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Colorado Wage Garnishment: Colorado Child Support Garnishment

UPDATED: June 19, 2018

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The process for Colorado wage garnishment begins after child custody proceedings have concluded. The noncustodial parent will be assigned an order for child support collections, which will be served to their employer. The order for child support collections can be issued by a Colorado court, agency, or by a representative of the custodial parent. Because Colorado allows a support order to be issued through the representative of the custodial parent, state law contains harsh penalties for the issuance of a fraudulent support order. Once the noncustodial parent’s employer has been served with the order, the employer becomes responsible for enforcing wage garnishment until the order is satisfied.

Colorado Child Support Collection

An order for Colorado child support may include a combination of any of the following: current child support, arrearages for child support, maintenance when combined with child support, and child support debts. An order for support is binding on the obligor (the noncustodial parent owing support) and on the obligor’s employer, who is bound to enforce it. The child support order may be issued either by the child support agency or the representative of the custodial parent. If an individual is found to have fraudulently issued an order for support, they will be fined a minimum of $1,000.

Who Withholds the Money? 

When the noncustodial parent is assigned an order for support, the order is served by first class mail on the noncustodial parent’s employer or other administrator of funds. An administrator of funds can include an administrator of workers compensation or any other company or agency that provides the noncustodial parent with benefits or income. The order may be served electronically only if the employer or administrator of funds agrees to this method. The order for support will list the amount to withhold, either in the form of a specified amount or as a percentage. Further, sometimes an order will require the employer to send a copy to the employee.

When Money Is Withheld 

When an employer is served with an order of support, they should begin withholding in the first pay period that occurs within 14 days after the mailing date of the order. Colorado requires not only that the employer withhold from each pay period, but also that the monthly amount due is met. To determine what they should withhold from each paycheck, the employer should divide the number of pay periods per month by the monthly amount due. The employer may pay by check or Electronic Funds Transfer (EFT). If paying by EFT, the employer can choose either the Cash Concentration and Disbursement (CCD+) format, or the Corporate Trade Exchange (CTX) format. The employer may also combine payments from multiple employees. If doing so, they must send a list providing the following information for each deduction made: FSR account number, IV-D case number, payment amount withheld, date of withholding, and employer FEIN or FSR ID.

Out-of-State Orders 

Colorado has adopted the provisions of the Uniform Interstate Family Support Act (UIFSA), which mandates that all Colorado employers must honor any order that was issued out-of-state. When determining where to send payment, the amount to deduct from the employee’s wages for payment, and the duration of the order, the employer should look to the laws of the issuing state. However, if looking to determine when to being withholding, when to remit withholding, how to define disposable earnings, the withholding limits, how to allocate orders when the employee does not have enough allowable disposable earnings, the administrative fee that may be charged, and the process to follow upon the employee’s termination, the employer should look to the laws of the employee’s work state.

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