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One of the most common and serious complications a divorced parent can face after dissolving their marriage is dealing with a co-parent who fails to pay child support. Child support decisions are taken very seriously in Colorado and all non-custodial parents are expected to adhere to them for as long as the court decrees. When they do not, and the other parent and children are left wanting, they may have no choice but to seek an enforcement order from the court.


Parents who need to enforce child support will likely have to file a motion of contempt with the court. Any citizen is “in contempt of court” when they refuse to comply with a court order, including those related to child support. There are two types of these motions: remedial and punitive.

Remedial motions basically serve as a serious warning for the co-parent to pay support. Punitive motions are filed when the other parent believes the delinquent parent is intentionally/actively avoiding paying child support and asks the court to impose some kind of punishment, such as a fine or jail time.


Once the court receives a parent’s motion for contempt, they will review the facts and decide whether to act. If they do decide to act against the delinquent parent, there are several actions that can be taken to compel the parent to pay child support– or simply supply the parent and child in need with the relief they deserve.

Child support enforcement actions against a delinquent parent can include:

  • Seizure of income
  • Seizure of property (property, bank accounts, etc.)
  • Issue of liens on property, including real estate
  • Ordering of the parent to sell property
  • Interception of tax returns or government benefit checks
  • Seizure of lottery or gambling winnings


It is recommended that parents seeking enforcement retain counsel for the enforcement process – especially for the filing of the motion of contempt. These motions have to be carefully addressed to ensure the court clearly understands the filer’s circumstances and knows that action is urgently needed. When these motions are haphazardly handled, they can be dismissed by the court.

At my firm, Karin Johnson Chatfield LLC, I have more than 30 years of experience in the family law arena and I thoroughly understand the needs and challenges of parents in need of proper child support. Not only can I ensure that your motion of contempt compellingly puts forth your circumstances to the court, but also make sure that your family’s best interests remain a priority throughout the entire enforcement process.

Start exploring your enforcement options with a knowledgeable Denver divorce attorney by your side. Contact my firm today.

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  • Denver Office
    200 Union Boulevard
    Suite 200
    Lakewood, Colorado 80228
    Phone: 303-520-0387