• calendar26th Jun 23 10:00 pm
  • userJamie

How Is Child Support Calculated?

In Colorado, child support laws are in place to make sure every child receives adequate emotional and financial support from both parents, regardless of their circumstances. That is why the state’s guidelines are made in such a way that a child will receive the same financial support as if they had lived with both parents. However, because these guidelines include several complex factors that can make calculating child support a complicated process, consider contacting the Colorado Divorce Law Group at (720) 593-6442 if you want to learn more about family law issues, including the answer to the common question: How is child support calculated?

Calculating Child Support Payments

The Colorado Child Support Guidelines were created to ensure that an equitable amount of each parent’s resources, as well as income, were given to their children. To achieve this outcome, the guidelines use a formula that is based on what the children’s parents would have spent on their kids if they did not separate. Consequently, these payments will usually hinge on the combined incomes of the children’s parents and the number of children involved. Additional factors that may impact the amount of child support ordered by the court include:

  • Any child income
  • How many overnights each parent has with the child
  • Expenses such as daycare and insurance, and
  • Any other court orders, alimony, or financial support for other children

The parents who tend to pay the highest amount of child support are those who have significant incomes and seldom look after their children. On the other hand, parents who work little and have their children the majority of the time while the other parent is a high earner are more likely to obtain a greater amount of money in child support.

Using the Colorado Child Support Calculator

Due to the multiple complex factors that go into determining child support in Colorado, the Colorado Judicial Branch has provided an official child support calculator that the state uses to help parents create a rough estimate of the amount of child support parents need to pay. However, because the state revises its child support guidelines regularly, if you want to figure out how is child support calculated, consider contacting an experienced Colorado family law attorney at Colorado Divorce Law Group to go over this process in more detail.

Can Child Support Amounts Deviate From Colorado’s Child Support Guidelines?

Although the laws in Colorado presume that the child support amounts determined by the state’s guidelines are appropriate, parents can still ask for a distinct amount if they feel it would work better for their circumstances. However, to establish this new amount, the court would need to determine that using the guidelines would be unjust or inequitable for the parents. In such cases, the judge will typically state the reasoning that led to their conclusion in issuing their decision.

Are There Minimum Amounts When It Comes to Child Support?

According to the guidelines, if a child’s parent has an adjusted gross income (AGI) of $650 or less a month, they will have to pay at least $10 in child support a month. This amount applies, notwithstanding the other parent’s funds or the number of children involved.

Family courts in the state also indicate that $30,000 in combined income per month is the upper limit when it comes to determining child support. However, if the parents make more than that combined, the judge will have the discretion to adjust the support as they see fit.

How To Ask for Child Support

In Colorado, parents usually ask for child support when they file for divorce. Yet, there are other instances where they can request this support. A common example is the circumstance in which a child’s parents were never wed.

Under these circumstances, parents may be able to apply for child support through the Division of Child Support Services (DCSS) in Colorado. Furthermore, this office can also assist parents in collecting support payments if they are not being paid or helping parents to obtain the child support ordered by the court.

Modifying Child Support

Child support arrangements are not set in stone. The family court system in Colorado acknowledges that life is not always predictable. Changes may develop in either parent’s life that can impact their ability to fulfill the terms of an established child support agreement. As a result, the Colorado judicial system provides a system through which a parent can request modifications to their existing child support obligations based on changes in their circumstances. When these changes influence the ability of a parent to meet their child support obligations, parents have a right to file a post-judgment modification to make changes to their support payments.

To get these changes approved, the parent will need to show through detailed evidence that there have been changes in their situation that will be continuous and that the current child support amount is not fair. For these reasons, if you are seeking these changes, consider discussing the matter with a knowledgeable Colorado family law lawyer who can advise you as to how to file your petition and what type of evidence is needed to establish a clear need for the request.

When Can You Ask To Modify Child Support?

Parents are usually allowed to request modifications to child support in the following circumstances:

  • A change in income
  • A job termination or a new job
  • A substantial demotion or promotion
  • A change in the child’s circumstances
  • A change in a child’s medical needs, including dental needs
  • When a child has special education needs
  • When a child becomes emancipated
  • When the number of annual overnights changes

The parent asking for child support changes will also need to provide documentation of this change. If the parent can demonstrate the changes in their circumstances and the impact of those changes on their financial situation persuasively, the court will often grant the requested modifications. On the other hand, if the parent has created the situation themselves, such as by buying a brand-new boat, and as a result, does not have enough money to pay for child support, the court will likely not accept a modification request.

Contact Colorado Divorce Law Group Today for Further Information

For further details on how is child support calculated or information regarding child support modifications, contact Colorado Divorce Law Group today to schedule a free case evaluation. Call us at (720) 593-6442 to speak with a member of our team and find out how we can help you.