Meetings and Reminders Testing Approaches to Increase Child Support Payments in Colorado

Paul Veldman, Nadine Dechausay, and Abby Durgan
January 2020

A long-standing issue in the child support program is the lag time between order entry and the first child support payment. It can be attributed to the wait in getting income withholding in place. Many parents don’t realize that not paying during this window can build up arrears. The Colorado Division of Child Support Services received a Behavioral Interventions for Child Support Services (BICS) grant to implement an intervention designed to increase the payments on new orders. Colorado established orders both administratively and judicially. Under the intervention, child support specialists met with newly ordered payors one-on-one to review their orders. The meeting was held right after the court hearing or administrative conference. The BICS team helped design materials for the case specialists to use during these meetings. The parents also received payment reminders by a method of their choice for the first three months. The results found that the intervention increased payments on new administrative orders. The results found the intervention reduced payments on judicial orders, but the reduction wasn’t statistically significantly.