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How Is Child Support Determined in Colorado?

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Category: Child Support

How Is Child Support Determined in Colorado

Divorce proceedings and becoming a single parent are extremely stressful situations. You might be asking yourself, “How can I properly provide for my child? How can I properly provide for myself?”


As you plan for the future, you need to have a clear idea of how much income you are going to receive so that you can set a proper budget. One of the biggest areas of confusion and worry? Child support payments. Colorado makes its best effort to help each parent provide appropriately for his or her child with a fair amount in child support payment.


But what is fair? How is child support determined in Colorado?


Use the State’s Guideline Worksheets


For a judge to make his or her decision, you need to file physical documents that include your financial status and habitual expenses. You and your child’s other parent need to fill out the state-issued guideline worksheets. The latest version of the worksheets, as well as most updated guidelines, came into effect in 2014. There are different worksheets with different requirements based on your custody ruling.


Proof of income and expenses will need to be presented to a judge in court. The basic necessities for your child include food, housing, clothing, childcare, and education. Be sure to have proof of your contributions ready for a judge to read.


That being said, in certain situations a parent does not need to present his or her income, and it will not be considered in child support rulings. If you are currently enrolled in higher education with the goal of obtaining a higher-paying job, have a mental or physical handicap, or you are caring for a child under the age of 30 months full-time, your income will not be considered in the final ruling.


Estimate with Child Support Calculators


A quick Google search will show you numerous child support calculators to help you predict how much a judge will award. While these resources can give you a general idea of the final number, it’s not guaranteed that you will get the amount that shows up on the calculator.


Denver Child Support Lawyer


How do they work? These calculators look at the major determining factors a judge uses to make a decision about child support. Consider the following information:


  • Number of children benefiting from child support
  • Gross monthly incomes of each parent
  • Current alimony/child support payments due to previous marriage(s)
  • Monthly costs of daycare paid by each parent
  • Monthly costs of health insurance paid by each parent
  • Costs of transportation between each parent’s residence


Ultimately, child support is left up to a judge. Colorado state law keeps the wellbeing of a child as their first priority in any ruling. The following factors may not show up on an Internet calculator, but will be heard and examined:


  • Emotional wellbeing of the child
  • The child’s connection to either parent
  • The living situation of the child previous to divorce
  • The child’s educational, physical, and emotional needs
  • Cases of domestic or child abuse

Changes in Child Support


If a ruling is made and you realize down the line that you cannot properly provide for your child, you can request that the court modify your child support payments. Keep in mind that child support guidelines changed in 2014 – if you want to make a change to a ruling made prior to 2014, you may still have to follow the old guidelines.


Obtaining proper child support is crucial to raising and caring for your child, and proceedings don’t always go as planned. If you need the help of a professional to make sure your child receives the support he or she requires, contact an experienced Colorado child support attorney today.


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.