What You Need to Know About Colorado Child Support Laws

Child support is important financial support for children and their parents. Here’s everything you need to know about Colorado child support laws.

In Colorado, a court determines child support by various factors, including income, number of children, and health care. Colorado courts consider all these factors when assigning child support to a guardian.

Child Support in Colorado

In Colorado, courts will enforce child support to establish support for a child that can meet their reasonable needs. Child support in Colorado is calculated using both parents’ incomes. Colorado child support guidelines apply to any parent with a legal obligation to support their child.
Colorado courts expect parents to prioritize child support above all other financial obligations.

Related: How to Modify Child Support in Colorado

Calculating Child Support in Colorado

To determine child support amounts in Colorado, courts look at a variety of factors. First, courts consider a guardian’s gross income. Gross income includes income from:

  • Salaries
  • Wages
  • Tips
  • Commissions
  • Payments from independent contracts
  • Dividends
  • Severance pay
  • Retirement benefits
  • Property
  • Trust income
  • Capital gains

If a guardian paying child support in Colorado is voluntarily unemployed, a court will calculate child support by their potential income instead of their gross income. Potential income is determined by analyzing the circumstances of the guardian, their assets, and their employment history.

Colorado courts also consider basic child support obligations when calculating child support. All Colorado courts use the Schedule of Basic Child Support Obligations to gauge these costs. The schedule uses the number of children a guardian must support to determine how much basic child support is necessary.

In Colorado, child support calculation also considers health insurance. Health insurance as a cost of child support includes medical and dental insurance. Colorado courts consider the cost of health insurance premiums when calculating child support.

Extraordinary Expenses in Colorado

Sometimes, Colorado courts consider extraordinary expenses when calculating child support. These expenses include any special or private elementary or secondary schools that meet a child’s specific needs. They also include a child’s transportation costs between their guardians’ homes.

Related: My Child’s Father Wants Custody to Avoid Child Support

Colorado courts may also consider extraordinary medical expenses. These include uninsured expenses that cost more than $250 per child every year.

FAQs About Colorado Child Support Laws

Is child support similar to alimony in Colorado?

In Colorado, child support and alimony are different. Although child support payments may affect alimony payments, the calculation of both costs are separate processes.

Is overtime pay considered part of my income for child support calculation in Colorado?

Colorado courts do not typically consider overtime pay in a guardian’s gross income. The only time courts will consider overtime pay as a part of a guardian’s gross income is when their employer requires it.

What happens if someone doesn’t pay their child support in Colorado?

Colorado courts will enforce child support payments in different ways. In some cases, a Colorado court may suspend a guardian’s driver’s license or passport if they fail to make a full child support payment. In other cases, they may put a freeze on a guardian’s bank account.

How can a lawyer help me with child support in Colorado?

An experienced attorney can work with their client on how much child support they must pay or receive. They can advocate for a client who needs more child support and help their client plan for future changes in child support payments.

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