prison (an inmate may be required to pay this public assistance back while in prison).
A monthly child support obligation that was ordered prior to a prison sentence does not change. It is the responsibility of the inmate to request a modification of the child support obligation, although this request is not guaranteed. Any modification will affect any future child support obligation, not a past child support obligation. This request for modification could take several months before a new child support order is entered.
An inmate is still responsible for paying the monthly child support obligation. If the inmate is behind on the child support payments prior to the prison sentence or becomes behind on the child support payments during the prison sentence, that inmate is still responsible for making those payments. It is important that a payment plan be made prior to the release from prison. If those child support payments are not made, the state can suspend the inmates’ driver’s license or any other state license and garnish a percentage of the inmates wages. The inmate could also be held in contempt of court and ordered to serve time in jail.
It is always important to keep some form of record of child support payments that have been made, whether in prison or not. It is best to make child support payments by check or money order, so that you are guaranteed that record of payment.
If an inmate has a prison account, the Department of Corrections is required to take a percentage of any and all money deposited into this account to make child support payments (C.R.S. 16-18.5-106). The Colorado Child Support Enforcement agency is allowed to file a Notice of Administrative Lien with the Department of Corrections in order to take money from an inmates prison account (C.R.S. 26-13-122.5).
IN VERY RARE AND UNUSAL CIRCUMSTANCES WILL A JUDGE WAIVE A CHILD SUPPORT ORDER ENTERED PRIOR TO A PRISON SENTENCE!!!!