How Child Support Works In Colorado
How child support works in Colorado is governed by state laws and guidelines designed to ensure that children receive financial support from both of their parents, even if the parents are separated or divorced.
Here is an overview of how child support works in Colorado.
Child Support Calculation
How child support works in Colorado, child support is typically calculated using the “Income Shares” model, which takes into account the combined gross incomes of both parents. The idea is to ensure that children receive the same amount of financial support they would have received if the parents lived together. The calculation includes various factors such as the parents’ incomes, parenting time, and certain expenses related to the child’s care, including health insurance and child care costs.
Child Support Guidelines
Colorado has specific child support guidelines that provide a formula for determining the child support obligation. These guidelines are used by the court to establish child support orders, but they can also be used by parents to negotiate child support agreements out of court.
Both parents’ gross incomes are considered when calculating child support. Gross income includes wages, salaries, bonuses, rental income, self-employment income, and other sources of income. Deductions are made for taxes, mandatory retirement contributions, and certain other expenses.
Parenting Time Adjustment
Child support amounts may be adjusted based on the amount of parenting time each parent has with the child. The more time a parent spends with the child, the lower their child support obligation may be.
Health Insurance and Child Care Costs
Child support calculations also take into account the cost of health insurance premiums for the child and any child care expenses that are necessary due to the parents’ work or education.
Deviation from Guidelines
In some cases, a court may deviate from the standard child support guidelines if there are special circumstances that warrant an adjustment. For example, if a child has significant medical expenses or educational needs, a court may deviate from the guidelines.
Child support orders are legally binding, and failure to pay child support can result in enforcement actions, including wage garnishment, suspension of driver’s licenses, and even contempt of court charges.
Child support orders can be modified if there is a substantial change in circumstances, such as a significant change in income or parenting time. Either parent can request a modification through the court.
Understanding how child support works in Colorado is not complex, but you should work with a Colorado Springs divorce attorney or use the Colorado’s child support calculator to determine an accurate child support amount based on your specific circumstances. Additionally, it’s important to understand that child support orders are subject to review and adjustment periodically, and both parents are expected to contribute to the financial well-being of their children.
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