Child support in Colorado is financial support paid by one parent to the other in order to cover the basic needs of a child, including food, housing, clothing, and education. There are statutory guidelines that determine how much child support is appropriate for a child. Both parents contribute toward the financial support of the children based upon their proportional share of their combined gross incomes and the number of overnights the children spend with each parent. Childcare and health care premiums are figured separately.
The three components of basic child support, childcare costs, and health insurance premiums are added together to get the total amount of child support owed each month. That figure is multiplied by each parent’s percentage of total gross income. The larger amount is offset by the lesser amount, and the difference is the net child support paid to the parent who keeps the child at his or her residence the majority of the time.
A guideline worksheet is a form used to calculate the amount of child support that is owed. There are two guideline worksheets in Colorado. One is used in cases when both parents have more than 92 overnights with the child. This is known as “Worksheet B, Shared Physical Care.” The second worksheet is used in cases when one parent has 92 or fewer overnights. This is known as “Worksheet A, Sole Physical Care.”
Establishing Paternity for Child Support in Colorado
Before child support is ordered, the court will establish paternity or the fatherhood of the child. If the parents of a child were married at the time of the child’s birth, the court presumes the child belongs to the couple. If a couple was not married at the birth of the child, but the mother and father signed an “Acknowledgment of Paternity,” this acknowledgment will work to establish “paternity” in court.
If the parents of a child were never married, and there was no Acknowledgment of Paternity, there are other options that can be explored with the help of a Colorado child support attorney.
Termination of Child Support in Colorado
Child support payments usually end when a child turns 19 or upon the month following their high school graduation, whichever is later. There is an exception to this rule when a child suffers from a disability that prevents them from becoming independent or self-sufficient.
Child Support Arrearages in Colorado
If a parent stops paying child support, the unpaid amount is called “arrearages.” Arrearages can bring a number of serious consequences upon the delinquent payor. Some of these consequences include tax return interception, driver’s license suspension, bank account liens, and property liens.
Contact Experienced Denver, Colorado, Child Support Attorneys
Although there are mathematical formulas for calculating child support, the process is not as simple as looking at a chart. In order to assure accuracy and fairness, a parent’s income must be properly assessed. When a parent is self-employed or has a business, determining gross, or net income can become a complex task.
Perusse Family Law, PLLC, understands how businesses report income and expenses. That is why we partner with respected forensic accountants to prove the bottom line. To learn more about what our firm offers, contact us today.
Having the right attorney on your side can make all the difference in the outcome of your child support case!