Corrina Kramer, 21, recently applied for child support for her
10-month-old baby, Kaeli.
Kaeli has not seen her paternal father since she was 2 months
old and according to her mother, he has only seen her a total of
“I’m only pursuing child support because Kaeli deserves it,”
Corrina said. “And he should show some responsibility.”
Corrina doesn’t think her ex-boyfriend would ever request
visitation rights, but she does think he owes Kaeli some
“I’m 99.9 percent sure he’d never ask for visitation,” she said.
“If he ever asked, I wouldn’t fight it unless the visit was alone,
but I don’t see that happening.”
Still, Corrina will do everything in her power to receive
payments. She’s spoken to a lawyer and filed the initial paperwork
with the Child Support Program of the Department of Human
Corrina said the Child Support Program has lawyers available
when filling out paperwork.
Myrna Maier, child support manager for the Child Support
Program, said there are two ways to go about receiving child
If the person filing for support is on Medicaid, Colorado Works
(formally called welfare) or the child is in foster care, there is
an automatic referral sent to the program. In this situation, Maier
said, the program automatically opens a case, contacting parents
only if more information is needed.
This situation did not apply to Corrina, and she had to request
Maier said the application is $20 and is mailed out to the
parent. When the program gets the papers back, it opens a case and
determines the next action.
If the parent is simply requesting to enforce an already
existing child support order, Maier said it takes less time than it
would to open a brand new case.
In Corrina’s case, this is a long process that has only just
begun, her having opened a new case.
Maier said it is very important that the parent requesting child
support have the other parent’s name, date of birth and Social
Security number. These make the process faster to locate the
Corrina called Kaeli’s father to inform him of her decision to
apply for child support, and she said he refused to give her his
Social Security number. He then moved and refused to tell her where
he was living. She said he also had his local family members
promise not to speak to Corrina or tell her of his whereabouts.
“His mother lives right behind my parents, and she’s never come
over to see me or Kaeli,” Corrina said.
His sister, however, did speak to Corrina and gave her an idea
of where he lived but said she didn’t know the exact address.
In this case, Maier said, she would ask Corrina if she and the
father have ever filed taxes together or filed any papers together
such as loans or housing rental agreements.
Maier also said if the parent in question is being paid
over-the-table by a job, the program could locate them by his/her
Corrina said her ex-boyfriend works for his grandfather and is
According to Maier, if the parent cannot be located, there is
nothing that can be done to obtain child support. This happens in
about 30 percent of the cases.
“There’s some we can’t locate today that we locate tomorrow, so
it’s hard to put an exact percent on it,” Maier said.
Once the parent is located, however, the program sends a notice
informing him or her of the parental responsibility to pay child
support. The papers state a date, time and place to discuss payment
options. This is called a Notice of Financial Responsibility
In Corrina’s case, if the father did not show up for his
appointed time and place, he would become a father by default and
would be given a second notice, a court order. The judge would then
decide what to do about the default.
Brent Olsson, an attorney in Fort Collins, said the amount of
child support given each payment depends on both parents’ incomes
and the number of overnights spent with each parent.
“The child support guidelines have a plateau from zero
overnights to 92,” Olsson said. “Support will be the same for any
of the above cases. It’s only when the child spends over 92
overnights that the amount changes.”
Less child support is demanded of parents who spend 92 to 182
overnights with their child. The primary custody would switch to
the other parent if the overnights exceeded 182.
Corrina said she isn’t concerned with overnights and visitation,
because Kaeli has a father figure. She and her daughter live with
Corrina’s fianc�, who wishes to adopt Kaeli after he and
Corrina are married. She said she feels very lucky to have a father
figure for Kaeli, as some are not so fortunate.
According to Olsson, once Corrina’s fianc� has adopted,
the paternal father no longer is obligated to pay child support.
However, when she marries, Corrina said Kaeli will not be able to
be adopted before June of 2005, a year after they have been
“We have a long road ahead of us,” Corrina said.