Boulder Child Support

In Colorado, child support is money paid by one parent to the other for the costs associated with raising and caring for their child. A child support order can cover many different financial obligations, including medical care, travel expenses, education costs and health care insurance premiums. In most cases, child support will have to be paid until the child turns 19.

Talk to your Boulder child support lawyer about your specific financial situation as this naturally affects the amount of child support you can expect to receive or pay, and can become even more complicated when there are high incomes involved. It’s important that the child support order be fair and reasonable, given the circumstances, and still provide for the child’s needs.

Child support calculation

The courts in Colorado follow a formula that’s part of the state laws to determine child support. In general, this formula adds the gross incomes of both parents together, sets a basic support amount based on those combined incomes, and then divides the support obligation between parents based on the shared income. If one parent doesn’t work at all or only works part-time, the court can “impute” income for that parent, which is an estimation of that parent’s earning if he or she worked full time. The courts can’t, however, determine a possible income for parents who are full-time students and working on a degree or certificate, parents who are caring for a child under 30 months old or parents who are disabled.

Many factors are taken into account by the court when child support Boulder Colorado is determined, including:

  • The amount of parenting time the child has with each parent
  • Whether a parent is already paying child support for another child or spousal support to a previous spouse
  • Whether either parent has another child in the home
  • How much each parent is currently paying for medical insurance, education or work-related childcare for the child

 

You can work with the other parent and your Boulder child support lawyer to craft a child support order of your own. However, note that if the order strays too far from the guidelines set out in Colorado law, the court may not approve it. Your attorney can help you create an order that stays close enough within the state’s formula and guidelines while still acknowledging your specific financial situation.

 

The Burnham Law Firm can help with your Boulder, CO child support case, contact us today.

 

Equal parenting time may not offset support

In cases where the parenting time is split equally, the parents may assume no support is to be paid, but that is not always the case. If the income of both parents is close, the child support may be negligible, but if there is a disparity, one parent may end up having to pay the other parent even if the child spends half of his or her time in each home. If one parent makes $50,000 per year while the other parent makes $300,000, for example, the disparity in incomes will call for a child support order for the parent making less. The same applies if the incomes of both parents are close but one parent is paying a lot more in child-related costs.

Child support in Boulder, Colorado can be modified

Situations change, and child support orders can be modified if the changes warrant it. When a parental income changes enough that it would result in at least a 10 percent difference in the original child support order amount or a parent is asking that health insurance be added to the order, the court will usually allow a modification. Common reasons for a child support order change include a daycare cost that no longer applies, a permanent and significant change to a parent’s income, and if the child is now living with the other parent. Added expenses, such as new car or house, do not qualify as reasons for a modification, even if the child is going to live in the house or benefit from the car.

About private schools

Generally speaking, you can’t make your spouse pay for private school as Colorado laws are centered on the “norm,” or public schools. When you are sharing joint legal custody with the other parent, each of you has veto power when it comes to major decisions, including education. However, in cases where it may benefit the child and/or one or both parties has vast financial resources, the court may order that the child will attend private school and the cost will split proportionally based on each parent’s income and resources. This, however, may be considered an “extraordinary” cost and could impact the final child support amount, depending on how much the paying parent is spending on the tuition.

Child support is meant to cover the basic expenses and costs of raising a child. Because it is a long-term financial obligation tied to your child’s needs, it’s imperative to have experienced legal representation by your side for your support case. Contact The Burnham Law Firm, our experienced child support attorneys for help with your case.