Rather frequently, we’ll get a call from a client who has read an article somewhere about what the law “is”. Because of the information they’ve come across, they’ll want to pursue an objective, or they’ll formulate an opinion as to their rights. This is particularly common for issues involving child support. Since this issue comes up rather frequently, we thought we’d highlight some common misconceptions about child support issues in Colorado.
This question seems to come up over and over again. When people are ordered to pay child support, they become frustrated at having to pay their ex for child support. The primary issue with this misconception is regarding the purpose of child support. While yes, your ex may be the person receiving money from you, the payments (in theory) end up going to the benefit of your children.
Let’s face it, raising kids can get expensive–new clothes, toys, outings, entertainment, extracurricular activities, school supplies–the list goes on. So when you’re paying child support to your ex, what you’re really doing is providing a monetary contribution to the costs that come with child rearing. As tough as it may be, just remember that this money is for the benefit of your kids, not a penalty you’re forced to pay to your ex.
Another misconception about child support issues is whether income from overtime counts for purposes of calculating child support obligations. Unfortunately here, the answer is, “maybe”. Depending on the nature of your overtime, this additional income may or may not be included for purposes of child support calculations. The difference here is whether such overtime is mandatory.
For example, if your employment is conditioned upon you working overtime, your overtime hours will be counted. On the other hand, if you’re not required to work overtime as part of your employment, any elective overtime will not necessarily count towards a child support calculation.
A complaint we typically hear from the parent receiving child support is something along the lines of, “My ex does ____ in addition to their job and I want more child support.” Whether additional income received from additional employment will be included is again dependent on the nature of the additional income. If the ex is working two part-time jobs, maybe the income from both jobs will be included. However, if your ex is working 40 hours a week, or is otherwise employed full-time, and they happen to work some odd jobs on the side, the amounts from the additional employees are not likely to be included.
There are common misconceptions that permeate all areas of the law, and this list is by no means intended to be exhaustive of all potential misconceptions. No matter what your basis may be for forming an opinion about your case, there’s a possibility that it may be different in your case. If you have questions or uncertainty about a family law issue, take the time to consult with a qualified family law attorney. At Modern Family Law, we specialize in family law and domestic relations matters. If you have questions about your case, call us today to speak with one of our family law attorneys at no cost.
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