Child Support

Colorado Child Support

Let’s face it, raising kids is expensive! Outside of the amount you may pay or receive for child support, there are other costs that are associated with raising your child, for example school fees, activities, health insurance, and on and on.  It is normal to want to ensure the amount you are paying or receiving for child support is the correct amount.

Child support is for the benefit of the child.  It is intended to keep the child in the same position as if the family was intact.  In Colorado there is a presumptive amount of child support that is calculated based on the number of overnights each party has with the child, each parent’s gross income and some child related expenses, such as health insurance and daycare expenses.  A very common issue in calculating child support is determining a party’s “gross income”.  Gross income can be tricky when it comes to unconventional income, such as small business income or overtime income.

There may be other expenses that you may have to share with the other parent outside of a child support award.  Generally the child support payment does not include extra-curricular activities, medical expenses, and school fees.  These may be paid jointly by both parents in proportion to their incomes.

Generally the child support payment does not include all expenses for the children. Some expense including extra-curricular activities, medical expenses, and school fees are paid jointly by both parents in proportion to their incomes.

Child support is always modifiable in the future because incomes and expenses change.  This can be an increase in child support or a decrease in child support.    To qualify for a modification there must be at least a 10% change in the support amount.  There is no time limit on when a party can file a modification, you just need to prove a substantial (more than 10%) and continual change in either yours or the other parents gross income.

Note- the courts do not consider income from live-in partners or subsequent spouses, even though they may be contributing to the household expenses.

Unfortunately, you cannot control how the other party spends any child support amount.  Meaning you cannot condition the funds to go to pay for clothes or other necessities a child may need.

We have experience in assisting clients with the follow family law issues:

  • Determining “gross income” when one party earns a substantial amount from over-time
  • Determining self-employed income, separating the real from the hidden
  • Methods employed to find hidden income sources

One consideration that may help you decide if you need legal assistance for a child support issue is the amount to gain less than the cost of litigation.  One mistake people have made is spending more on litigation then would be gained if successful.  It is always recommended to consider a cost-benefit.  The amount you spend to defend or bring a modification should be less than the amount you would save in payments or receive in payments.

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