Colorado Springs Child Support Lawyer
Colorado Springs, CO Child Support Lawyers Giving Legal Guidance on Parental Financial Obligations
If you’re going through a divorce and have children, one of the most critical family law matters to figure out is child support. You will need to know whether you will be the parent collecting or paying child support and how much the total will be. A Colorado Springs child support lawyer can help you through this process.
When you come to Brighter Day℠ Law for legal assistance, a skilled child support attorney will give you the answers you need during your family law case. We stay current on the most recent Colorado child support guidelines so you have accurate information on child support matters in this area. Contact our law firm for a free consultation.
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What Should You Know About Child Support in Colorado Springs?
Both parents must contribute financially to their child’s upbringing, which is why child support is necessary after divorce. In most cases, the non-custodial parent must pay child support to the custodial parent who takes care of the child most of the time. However, child support payments may be expected even if both parents share parental responsibilities, usually when one parent’s income is higher than the other.
The point of child support is to provide financial support for all expenses related to raising the child. These might include:
- Health insurance costs
- Mortgage or rent
Colorado child support law states that child support payments must continue until the child is 19 years old, not 18 like in some states. There are some exceptions, as payments might continue past age 19 if the child is disabled or stop before age 19 if the child gets married or joins the military. A Colorado Springs child support lawyer will tell you how long to expect child support obligations to continue, so contact our law office to speak to our team.
How Is Child Support Determined?
The family law court in Colorado considers a few factors when calculating child support, with the main one being each parent’s income. A judge will consider these factors before issuing a child support order:
- The financial resources of each parent
- The financial needs of the custodial parent
- The child’s emotional and physical condition
- The standard of living the child would have had if the parents had stayed together
- Any additional expenses the child has, such as medical insurance, daycare expenses, or tuition
It’s usually best for the two parents to work together on an amount that seems fair, as agreeing outside of court can help child support cases progress quickly. However, a judge must approve the amount so it adheres to the court’s child support guideline and is in the child’s best interests. Your Colorado Springs child support attorney will help calculate an amount of financial support that’s fair to the children and divorcing parents. Call our Colorado law office to discuss your case with family law attorneys.
Can You Modify Child Support?
It is possible to modify child support orders in Colorado. After all, financial situations can change over time, so sometimes the paying parent needs to reduce the child support they pay or the other parent needs to increase it. Either way, it’s important to request a child support modification to get a new court order rather than stopping payments without warning.
You must prove one of the following to change the child support order:
- One parent’s financial resources have drastically decreased
- One parent’s expenses have increased, such as after a new baby
- The child’s expenses have increased
- The child no longer lives with the parent seeking child support
- The parenting time schedule has changed
An El Paso County family law attorney can help collect the evidence you need to request a modified amount of child support. Call our Colorado law firm to schedule your free consultation with a family law attorney.
How Can Child Support Lawyers in Colorado Springs, CO Help You?
When you need the help of a Colorado child support lawyer, come to Brighter Day℠ Law. Our attorneys have been practicing law for years in various practice areas centering on common issues after divorce or legal separation. So, if you need legal advice on child support enforcement, spousal maintenance, child custody, or similar issues, we can help.
Our team can assist parents while considering the child’s well-being in every case. No matter what issues you’re having with your ex-spouse, we aim to provide a solution that works for you and your children. If you’re ready to discuss your legal issues with compassionate attorneys, call us at (719) 733-9129 to schedule a free consultation.
Frequently Asked Questions About Child Support Legal Matters in Colorado
The purpose of child support is to cover the basic needs of a child. This encompasses clothes on their back, food, and a roof over their head(s). To be specific, a Court will take into consideration the following child care expenses when ascertaining the amount of support: grooming and clothing, utilities, rent or mortgage, vacations, entertainment, groceries and household expenses, transport costs including gas and insurance, and any other pertinent expenses the child would have gotten if the parents had not broken up. Maintaining the lifestyle of the child, in this case, is key.
Child support is a payment support scheme ordered when spouses are no longer together. It’s in the child’s best interest to get financial support from both his or her parents. It’s also an acceptable public policy requiring parents to support their flesh and blood so that those kids don’t become wards of the state or dependent on state-run support programs or welfare.
