You should know that Colorado has a free calculator that will determine the guideline amount of child support for you. However, you need to put accurate numbers into the program in order to get the correct amount of child support.
The first number you need to know is the gross monthly income for each parent. It’s fairly easy if both parents are employees and receive paychecks. It’s more difficult if incomes are derived from self-employment, seasonal jobs, or wage earners with tips or variable hours each month. Also included in income are bonuses and commissions, unemployment benefits, social security payments, and any other form of reliable periodic payments. Those types of compensation can be tricky to calculate.
The second number you need for the calculation of child support is the monthly cost of health and dental insurance premiums for the children only.
The third number to include is the monthly cost of work-related child care. This does not include babysitters who you pay to go out for an evening.
The last number to figure out is the number of overnights each parent spends with the child. This is probably the most difficult to figure out for parents. You must include regular week time along with extended vacation days, holidays, and other school release days. You want to look at the whole year and even two years if you alternate holidays, for instance, when one year one parent has more time than the other. If each parent has at least 93 overnights with the child each year, then you use worksheet B for shared physical care. If one parent has 273 or more overnights, then use worksheet A for sole physical care.
You may also include in the calculation monthly extraordinary medical expenses or educational expenses, if any, as those costs are also shared between the parents.
Child support maxes out at a combined monthly income of $30,000.
Without the help of a licensed family law attorney, the experience can become a challenge. Thankfully, though, the qualified team at Perusse Nixon Family Law Attorneys is here to help you with determining the correct amount of child support.
Purpose of Child Support?
Child support laws are put in place to ensure the child or children of a divorced or separated couple are receiving the financial support needed to cover their basic needs. They are also used to uphold the quality of life child(ren) have become accustomed to living throughout their parent’s relationship. Even if a parent is not involved in the child’s life, that will not allow that parent to avoid paying child support.
What Role Does Paternity Play In Child Support Orders?
For unmarried couples who cannot agree on the child’s parentage, paternity must be established before any child support plans can be put into place.
Establishing a child’s paternity can occur in a variety of ways; by taking a voluntary or court-ordered paternity test or signing a recognition of parentage. There are also certain legal presumptions of paternity that will establish a father-child relationship.
How Long Must Child Support Be Paid In Colorado?
In Colorado, child support payments don’t automatically stop when dependents turn 18. Instead, the termination date is based on either their 19th birthday or the month they graduate high school (whichever comes first.)
In situations where a child has a disability that prevents them from being self-sufficient, the courts can insist that the child support payments continue to be paid indefinitely.
The Importance Of Understanding Child Support Payments
For the benefits of your child(ren), it’s critical to have a thorough understanding of the required child support payments that need to be paid.
These payments ensure your child’s health and well-being, along with guaranteeing that all of their medical and educational needs are being met. If you’d like to learn more about how child support payments are calculated in Colorado, it’s essential to speak with an experienced attorney, like Perusse Nixon Family Law Attorneys.
Give our office a call today at (303) 228-2285 to speak with a member of our staff. Or, you can fill out our convenient online form to set up an initial consultation.