Colorado Child Support Changes for Weekly and Bi-weekly Payers, the End of “Annualizing” Payments

Sometime this month, the Colorado Division of Child Support Enforcement hopes to begin issuing income withholding orders that display an additional amount in the “other” field on the “Order Information” section of the order. This amount will be included in the calculation of the “weekly” and “bi-weekly” payment amounts in the “Amounts to Withhold” section of the order. The “monthly” and “semimonthly” fields will not be affected. This change only applies to income withholding orders issued by the Colorado Division of Child Support Enforcement.

The “other” amount is being added to ensure compliance with federal and Colorado law requiring the full monthly support amount to be withheld during the month in which it is due. Employers who pay weekly or biweekly have long dealt with the dilemma of what to withhold from the “extra” checks occurring during the year. In the past, employers have dealt with this by either skipping the withholding from those checks or spreading out the withholding over the year through a process called “annualizing.” Annualizing meant that employers multiplied the monthly amount by 12 and then divided that number by the number of pay dates in the year. This resulted in employers paying less than the monthly amount some months, and more than the monthly amount in other months. But, over the entire year, the full amount of support was withheld. 

Going forward, employers will withhold from every check—even “extra” checks. And the addition of the “other” amount will ensure that the monthly amount is reached each month. No additional action is required of these employers.

Withholding the same amount from each check should make things easier for employers, but will result in overpayments for employees during months with “extra” checks. The Division will promptly refund any overage to the employee, unless there is an arrears balance, in which case, it will be applied to that balance.  

Employers may contact the Family Support Registry with questions and for assistance 303-297-2849 or or Mike Erickson at 303-866-5178 or Employees may contact Colorado Division of Child Support Enforcement at 303-866-4300.