Child support may also be mandated in circumstances where one parent doesn’t necessarily have any contact with their child unless S/he has legally given up their parental rights with the consent of both the other party and court.
Each state has its formula for computing a child support order, and presiding judges often use those criteria to determine the amount that is payable in every child support case. The formulas can prove to be complicated, but it’s pretty straightforward estimating the amount of your child support by utilizing free online calculators.
When it comes to estimating child support, the most significant factor is how much the parents are earning. Certain states consider both of the parents’ income, while others take into consideration the non-custodial parent’s income. In the majority of states, the amount of time every parent spends with their children plays a significant factor in the court order.
Many states consider one or more of the following factors when calculating child support:
1. Alimony or child support either spouse gets from a preceding marriage
2. If either party is paying alimony or child support from a prior marriage
3. If either spouse is responsible for any children from a past or subsequent marriage
4. Which party is paying for health insurance coverage and cost
5. Which parent is paying for the costs of daycare
6. If either parent is mandated to pay out union dues or has deductible amounts from paychecks
7. The children’s ages
8. If either parent gets irregular income like incentive pay or bonuses or is expecting a severance package or any other lump-sum payments
9. If either party is currently living with a new partner/spouse who is contributing to household expenses
The majority of courts consider child support to be more important compared to alimony. They compute child support first and then review the remainder for settling alimony. Note that states define ‘income’ a little differently – some use net income, gross income, and some include bonuses, overtime, and gifts while other states do not. In case a parent has a considerable investment source, it may be considered as income for the reasons for computing child support.
In the event, a parent fails to pay child support or misses to meet the deadline for payment, a private party or the state has grounds to file for enforcement action. A qualified Colorado Springs Child Support Lawyer at Brighter Day℠ Law fully understands the intricacies that go with enforcement and contempt actions and can assist you in navigating the situation, whether you are seeking judgment or have been served up with one.
39 states, which also include Colorado, utilize the income share model when calculating child support payments. The foundation of this model is ensuring that the children get the same amount of parental income they would have otherwise gotten if the parents had stayed together. Before the divorce, parents pool their revenues together and plan the expenditure for the benefit of the household. Therefore, to compute child support, the courts use the same approach:
1. Establish the income and financial resources of both parents and sum them up to one amount.
2. Establish child support responsibilities based on a statutory table or schedule.
3. Establish a presumptive child support mandate by adding expenses like childcare or extraordinary medical costs.
4. Distribute the presumptive child support responsibilities among both parents based on their combined income percentage.
For instance, let’s say the custodial parent is making $1,000 monthly, and the non-custodial earns $2,000 every month. The first thing would be to combine both their incomes to get a total of $3,000 per month. The court would then compute every parent’s percentage of their total income by dividing their separate income amounts by the total sum. In this case, the custodial parent would be 33.33% i.e., ($1000/$3000), and the non-custodial percentage would be 66.66% ($2000/$3000).
So if the statutory table establishes the standard obligation at $500 every month, and then $50 added for childcare costs, then the hypothetical child support obligation would rise to $550. The courts multiply the percentage of the non-custodial parent (66.66%) by the theoretical child support obligation ($550) to get the final child support obligation for the month. In this particular example, the non-custodial parent will pay $366.63 for child support per month for the agreement period.
Unlike other states that allow parents to cut off their kids when they turn 18 years old, Colorado mandates parents to support their children financially until they reach 19 years. This also encompasses providing the child’s health insurance. But if the child is emancipated via marriage or enrolling in the military, then the parent is not required to make any payment. A child may also be self-sustained, which should legally terminate the obligation of child support.
In case the child has a disability, then parents may be required to provide financial support for an extended period. Consulting a Colorado child custody attorney on how best to deal with a special needs child is best.
Although child support settlements usually go together with the divorce process, it’s not always the situation. Both of the parents are responsible for the emotional and financial well-being of children until they reach 19 years of age. This fact stands regardless if the parents are married or not.
Generally, the non-custodial parent must:
1. Make payments dependent on income and standard of living
2. Provide insurance
3. Make child care support payment