She had moved to modify child support, and paid the court its $105 filing fee. Then she had taken time off work to attend a status conference at which he did not show up. Now he was finally there, but without his W2s and tax forms. She was stumped without the mandatory disclosures. How could she make him fess up she asked? We did get support modified, but it was like pulling teeth slowly, and it took a while.
Just in case you ever need to come back, do I have a deal for you I said! $20 lifetime fee for service, and an agency able to access government records on your income that no private lawyer can see! I was talking about Colorado’s Division of Child Support Services.
For many people, child support is slot-machine law. You put the numbers in and the answer pops out. This is especially true in cases where everyone is an employee, rather than self-employed. It is pointless to mediate the facts when you just need to get them out in the open, quickly and efficiently. If this is your situation, going to child support enforcement for services can be a much better deal than going to court.
There is a new and really neat online resource that helps people learn about child support services without having to absorb the contents of an entire website. It is not a video, but more of a narrated slide presentation with clickable links to things like child support worksheets. It is a clearly stated overview of the child support system for people wanting to explore it on their own. That is why I have included this on a new resources page on this web site.
My frugal mom took the hint. In other families, mediation can help when agreements do need to be made about income for parents who are self employed or under-employed. Mediation is also helpful when a couple has good reason to negotiate and request a deviation from the support guidelines. The alternative to a mediated outcome is going through disclosure and discovery in court.
Professional help with child support is not needed in every case, which is why I include these resources here.