Working through a divorce or separation can be among the hardest events
a family can experience, especially when children are involved. Coming
to an agreement on what is in the best interest of children and determining
child support payments can be a central point of contention between divorcing
spouses. While child support is determined on a case by case basis, Colorado
does follow guidelines when determining payments. These guidelines contain
an outline of the basic support which a child must receive and that the
parents are obligated to provide and includes clothes, food, and housing.
However, there are many additional factors which can greatly influence
the court’s decision regarding child support.
How Child Support Is Determined
The most pertinent factors which are considered by the court are the total
gross income of both parents, the type of custody agreement that is granted,
and the time each parent has with their child. The amount of time the
non-custodial parent spends with their children is measured in “overnights”
and Colorado guidelines released January 1, 2014, set a benchmark date
for 92 nights. Typically, the more time, and thus resources, the non-custodial
parent spends with children, the less the total monthly child support
payment will be.
Additional factors Colorado considers when calculating child support include:
- The needs of the child such as daycare, healthcare, and education
- If the non-custodial parent has older children living with them from past
- Additional child support payments of the non-custodial parent
- Additional spousal support payments of the non-custodial parent
- If the custodial parent receives spousal support from past relationships
- How many children spouses have together and the age of each child
These guidelines will be used unless either parent can present a case as
to why payments should be modified. For example, if the non-custodial
parent is unemployed or they do not make sufficient income, they may qualify
for a lowered support payment. On the other hand, if a parent is financially
well-off, they may see increased monthly payments. When legally determining
child support, parents must provide proof of their financial situation
to the court. Each family will have a unique story and the terms of child
support will be different for every case.
Need Legal Help with Child Support? Call (303) 578-3940
If you are experiencing a family law dispute such as determining child
support, the Moodie Law Firm can help you to understand what you can expect
in your case. Our lead Denver family law attorney can meet with you personally
to create a legal plan tailored for your situation. We understand the
emotional hardship created by divorce or separation and can work tirelessly
to see that the interests of your family are protected.
Schedule a confidential consultation with our firm and learn about your legal options.