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Can I Modify Child Support Payments in Colorado?

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Category: Family Law | Child Support

Can I Modify Child Support Payments in Colorado

When a judge in Colorado decides on divorce and family law rulings, he or she is making a decision that best suits each party’s financial situation and needs at the current time.


But in a matter of moments, someone’s financial situation can flip on its head. Big changes may prevent a person from paying a certain amount of child support or alimony. But failing to make these payments could have serious consequences.


On the other hand, a recipient of child support payments may need even more money in payments to properly support his or her child in the event of unprecedented expenses. Not receiving that money could have serious consequences on the whole family.


So what can you do when you need to change the amount you pay or receive in child support? Petition to have a judge alter or terminate your child support payments.


Why People Modify or Terminate Child Support Payments


Life tends to have ups and downs. Parents all over the country go through financial and other changes that may necessitate modifications to their child support payments. Some of the reasons Colorado recognizes as appropriate for changing child support include:


  • Loss or change of job
  • Change in financial situation
  • Change in amount of time spent with child
  • Sudden change in child’s expenses (day care or schooling, health insurance, medical expenses)


Colorado will look at the reasons you are claiming, and if they are substantial enough (worthy of increasing or decreasing the amount of child support by 10% or more), then they will officially make a change.


How Is Child Support Modified or Terminated?


Denver Child Support Attorney

If you are currently working with Child Support Services and have a case open, you will have to contact Child Support Enforcement (CSE) with the necessary financial information to prove your case, and your local CSE will determine whether or not a change or termination in child support is appropriate.


If you do not currently have an open case with Child Support Services, you will have to file a petition and fill out forms provided by the Colorado Judicial Branch. You may have to attend a hearing, in which a judge takes another look at your financial situation and all of the factors that contribute to your child support payments. Again, only if the new calculations warrant a substantial change will the judge make an official modification to the child support ruling.


Do I Have to Hire a Lawyer?


If you are trying to modify your child support through the court system, you will either have to hire a lawyer or represent yourself in court. The required forms may include a motion to file the support, documentation of your current financial situation, and other child support worksheets. And then there is the matter of proving to a judge that the changes needed are substantial enough for an official ruling.


For example, if your current child support payments are at $200, and your new situation and expenses call for a child support payment of below $180 or above $220, the changes will be made. Anything between those two payments will be seen as not substantial enough.


If you do not feel comfortable going through these documents and representing yourself in court, we recommend considering a private family attorney to help you through the process of modifying or terminating your child support.


About the Author:


Vernon Ready is an award-winning Colorado lawyer with an in-depth understanding of all areas of family law, estate planning, and personal injury. His energetic and aggressive advocacy approach allow him to successfully navigate complex cases, including high asset divorce and complicated custody issues. During his time at the University of Colorado Law School, Ready won numerous awards for his trial advocacy skills. Since being admitted to practice in 2009, Ready has become well-known throughout Denver and the state for the passionate defense of his clients and his unparalleled understanding of the law.