Child Support in Colorado
Legal Guidance from Top Child Support Attorneys
Jorgensen, Brownell & Pepin, P.C. has decades of experience handling family law cases involving child support orders. From the straightforward to the overtly complex, our team has seen it all, securing a long record of success case results for our clients all the while. When you need to settle a child support matter and want it done right the first time, you will want to choose us as your legal guides.
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When Child Support is Necessary
When a married couple splits up, both parents still owe their children financial support to cover basic needs, including :
- Medical Expenses
Child support orders issued or approved by the court are used to make certain each parent contributes fairly to those financial needs. Additionally, child support can be used for optional expenses that will enrichen the child’s life, such as extracurricular activities, music lessons, and sports camps.
Child support payment amounts are based on each parent’s income, how much time each parent spends with the child, and what finances are required for reasonable basic necessities for the child. In most but not all cases, the noncustodial parent (the party who doesn’t live with the child) is responsible for paying child support to the custodial parent.
More About Colorado Child Support Guidelines
Child support guidelines follow a specific formula that makes support awards consistent and certain. The method the state uses to calculate child support is based on “income shares,” meaning children are entitled to a portion of the income of each parent because they should be financially supported in the same manner they would have been if their parents were still married or sharing custody.
The following are the factors the court takes into consideration when determining child support:
- Both parents’ gross income
- Standard of living the child would’ve had if the parents stayed married
- How many nights the child spends with each parent
- Child’s significant expenses (e.g. daycare, private school, health insurance, etc.)
- Parenting time travel
- Child’s medical needs
- Finances resources and needs of both parents
The duty to pay child support often ends when the child becomes 19 years of age or until high school graduation—whichever comes later. If a child has special needs that prevent them from becoming self-sufficient or independent, child support may continue past this typical deadline. To make certain your child will be well-off and happy, talk to our team about how to arrange for a fair and effective child support amount.
Q:Do I need to prove the reason for the divorce?
A:You do not need to prove any grounds for divorce in Colorado. The Court will not ask you to describe why you are getting a divorce. The spouse filing for divorce just needs to tell the court that the marriage is “irretrievably broken.” There is no need to prove that there was infidelity, abuse, or gross financial mismanagement in order to get a divorce, though those issues may impact some of the issues to be settled or determined in the divorce case.
Q:How is parenting time split by Colorado family law courts?
A:The court, by default, assumes that a child benefits the most from spending time with each parent and that both parents should be able to participate in decision-making on behalf of the child equally. The Court orders specific parenting plans based on the best interests of the child, and the circumstances of the parties determines the best schedule.
Q:Do mothers get priority in child custody orders?
A:Neither mothers nor fathers have priority in child custody cases. The Court uses the best interests of the child as a guide to make orders concerning the child. The Court prioritizes the child’s needs over the parents’ needs.
Q:What is marital property in a divorce?
A:All assets and debts accumulated while married are presumed to be marital property. There are a few exceptions, including inheritances and gifts. However, even inheritances or gifts can become marital property if they are used in certain ways, such as purchasing a joint asset. During a divorce, the court will to divide all marital property equitably. Equitable distribution is based on what is found to be fair, not necessarily equal.
Q:How is paternity established?
A:Paternity can be established in three ways in Colorado. First, paternity is automatically assigned to the man who is married to a woman when she gives birth unless he denies paternity at the time of birth. Second, paternity can be voluntarily assigned if both parents agree. Last, a court order can assign paternity, such as in a contentious divorce, after a paternity test and analysis of the child’s relationship with each possible father is conducted.
Whether you are interested in establishing or modifying child support payments, Jorgensen, Brownell & Pepin, P.C. is here to help. Your child deserves to live happily, and we know that the right child support order can make that dream a reality. It would be our honor to hear from you, discuss your situation, and get to work on your case before any more time goes by.
Contact us to schedule a consultation today for more information.