# How Is Child Support Calculated in Colorado

How Is Child Support Calculated in Colorado?

Child support is a critical aspect of divorce or separation cases involving children. It ensures that both parents contribute financially towards the upbringing and welfare of their children. Each state has its own guidelines and formulas for calculating child support, and Colorado is no exception. This article will explore how child support is calculated in Colorado, as well as answering seven frequently asked questions regarding the topic.

In Colorado, child support is determined using a specific formula outlined in the Colorado Child Support Guidelines. These guidelines take into account various factors including the income of both parents, the number of children involved, and the amount of time each parent spends with the children. The formula is designed to provide a fair and reasonable calculation of child support obligations.

To calculate child support in Colorado, the first step is to determine the gross income of each parent. This includes wages, salaries, bonuses, commissions, pensions, and any other sources of income. Once the gross income is determined, certain deductions are made, such as taxes, health insurance premiums, and mandatory retirement contributions. The remaining income is referred to as the “adjusted gross income.”

The next step is to determine each parent’s share of the adjusted gross income. This is done by calculating the percentage of each parent’s income in relation to the combined income of both parents. For example, if one parent earns \$60,000 per year and the other parent earns \$40,000 per year, the total combined income is \$100,000. The first parent’s share would be 60% (\$60,000 ÷ \$100,000) and the second parent’s share would be 40%.

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Once the shares of adjusted gross income are determined, the child support obligation is calculated using the Colorado Child Support Worksheet, which takes into account the number of children and the amount of parenting time each parent has. The worksheet provides a basic support obligation, which is then adjusted based on several factors, including the cost of health insurance premiums for the children and any extraordinary medical expenses.

It is important to note that the child support calculation in Colorado can be modified if there are additional expenses, such as child care costs or educational expenses. These additional expenses can be divided between the parents based on their respective shares of the adjusted gross income.

Now, let’s address some frequently asked questions about child support in Colorado:

1. How often is child support reviewed and modified?
Child support orders in Colorado are typically reviewed every three years or when there is a significant change in circumstances, such as a substantial increase or decrease in income.

2. Can child support be changed if one parent’s income changes?
Yes, if there is a significant change in either parent’s income, child support can be modified. However, it is important to seek a formal modification from the court rather than making informal agreements with the other parent.

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3. What happens if a parent fails to pay child support?
If a parent fails to pay child support, the receiving parent can seek enforcement through various means, such as wage garnishment, intercepting tax refunds, suspending licenses, or filing contempt of court charges.

4. Can child support be paid directly to the child?
No, child support payments should be made to the Colorado Family Support Registry, which then distributes the funds to the receiving parent.

5. Can child support be modified if the parenting time changes?
Yes, if there is a significant change in the amount of time each parent spends with the children, it can affect the child support calculation. A modification may be necessary in such cases.

6. Are both parents responsible for providing health insurance for the children?
Yes, both parents are responsible for providing health insurance for the children. The cost of health insurance premiums is factored into the child support calculation.

7. Can child support be terminated if the child turns 18?
Child support in Colorado typically continues until the child turns 19 or graduates from high school, whichever occurs first. However, there may be exceptions for children with special needs.

In conclusion, child support in Colorado is calculated using a formula that takes into account the income of both parents, the number of children, and the amount of time each parent spends with the children. The guidelines aim to provide a fair and reasonable calculation of child support obligations. It is essential for both parents to understand the guidelines and their rights and responsibilities when it comes to child support. Seeking legal advice is always recommended to ensure a clear understanding of the process and to protect the best interests of the children involved.

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