What You Need to Know About Modifying Child Support in Colorado
There are many reasons for a parent to request a child support modification. Here’s everything you need to know about modifying child support in Colorado.
In Colorado, either parent can request child support modification for various reasons. A Colorado court examines all available financial evidence to calculate the new payment amount.
Reasons For Modifying Child Support in Colorado
Colorado strives to calculate child support payments to ensure that each parent is paying their fair share and the child receives proper care. As a result, Colorado recognizes several reasons for modifying child support:
- The child has left home and is no longer living with the person who receives the payments
- One or both of the parent’s income changes
- The cost of raising the child changes (i.e., different health care costs, different day-care expenses)
- The number of overnight visits the child has with the other parent changes
- Three years passed since the last child support review
A Colorado parent can request a child support modification for any of these reasons.
How to Modify Child Support in Colorado
A Colorado court will only consider a child support modification request if there has been a “substantial and continuing change in circumstances” or three years have passed since the last review. A substantial change is a 10% increase or decrease in monthly child support payments.
A parent in Colorado can use this calculator to determine if their child support payment is eligible for modification. If it is, the parent can file for a support modification.
The request for modification process looks slightly different depending on whether the two parents agree on a modification amount. If they agree on a change, a parent must fill out the following forms and file them with the court that issued the child support order:
- Stipulation Regarding Child Support Modification (JDF 1404)
- Sworn Financial Statement (JDF 1111)
- Child Support Worksheet
- Complete a Certificate of Service (JDF 1313)
- (if required) Proposed Orders for Child Support (JDF 1405 & 1117)
In addition, the parent must mail a copy of each filed document to all parties, including the County Office of Child Support Services, if they are involved in the case.
Along with filing the forms, a parent must pay a $105 filing fee. Within 49 days of filing, the court will either reject or accept the motion for a child support modification. However, it can take up to six months to review and change an order.
Termination of Child Support in Colorado
In Colorado, child support typically ends when the child turns 19 or emancipates (leaves home). However, there are some exceptions. If one child turns 19, but another child is still young enough for child support, the payments do not terminate automatically. Instead, one parent must submit a request for a child support modification.
If a child becomes self-sufficient, a Colorado court may terminate child support before the child turns 19. Some common examples of self-sufficient children include those who enter the military, marry, or move out of the house.
In addition, a court may order a parent to continue paying child support after the child’s 19th birthday. The court may require continuing child support if the parents agree to it, the child is still in high school, or the child has a mental or physical disability.
FAQs About Colorado Child Support Modification
How long does Colorado child support modification take?
The child support modification process in Colorado typically takes six months to complete.
Which parent can apply for child support modification in Colorado?
Colorado allows either parent to request child support modification. In addition, parents can work together to determine when to request a support modification.
At what age does child support terminate in Colorado?
Child support in Colorado typically terminates when a child emancipates or turns 19. However, there are cases where a Colorado court will terminate child support before a child’s 19th birthday or require a parent to continue paying child support after the child turns 19.