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Establishing Support

Once paternity is established and the noncustodial parent is located, the local county Child Support Enforcement (CSE) Unit works with both parents to establish a child support order, if none exists. If the child is in foster care, a fee may be charged to the mother, the father, or either parent.

Establishing a child support order is a legal process that results in an order that sets a monthly amount of money to be paid by the noncustodial parent for the support of the child or by both parents if the child is in foster care.

A parent must be given proper legal notice before child support and paternity can be determined. If a parent does not respond within the required time period, an order for support may be entered. This is called a "default order." It is legally valid and enforceable.

The child support or parental fee order is based on Colorado child support guidelines. The guidelines consider factors such as the needs of the children and the finances of both parents. These guidelines are available through the Colorado Judicial Department website.