Denver Child Support Lawyers
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In Colorado, child support is based on strict guidelines dictated by state laws and statutes. The issue of child support is separate and distinct from the issue of parenting time, and child support payments may not be conditioned upon parenting time.
The first step in determining the child support formula for your case is to establish both parents’ gross monthly income, before taxes and deductions. Next, the formula takes into consideration how much time the children spend with each parent, measured by the number of overnights each parent has with the children. Generally, the parent without primary custody will pay child support to the other. However, if the parent with primary child custody has significantly higher earnings, the parent without primary custody may receive child support. Calculating this formula may sound complicated, but our team of experienced attorneys at Divorce Matters® can help you with any questions surrounding child support you may have.
In addition to child support based on income, parents must also share costs for expenses based in proportion to their income, such as medical insurance, health care, day care, schooling, and extra-curriculum activities. There are also situations that may require deviation from the child support guidelines. Most commonly, these include cases involving high-income earners; the guidelines were not written to address high incomes, so deviation is necessary.
For additional information regarding how child support is calculated, you can check out our blog post “How is Child Support Calculated” or call one of our family law attorneys today.
If you know your financial information and the financial information of the other party, you can approximate how much your monthly child support payments should be by using our Child Support Calculator App.
Question & Answers About Child Support
Q: How much child support will I be ordered to pay or receive?
A: Child support obligations are based primarily on each parent’s current gross income, the amount of work-related day care expenses which are incurred on behalf of the minor children (if any), and the cost for providing health insurance coverage for the children. The court must use a child support worksheet, which calculates the presumed correct amount of child support under Colorado law. The court can order a higher or lower amount than the presumed correct amount under certain circumstances such as when the parties have shared parenting, a child has special needs, or other unusual circumstances.
Q: My children’s mother/father has not paid child support in a while, can I withhold parenting time in Colorado?
A: The simple answer is, NO. As far as the court is concerned, child support and parenting time are two separate issues. If your children’s mother/father fails to pay child support, she/he can be held in contempt of court, or may even be charged with a felony. If you fail to provide the scheduled parenting time, you too can be held in contempt of court. Again, remember that one of the ‘best interest of the child factors’ is: “The willingness and ability of each of the parties to facilitate and encourage a close and continuing parent-child relationship between the child and the other parent or the child and the parents.” If you fail to encourage parenting time with the other parent, it may be used against you at a later date.
Q: Will I be obligated to pay for my children’s college expenses?
A: The court cannot order you to pay for college expenses; however, if you and your spouse agree to have a provision included in the judgment of divorce that requires payment for college, then the court can enforce that promise just like any other contract.
Q: Can I garnish my ex’s wages to obtain past-due child support?
A: In Colorado, you can enter an income assignment or garnishment, with your ex’s employer. Then, the Family Support Registry will monitor and transfer the payments directly to you.
Q: My ex is trying to reduce the amount of child support he/she pays because he/she quit their job. Will the Court reduce the amount of child support he/she was ordered to pay?
A: If the Court finds your ex is voluntarily unemployed or underemployed, the Judge may impute, or assign an income to him/her for purposes of determining the amount of child support to be paid.
Divorce Matters® is a Denver Colorado divorce attorney law firm. We provide information and services including the divorce process through the courts, division of marital property, assets as well as debts and parental rights regarding biological and adopted children.
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