Divorce is a trying time for all parties involved. On top of the financial and emotional burden, clients in a divorce or custody battle also need to come to an agreement regarding final compensation to aid with the expenses of their child. It’s best to work with experienced Colorado child support lawyers to ensure that your child gets maximum support from both sides.
What Is Child Support and Why Is It Necessary?
Children require not only love and attention to become well-rounded adults but also financial resources to support their health, education, and passions. It is the parents’ responsibility to provide everything that their child or children need, and to create a safe and nurturing environment as they grow up.
Let’s not sugarcoat it—not all marriages lead to happily ever after. When parents separate, their child or children must continue to receive care despite one parent not being physically present most of the time. Child support is the financial payment given by a noncustodial parent to a custodial parent to aid in the upbringing of the child.
Under Colorado law, both legal parents are obligated to support their children—regardless if one does not have physical or legal custody. Child support only stops when the child turns 19, is emancipated or the parental relationship is terminated. The amount to be paid is determined by the court, adopted from child support guidelines. Parents have the option of coming up with an agreement on their own or to take the matter to court.
However, deciding on child support is not straightforward and easily computable. Many other legalities exist, including child-related expenses, mode of payment, and implementation.
Why Should You Hire a Child Support Lawyer?
The division of responsibility and finances related to raising a child of divorced parents can be complicated and stressful. It may bring up feelings of resentment and blame, escalating into heated arguments that no child should have to go through. The divorce is already a traumatic experience in itself.
The Colorado child support lawyers of Lewis & Matthews, P.C. work with your best interests in mind. We strive to make the entire process manageable for your family so that you can start healing and rebuilding your lives as soon as possible. Our job is not only to simplify the laws surrounding parental rights but also to help you adjust to this life-changing transition, ensuring that your child’s well-being remains the priority.
How Is Child Support Determined?
Colorado has statutory guidelines in determining child support. Often parents use a child support calculator to reach their own agreements on the amount. However, this is not always necessarily accurate. Since there are many factors to take into consideration when computing child support, it’s advisable to hire an attorney and take the matter to court for a fairer agreement. This way, both parties get the best figures accordingly.
Child support is meant to cover basic needs, including:
- Medical Expenses
The amount is based on each parent’s income, time spent with the child, and expenses for reasonable day-to-day necessities. Optional expenses can also be discussed, such as money for extracurricular activities and leisure. In most cases, the noncustodial parent is responsible for paying child support.
FAQs About Colorado Child Support
How Do I Modify Child Support?
Child support orders are modified if parental incomes have decreased or increased significantly to warrant at least a 10% adjustment in the original amount. However, added expenses such as a new house or car does not qualify for a modification. A modification can also be requested if a parent is planning on adding health insurance to the child support order.
What If There Are Missed Payments?
Colorado requires noncustodial parents to fulfill child support payments. Unfortunately, some parents consistently make late or incomplete payments. Others may avoid paying at all. If this happens to you, you have a right to legal action. We can help you enforce your orders. You deserve to receive the appropriate amount as indicated by law.
How Can I Collect Unpaid Child Support?
Get in touch with your local Child Support Enforcement Unit to request assistance in collecting child support owed to you.
What Happens If I Don’t Meet My Child Support Obligations?
Colorado law states that a parent who fails to pay child support may:
- Lose the right to request for an accounting of child support payments
- Lose tax exemption for the child
- Forfeit a driver’s license, income tax refund, or business license
- Be fined or jailed
However, a custodial parent cannot deny parenting time to the noncustodial parent because of late or missing child support.
Navigating Child Support Laws With Ease
Couples going through divorce already have so much on their plate. During such a difficult ordeal, child support laws can be quite the extra headache for those unfamiliar with the legal system. The child support attorneys of Lewis & Matthews, P.C. are here to guide you toward the best course of action and help you reach a fair arrangement. The welfare of your child is of utmost importance, so let’s make haste in arriving at a peaceful and amenable conclusion.
Contact us at (303) 329-3802 to schedule a private consultation at our office in Denver. You may also fill out the inquiry form for further questions or concerns.