Greetings from Colorado,
I recently received a letter from the State of Colorado division of child support
enforcement which states that they will suspend my driver's license if I don't pony up for
an extravagant monthly payment (nearly $200!) which I simply cannot afford to pay. It
warns of no other penalties, no dire warnings like "bench warrant" or "jail time for
contempt of court," etc., so here's my situation and question:
All three of my children have worked steady full-time jobs and have moved out into their
own apartments, miles away from their mother's residence. The youngest of my three
children reached emancipation age earlier this year, and that was reflected on the monthly
bill that I receive by mail from the child support agency now indicating "$0.00" owed in
child support, but with several thousands of dollars owed in "arrears" which I never
signed up for and was never part of the original court order stipulating that I pay a modest
amount in monthly child support (on account of my poverty and disability) because of
some rule that the Colorado courts must squeeze blood out of a turnip, so to speak, to the
tune of $50 minimum per month, hence the judge made me volunteer to pay that monthly
child support because they couldn't legally garnishee my SSI, and this under the threat of
perpetual jail time for failure to comply (which my court-appointed attorney referred to
as "contempt of court"). So I paid the required minimum monthly payment on time every
month until last month when the child support owed was listed on the bill as zero. I called
the child support agency and the case worker told me that I was no longer paying child
support, but was now expected to pay much larger payments on some imputed "arrears"
that I have no idea where it came from and the case worker refused to explain its origin.
So now that I am no longer paying or obligated to pay child support, is this ten-year old
"arrears" debt aged debt or zombie debt, or if not, is suspending my driver's license the
worst they can do to me? For the past ten years, I've been receiving 100% disability SSI
from the federal government and food stamps from the Colorado state government. I own
nothing, and have had no other source of income since long before getting approved for
SSI. To top things off, my most recent driver's license expired in the 1990s and I haven't
owned or driven a motor vehicle since.
Father of three
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