January 2023 | 2023 COA 9 (Co. App. 2023)

Pinnacol v. Laughlin (Colorado)

For child support funds to be exempt from garnishment, the account into which they are deposited must comply with the provisions of the Colorado Uniform Transfer to Minors Act. When social security funds are comingled with other money, only the amount of funds that is clearly traceable to social security is exempt from garnishment. The parent in this case was awarded Social Security Disability. His employer had provided temporary disability during the award period and sought reimbursement. When the judgment wasn’t paid, the employer began garnishment proceedings. The parent argued his funds were exempt. The court found most of the garnished funds had been comingled with other funds and couldn’t be traced. The parent appealed. The appellate court upheld the finding. The child support account wasn’t set up as required by the Uniform Transfer to Minors Act, so the funds were not exempt. As for the savings account, the appellate court found the funds couldn’t be properly traced to social security. There was no evidence as to what funds where in the savings account to start.

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