Do I pay child support if my child is in the care of the state?

Divorce Attorney Angela FoyQuestion:

I have joint custody of my daughter and pay child support. Last year, my daughter got in trouble and spent 6 months in jail. Do I still have to pay for that time she was locked up?



You most likely still have to pay child support for that time.  Usually the only reason that a child support obligation would stop is if your daughter’s placement changed so that she primarily lived with you, if she received other benefits on your behalf such as social security, or if she is emancipated, which is usually by age.  Child support is heavily regulated by state statutes, and I do not practice in Colorado, so I can only speak in generalities based on my experience.

However, the change in care may change to whom you owe that support.  The child’s right to support may be assigned to the State.  Most likely, the State would file a motion to modify child support, and you would have notice of the potential change.  Depending on what other circumstances have changed since the last order was entered, the amount of support may also change.  Statutes also govern when this motion must be filed, and whether support may be sought retroactively.  If your daughter has already completed that time, the State may have waved its opportunity.

You should contact a domestic litigation attorney licensed in Colorado to explore your options.  Cordell & Cordell has attorneys that are licensed and located in Colorado, and they would be happy to discuss your case with you.


Angela Foy is an Associate Attorney in the Milwaukee, Wisc., office of Cordell & Cordell where her primary practice is exclusively in the area of domestic relations. Ms. Foy is licensed to practice in the state of Wisconsin, the U.S. District Court, and the Eastern District of Wisconsin. 

 Ms. Foy received her Bachelor’s and Master’s Degrees from the University of Notre Dame. She then continued on to receive her Juris Doctor from Marquette University.

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