In Colorado, the issue of child support arises in most custody cases or divorce cases with children.
Every child deserves emotional, medical and financial support from both of their parents. Financial commitment by parents, as well as their involvement in their children’s lives, is very important for a child’s well-being.
It’s important that the amount of child support ordered reflects an accurate assessment of the situation and the child’s needs. If you are going to be awarded child support in Colorado you need to know what you will be paying or what you will be receiving. Our goal at Lewis and Matthews P.C. is to make sure that you are dealt with fairly, regardless of which side of the child support equation you are on.
How Child Support Is Determined
The main factors that are part of a child support calculation are:
· Incomes of both parents
· Number of children
· Number of overnights that the children spend with each parent
· Day care costs (if any)
· Health insurance costs for the children
All these factors are then entered into a program which generates the child support obligation per month based on the formula set by law.
While child support can be a function of mathematics, cases where income isn’t easily defined such as trying to establish income for the self-employed, unemployed, or under-employed can be complex. There are other support issues that are important, such as medical expenses, activity expenses and claiming the children for tax purposes.
Child Support Can Be Modified
Even after a child support order has been issued in Colorado either parent can request modification if there has been a substantial and continuing change in circumstances since the last order was entered. The court can modify support orders to reflect a “change” in either parent’s financial position or as certain child expenses change. This change must impact the monthly amount of child support due by 10% or more. Even after a divorce or custody case has ended, until the minor reaches 19, the court retains power over child related financial issues.
If you feel the support being paid is no longer the correct amount, contact the legal team at Lewis and Matthews P.C. Modifications take time and the changed amount only begins on the date you filed the request. It is crucial to act quickly so that your child support payment reflects this change.
Enforcement of Child Support in Colorado
The most successful way to collect child support is by direct withholding from the obligated parent’s paycheck. A child support order can require the employer to withhold the money that is ordered for child support, and send it to the family support registry.
Colorado courts take the failure to pay child support very seriously, and the state offers numerous ways to collect overdue payments from delinquent parents.
When a parent has failed to pay child support, the first step in taking action via the court is typically to file a motion of contempt. Once this motion has been filed, a hearing will be held to determine if the other parent has violated child support orders.
If the court finds the nonpaying parent in contempt, it can order enforcement remedies that include:
· Wage garnishments
· Bank account garnishments
· Property liens, including liens against real estate and motor vehicles
· Jail time
· Interception of federal and/or Colorado State tax returns
If you are a parent needing help getting child support, modifying an existing child support order, or collecting unpaid back child support you’ve come to the right place. Our experienced team at Lewis & Matthews P.C. can help.
Call Lewis & Matthews P.C. at 303.329.3802 or contact us online to schedule a consultation.