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Understanding child support agreements

Many Colorado parents enter into child support agreements each year. However, the process can seem complicated and confusing for those who are new to the system.

Typically, child support is money paid by the noncustodial parent to the custodial parent. Noncustodial parents can be either the father or the mother, and the same is true for custodial parents. The parents do not have to have ever been married for there to be a child support agreement.

The point of child support is to divide the financial responsibility for raising a child between both parents. To achieve this, the noncustodial parent is typically required to make regular payments to the custodial parent to help pay for the child's needs. The amount of the payments is generally based on state guidelines that take many factors into account. The payments are used to cover a variety of child-rearing expenses, including rent or mortgage payments, the cost of utilities, food and clothing, medical expenses, toys, books, tuition, and school supplies. It is also intended to help cover the costs of extracurricular activities, including sports activities and summer camps.

Parents who need to reach a child support agreement may benefit from working with a family law attorney. The attorney could carefully review a client's situation and negotiate a child support agreement that is in the best interests of the child. If a custodial parent is having difficulty collecting child support payments from a noncustodial parent, an attorney could review the case and recommend the best way to have it enforced.

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