Q: Will Child Support enforcement stop enforcing a CS Order, if both parents agree in writing? This is in Colorado.
Two Children, one has aged out already, the other is turning 18 in August of 2023. He will graduate HS in April of 2023. Both parents agree to stop enforcement of the CS. Will Child Support Enforcement honor this if we both write a letter to Child Support Enforcement?
A: You would have to petition the court to emancipate the child who is your her than 19.
This is not a simple or straight forward question to answer. There are layers here.
If both parties request for child support services to stop enforcement, they will generally finish anything that is already pending before the court before stopping. They will not reverse any enforcement actions like suspended licenses until they have a court order specifically addressing it or proof that child support has been paid and the paying parent is in compliance. They will generally stop taking any new enforcement action after being asked to stop.
Also, as indicated by Attorney Janko's answer, the fact that child support services stops taking enforcement action does not mean that the child support stops accruing. That debt continues to sit there and grow and can later be enforced. All it takes is a request from the party who was to be receiving child support (or in some cases the child themself), and a showing that no child support has been received. The fact that the two of you entered into agreement is not going to have any impact at all upon the paying party owing all of the unpaid child support together with interest. Until that agreement is adopted by the court and made part of an order, it is completely irrelevant. This is true even if it is signed by both parties and notarized. If it has not been made part of a court order, it is as useful as junk mail.
If you have both agreed to change the child support situation from this point forward, then it would be best to file a stipulation with the court and ask the court to approve it. You can stipulate to modifying the child support (if financially appropriate) based upon one child having emancipated, and you can stipulate to an end date for child support for your younger child, if you can show the court there is good reason to treat that child as emancipated. For example, you can specify that on that child's 18th birthday, child support should end, and reference the fact that the child will have already graduated from high school and indicate what the child is doing next (college, work, trade school, etc.).
The court will have to approve any such agreement and make appropriate findings. The judge will be looking closely to be sure that your child isn't getting the short end of the financial stick in your agreement. The judge can refuse to accept your agreement if the judge feels that it is not in your child's best interests.
If you wish to file such an agreement, you should obtain the services of an experienced family law attorney who can discuss this situation in greater detail and help you craft an agreement that has the best chance of being approved by the court. There is never any guarantee that the court will approve an agreement, but an experienced attorney can help you increase the odds.
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