Noncustodial parents in Colorado and throughout the country may try to use a tactic called voluntary impoverishment to avoid paying child support. This may involve a person failing to hold a job or taking jobs that don’t maximize his or her earning potential. If someone has a formal child support order in place, authorities can take steps to impute the noncustodial parent’s income. This means that he or she will be ordered to pay child support based on a projected annual income.

Indirect evidence may also be used to shed light on a person’s current financial situation. For instance, if someone recently purchased a vehicle, it may be possible to get details regarding the loan obtained to finance the purchase. One of those details could be the annual income that an individual claimed when applying for the loan.

This information could be helpful for custodial parents who are looking to collect child support from exes claiming to be self-employed. Individuals who engage in gig work may have a greater opportunity to incorrectly report or otherwise obscure their true income when filing tax returns. It is worth noting that failing to report income to the IRS is illegal regardless of a person’s intention for doing so. Parents are encouraged to get a formal support order as soon as possible if they don’t have one already.

A failure to pay child support may result in serious consequences for a noncustodial parent. There may be various penalties for not complying with a support order, including jail time or interest added to a balance in arrears. Child support amounts are typically based on a person’s current income. However, they can be adjusted based on factors such as an individual intentionally failing to find work or report all earned income.