An overview of what is considered in Colorado's child support guidelines, as well as insight into what judges consider during hearings on child support.
Child Support: What Is It?
Working through the financial aspects of a divorce or separation can be a difficult experience, especially when children are involved. Child support is frequently a point of contention during negotiations and, therefore, it is important to remember that the Court views child support as the right of the child or children. While it can be emotional to pay or receive payment to or from the other parent, Colorado law requires that the court determine the appropriate amount of child support to be paid in every case involving children. Consequently, whether the parents feel that child support is necessary or not, child support is going to be an important part of your family law case.
Current Colorado Law
Currently, Colorado law outlines a formula that the court uses to calculate the appropriate amount of child support to be paid. However, how each party's income or potential income is determined, as well as a number of other factors that are taken into account with the calculation, can be legally complex and you may benefit from the advice of a seasoned family law attorney. Additionally, with the recent changes in federal law, determining the appropriate amount of child support that should be paid in any given case may get significantly more complex. An experienced and informed family law attorney will be able to help you navigate the intricacies of child support calculations.
How Child Support is Determined in Colorado
Right now, the primary factors considered by Colorado courts when determining child support are the gross income or potential gross income of each parent and the number of overnights each parent has with their child. Yet due to the latest tax reforms, the formulas, as well as how child support is determined, are likely to change in the near future.
Additional factors Colorado considers when calculating child support include:
1) The cost of work or education-related childcare;
2) The cost of the child's health insurance;
3) Whether either parent has any non-joint children;
4) Child support payments made or received by either parent for other children;
5) Additional spousal support payments made or received by either parent;
6) The number of children the parties have together;
7) Extraordinary medical expenses for the child;
8) Other extraordinary expenses; and,
9) The income of any children in the home.
Just like income or potential income, each of these additional factors are subject to many different legal arguments. Further, if the issue of child support is litigated in court, both parties will be required to present evidence and these legal arguments to the judge. If you have a child support issue in your case, you may want to consider speaking with an experienced family law attorney.
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