House Bill 16-1165 Regarding Child Support To Go Into Effect January 1, 2017

House Bill 16-1165 will usher in some changes to Colorado’s child support statutes, C.R.S. §14-10-115 and C.R.S. §14-10-122 effective January 1, 2017.

The bill expands child support enforcement agencies’ ability to lien and attach assets to collect past due child support.  Specifically, C.R.S. §14-10-122(1.5)(c) and C.R.S. §26-13-122 permit child support enforcement agencies to issue a notice of administrative lien and attach any insurance claim payments, awards, or settlements due to an obligor who is responsible for past due child support. 

H.B. 16-1165 also expands the enumerated factors a Court can consider in determining whether a deviation from the child support guidelines is appropriate.  Effective January 1, 2017, the court can consider whether one parent spends substantially more time with a child than is reflected by a straight calculation of overnights, in determining whether the application of the child support guidelines would be inequitable, unjust or inappropriate. 

Changes to C.R.S. §14-10-115(14) will require parties to exchange information relevant to child support calculations at least once per year, for the purpose of updating and modifying child support, unless the Court orders otherwise.  The change to this section makes an annual exchange of financial information to review child support orders information mandatory, absent an order of the Court.

One other substantive change that will be effective January 1, 2017 relates to retroactive child support.  Specifically, the court’s ability to retroactively modify child support, based on a mutually agreed upon change of physical custody, will be limited to five years prior to the filing of a motion to modify child support.  The court does retain the power to disregard the five year prohibition on retroactive child support if the court finds that doing so would be inequitable, unjust or inappropriate.

Submitted by:  Tucker M. Katz