We understand how difficult a divorce can be — especially when there is a child involved. You want to protect your child and offer them support, but it is not always that easy. Whether you are looking to create a child support arrangement or you want to modify an existing arrangement, it is important to have all the facts.
At Snodgrass Family Law, we take divorce and child support seriously. We believe in helping our clients in Lakewood, Frisco, Littleton, and the rest of Colorado understand these kinds of arrangements so they can find a path forward. Ultimately, we believe in your rights as individuals and as parents.
If you are hoping to craft a child support arrangement or you want to edit an existing one, understanding how child support works in Colorado is your first step.
Allocation of parental rights, commonly referred to as “child custody,” is an allocation of time the child spends with either parent. It is common for parents to think of the allocation of parental rights as an indicator as to how much either parent will pay toward the child support arrangement, but this is not always the case.
The income of both parents must be taken into account before child support is calculated. It is certainly possible for the parents to create their own arrangements, but if these agreements stray too far from Colorado guidelines, they won’t be approved by the court. It’s imperative to reach out to a family law attorney to help you navigate the legal details.
Courts determine child support for families in Lakewood and the rest of Colorado by taking into account several factors, including:
The gross income of each parent
The financial needs of the child
The financial needs of the parents
The financial resources of the parents
The allocation of parental rights
The emotional well-being of the child
There is also the matter of “imputed income.” This is when the court finds that one of the parents is intentionally remaining unemployed or underemployed. In this situation, the court will require that parent to pay what they should be paying were they employed.
Child support modification is allowed in the state of Colorado. However, certain criteria must be met for a court to allow it.
A parent can request child support modification in either direction: upward or downward. This means that the payment required of them can be either increased or decreased.
There must be a circumstance in the parent’s life, however, that makes the existing agreement unfair to them. For example, if a parent lost their job through no fault of their own, this would constitute a significant change in circumstances. If the change is less than 10% of the agreement, though, the court will rule that there is no change in circumstance.
Termination of child support in Colorado occurs when the child reaches the age of 19. However, this age can be increased to 21 if the child is still a student in high school. Moreover, child support can continue indefinitely if the child is unable to care for themselves financially. Both parents must be aware of this fact.
It is easy to feel completely overwhelmed when it comes to child support, especially with so much on the line. At the end of the day, remember that an effective child support arrangement serves one main purpose: to provide for the child’s well-being.
Knowing exactly how to move forward with child support arrangements in Colorado can be difficult. We understand how much work it takes—physically, emotionally, and financially. That’s why we offer zealous advocacy, committed guidance, and a focus on empowering you and your family at every stage of the legal process. Reach out to Snodgrass Family Law today for a consultation.