In any case, involving disputes about parenting time, child support is inevitably one of the issues that will come before the court. Eventually, once all is said and done, in most cases the court will enter a child support order, detailing the obligation that one party owes the other. For whatever reason, as time passes, there may be reasons that might justify modifying child support. We’re here today to review some of the reasons that might lead a person to request a modification and to discuss when such changes are deemed sufficient to change a support order.
Once a child support obligation is entered, it will stay in place until it is modified or otherwise terminated by statute. There are numerous reasons as to why a party may request that the support order is modified. Keep in mind, modifications may occur to either increase or decrease a child support obligation, depending on the circumstances present. However, in Colorado, the major question a court must determine is whether such circumstances are both substantial and continuing. Colorado statutes provide that a circumstance is both substantial and continuing if it results in a 10% change (or greater) to the child support obligation, as suggested by the statutory formula. Therefore, if a change of circumstances will affect the obligation by 10% or more, a party may seek to modify the obligation due under the child support order.
There are essentially a few major components that go into the child support calculation. As a result, a significant change to any one of those components may be sufficient to affect the calculation such that a 10% change or greater would result. While it may be difficult to predict with certainty those factors that may be relevant in your case, the major components often seen in a modification case will involve one (or more) of the following:
A change in income is one of the most frequent reasons for requests to modify a child support order. Whether one parent has received a substantial raise, changed their employment, received a large bonus, or goes back to school, chances are it may affect child support.
Another critical component that goes into the child support calculation is the amount of time each parent has with their children. Frequently, if there is some change in parenting time, you can expect that there is likely to be a request to modify child support as well.
Let’s face it, health care costs can be rather substantial. Sometimes, when a party changes jobs or switches providers, it can have a considerable impact on the price tag of healthcare. As such, the changed basis in coverage may be enough to seek a modification to the child support obligation.
Again, as with healthcare, the cost of daycare or other forms of child care can be astronomical. Chances are that as children develop, the costs of childcare will fluctuate. As a result, these changes in cost might provide an adequate basis to seek a modification to child support.
There are plenty of reasons that might justify a modification to a child support order. If the circumstances are both substantial and continuing, chances are that you may have a good case. If you have questions regarding child support, it’s probably worth taking the time to speak to a family law attorney. Here at Modern Family Law, we practice exclusively in the area of family law. Don’t put it off any longer. Call us today to speak with one of our attorneys at no cost to you.
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