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Frequently Asked Questions

Grandparents Raising Grandchildren - Child Support

Child Support

Are grandparents able to obtain child support?

Grandparents are able to obtain child support from the birth parents based upon the incomes of the birth parents. Child support is always established by a court order. If the grandparent is caring for the grandchild under a power of attorney, a guardianship, or conservatorship order, a separate action for child support must be started. If the grandparent adopts the grandchild, the grandchild becomes a child of the grandparent and the rights and obligations of the grandchild's birth parents are ended. There is no right to child support from the grandchild's parents after an adoption. Grandparents can enforce payment of child support through either a private attorney or through an agency of the State Of Colorado, the Child Support Enforcement Unit in each county.

As a grandparent will I have to pay an application fee for child support services when raising my grandchildren?

Generally you will have to pay an application fee for child support services. This fee is waived for grandparents raising grandchildren who are receiving TANF and/or Medicaid benefits for their grandchildren. Contact your local child support office to confirm their policy.

My grandchild's father pays current child support but their mother does not. May I apply against one parent as opposed to both mother and father?

In Colorado, if a grandparent makes an application for child support both parents must be held accountable for current support. If a current order exists for one parent, it will be attached to the grandparent and another order will be opened with the other parent. This process will occur automatically if the grandparent is receiving TANF and/or Medicaid benefits for their grandchildren.

How long am I able to receive child support payments for a grandchild in my care?

A grandparent may receive current child support until a minor child reaches the age of majority, usually 19 years of age.

Can I apply for child support services without having to come into a local child support office?

Applications for child support are available on at www.childsupport.state.co.us. Once completed applications must be mailed or hand delivered to your local child support office at the address provided. This website also has additional information which may be helpful to you.

What are the benefits for me as the grandparent caring for my grandchildren in filing for child support for my grandchildren against my children?

Although you are the care provider for your grandchildren, the biological parents are still considered the legal parents of the child and therefore assume the rights and responsibilities of parents. One of the parental responsibilities is financially supporting children; therefore it is your right as caretaker to receive financial help from the biological parents in caring for your grandchildren.

Would I still qualify for child support and assistance if I were to adopt my grandchild?

Upon adopting your grandchild, the child's biological parents' parental rights and responsibilities would be terminated. Therefore, you would not be eligible for child support because by adopting the child you will have assumed parental rights and responsibilities, including financial. Upon adopting your grandchild you are still eligible for assistance as long as you meet the requirements.

What is the "Good Cause" process?

The "Good Cause" process is a way for relative caregivers who are required to cooperate with child support because they are receiving TANF and/or Medicaid benefits for their grandchildren to bypass that requirement. The grandparent may claim good cause for non-cooperation at any time during the child support process. The "Good Cause" process is used in cases where the physical or emotional safety of the child or the child's caretaker is thought to be threatened or harmed by the biological parent(s) and is most often implemented in family violence cases. Other processes that will allow you to receive child support and maintain address confidentiality are available, check with your local child support office for information on these programs.

I am a grandparent and the whereabouts of my grandchildren's biological parents is unknown. Are there any services provided that can assist me with determining their location?

Yes, many communities' have services available to grandparents raising grandchildren through their Office of Child Support Services. Most offices ask that you have some background information regarding the parents such as date of birth, social security number, last known address, etc. in order to aid them in the location process.