Denver Real Estate Law and Family Law Blog. (Vol 1.40) August 1 2014
By Craig Franklin Chambers Esq. 7851 S. Elati Street #204, Littleton, CO 80120
The Littleton Lawyer.
As a Denver Metro area attorney focusing in family law, marital law, contract disputes, and real estate law in Littleton, The Tech Center, Highlands Ranch, and Arapahoe, Douglas, and Jefferson Counties, I work with a lot of custody and child support cases. The question arises: Are child support and parenting time related? More specifically, Is Parenting Time Cancelled If Your Ex is Behind in Child Support Payments?
Now I understand that divorces and post-decree marital and custody matters are often confrontational. The person you once knew has changed, and you no longer want him or her in your life. But your Ex is still the child's parent, and the public policy of Colorado is to encourage liberal and frequent contact between the child and each of the parents.
So the answer is simple: if your Ex is behind on his child support obligations, you cannot cancel or withhold the child from parenting time with the other parent. Part of your job as a parent is to make the child feel secure and loved by both parents. Part of your job as a parent is to encourage the relationship between the child and the other parent. The ability to co-parent and the ability to places the child's needs over your own are among the factors the court considers in determining an appropriate parenting time schedule.
If the child is endanger, that is another matter. If the child is in danger, retain an attorney who specializes in family law and file an emergency motion to restrict the parenting time. But the danger can have nothing to do the failure to pay child support. If the child is not in danger, but the current parenting plan isn't working, you may want to consider filing a motion to modify parenting time which will necessarily result in the child support being recalculated.
If the child support is behind, consider filing for a contempt of court; or open a case with the Child Support Enforcement division of the county DA's office. They will take measures such as revoking your Ex's driver's license to require him to pay the child support. But at the same time, regardless of the lapsed child support payments, encourage the relationship between the child and other parent.