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Child Support

Factors Affecting Child Support in Colorado

Divorce can be a tough process for everyone.  When you have children, your case can be extra complicated and expensive.  If child support is part of your case, this article may help you understand the factors affecting the amount owed.

Physical Care

One factor is the time parents spend with the child(ren). Generally speaking, the more equal time the time is, the lower the child support will be. But, if one parent exercises a more parenting time, the larger the support order is likely to be. Colorado’s statute lay out two different scenarios. The number of overnights with a parent is pivotal.  If the paying spouse has 92 overnights or fewer, the calculation falls under Worksheet “A”.  Worksheet “B” is used when the parent has more than 92 overnight.  The resulting worksheet dictates the amount of support.

Personal Income

Another factor that goes into a child support calculation is the income of the parties.  A parent’s income may be more important than the number of overnights.  Colorado statutes broadly define the term income.  The term “income” for calculating child support, includes a whole list of sources. It’s a pretty safe bet that if you’re making any type of money from any source, it’s going to be included.  Once both parties’ incomes are determined, they’re plugged into a formula.  The formula is a guideline for your support.  

The guidelines are based upon an estimate for how much your family might spend on raising a child if the family were to remain intact.  Colorado looks at the total household income that would be available to raise the child(ren) and divides the responsibility between the parents.

Support Adjustments

Parenting time and income aren’t the only considerations for setting the amount of support.   Other things may also go into the calculation.  Largely, these other factors relate to the daily expenses you might have to pay for the health, education, and wellbeing of the kids.

Child Care 

A lot of parents these days work and need childcare while they’re at the office. Somebody’s got to pay for that and when they do, Colorado gives them credit for that payment.  That parent gets a form of credit for that cost. Since this parent is paying for all of that expense, the other parent’s share gets included in the formula.  paying for daycare can result is a lower order or a higher order, depending on which parent is paying.

Health Insurance 

Much like childcare, is a parent is paying for health insurance, they get credit for that and it impacts support.  Health insurance can get pretty pricey!  It’s reasonable to include the payments for the kid’s portion of this expense when calculating child support. Again, depending on which party pays for insurance, it may result in an upward or downward adjustment to the amount paid or received.

Extraordinary Expenses 

Colorado’s formula also looks at certain extraordinary expenses.   Extraordinary expenses are mostly related to education or health care.  They are not everyday expenses, like lunch money or school tuition.  Rather, these expenses may include therapy, special education, or medical treatment.

Determining Your Child Support

Calculating a guideline child support order can be crucial in your case. If you’re the paying spouse, you may be financially “on the hook” for a long time depending on the age of your child. And if you’re the recipient spouse, raising children can be expensive. In either case, you would probably be wise to consult with a professional who can help you with reaching an appropriate child support amount. Modern Family Law is dedicated to the practice of family law and child support is something we handle every day.  Call us today for a free consultation with our team of attorneys. We can help!

Posted January 27, 2017
by: MFL Team

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