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Colorado Legal Group

Denver Child Support Attorneys

How Child Support Works

Colorado parents have the option of reaching a child support agreement on their own or to have it decided by the court. Child support obligations are based on both parents’ incomes, certain expenses that are paid for the benefit of the children, and the number of overnights that each parent enjoys. Child support is designed to assist the receiving party in covering the children’s reasonable needs.

Estimating Colorado Child Support Payments

Colorado uses its own set of child support guidelines to calculate a rough estimate of how much a parent could be expected to contribute toward the support of a child. The child support calculator can be used by the parents to reach agreements on the amount of child support. If the parents want to agree to an alternate amount of child support, they will need to show the court the alternate amount is in the best interests of the children. Parents need to show the alternate amount is for cause because judges want to make sure parents are not waiving/reducing support that is meant to benefit the children.

If you need help navigating child support, contact our family attorneys in Denver, Colorado Springs, and Grand Junction.

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Frequently Asked Questions

How is child support calculated?
The court uses a child support calculator to determine the appropriate amount of child support to be paid by the parties in a case. These calculations include, among other things, each party’s income, the amount of time each parent spends with the child(ren) and who pays other expenses like insurance premiums for the kids.

Is child support mandatory?
The court must always make a determination as it relates to child support, resulting in there always being some amount of support being paid. It is theoretically possible, however, that if the parties had similar incomes, had equal custody of the child and split expenses, that no actual child support payment would be owing.

Can child support orders be changed?
Child support can change as circumstances change. A modification of child support can occur for a variety of reasons: changes in the number of overnights, changes in income, changes in expenses paid for the benefit of the children (daycare/extraordinary expenses). Parents exchanges financial information each year to see if an adjustment needs to be made to the existing order – parents can either agree on a new number or seek court assistance.

How is child support paid?
There are several options for paying child support. One of the most common methods of paying child support is through the Family Support Registry, which is a third party tool that receives payments and then distributes them. Child support can be paid directly to the other parent via check or bank transfer. Child support can also be paid through an income assignment (an automatic deduction from the payor’s paycheck).

How long does child support last?
Child support can be modified as circumstances change (such as changes to parenting time, income, expenses) and it lasts until a child reaches the age of 19 or emancipates. If parents have more than one child, child support can also be modified as each child reaches the age of majority (19).

Will my stimulus check be affected if I owe child support payments? 
The stimulus checks are designed to provide support during the coronavirus pandemic are seen by many taxpayers as much-needed handouts. However, if you’re behind on child support, you may not receive a check at all.

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