Westminster Child Support Attorney

Calculating child support should be easy. Colorado provides guidelines for parents and attorneys to determine how much a parent’s monthly child support obligation should be but relying on these guidelines only works if you know how to account for deviations, adjustments, and extraordinary expenses.

Before plugging any numbers into an online calculator, speak with an experienced Westminster child support attorney at Danielsen Westhoff, PC. We can ensure your child support calculation is error-free and meets Colorado’s statutory requirements. Contact us at (720) 739-1770 to schedule a consultation with a Westminster child support lawyer at Danielsen Westhoff. 

Why Choose Danielsen Westhoff, PC, for Your Child Support Case?

Child support issues can be frustrating and cause tension between parents. A skilled Westminster family law attorney from Danielsen Westhoff, PC, can alleviate much of the stress involved in an initial child support calculation, a yearly review of income information, or a modification of previous child support orders.

Danielsen Westhoff, PC, wants you to be aware of your legal rights and obligations under Colorado’s child support laws. This enables us to fully address your legal concerns and help you navigate the family court system.

We offer compassionate and understanding representation and can structure our services to fit your budget. Schedule an appointment in our Westminster office today by calling (720) 739-1770 or sending Danielsen Westhoff, PC, a message online.

Calculating Child Support in Colorado

Colorado has statutory guidelines to assist the court in setting monthly child support obligations. These guidelines provide for a presumptive amount of support. 

Each parent’s share of that is determined by their proportional incomes. C.R.S. 14-10-115(7)(a)(I).

The guidelines take the following factors into account:

  • The number of children
  • The financial resources of the children
  • The financial resources of each parent
  • The standard of living the children would have enjoyed had the marriage not been dissolved
  • The physical and emotional condition of the children and their educational needs

Colorado’s method of imputing child support to parents is called the Income Shares Model.

The Income Shares Model

There are three primary components in calculating child support under the Income Shares Model. 

These are the following:

  • Each parent’s Adjusted Gross Income
  • The number of overnights each parent spends with the child or children
  • The amount of money each parent spends on child-rearing (healthcare, daycare, and other typical expenses)

Child-rearing expenses also include basic expenses such as food, shelter, and clothing.

Child Care Adjustment

Child care costs due to a parent’s employment, job search, or education is added to the basic child support obligation and divided between the parents in proportion to their adjusted gross incomes. However, any childcare costs must be reasonable and cannot exceed the amount a quality licensed care provider would charge.

Health Care Adjustment

Medical and dental coverage is treated the same as child care. The child or children’s share of any insurance costs is proportionately divided between the parents and added to their basic monthly support obligation.

Extraordinary Expenses

A child may also have extraordinary expenses. These are not covered in the basic child support calculation. 

Extraordinary expenses may be extraordinary medical expenses or extraordinary adjustments. A child’s extraordinary medical expenses are added to the basic child support obligation and divided between the parents in proportion to their adjusted gross incomes.

The court may order the parties to share extraordinary expenses related to education and transportation. A parent who pays approved extraordinary expenses on their own will receive a credit against their obligation for such payments.

Deviations from the Guidelines

The court may deviate from the child support guidelines when using the guidelines produces a child support amount that is “inequitable, unjust, or inappropriate.” A deviation may be appropriate when:

  • The parent or parent(s) have extraordinarily high incomes
  • The parents enjoy a high standard of living
  • A child requires special education or health care

The party requesting a deviation from the child support guidelines is responsible for proving a deviation is reasonable and necessary.

What is Considered High Income for a Child Support Calculation?

The upper limits of the child support guidelines are $30,000 per month of combined parental income. Beyond combined parental incomes of $30,000 per month, the court may set support at $30,000 per month or choose to deviate from the guidelines.

What is Considered Low Income for a Child Support Calculation?

There is a minimum support obligation for parents whose combined incomes are less than $1100 unless both parents have at least 93 overnights. The monthly obligation starts at $50 per month for one child. 

This support obligation may apply to parents who are full-time students or medically unable to work.

Annual Exchange of Information

Parents are required to exchange information about their income, expenses, and financials every year for child support.

Modifying Child Support

A child support modification is permissible when there is a continuing and substantial change in the financial circumstances of a party resulting in an increase or decrease of 10% or more in the presumed amount of child support. Child support can also be modified when there are changes to the allocation of parenting time that alter a parent’s status to or from shared overnights with their co-parent.

Terminating Child Support

Colorado parents who pay support must continue to do so until their child reaches 19 and is emancipated. Some children may not emancipate due to a disability. 

An experienced child support attorney can offer individual case advice in these situations.

Parents with Primary Physical Care of a Child 

A parent with the primary physical care of a child or at least 273 overnights per year has a child support obligation, but they are credited for that obligation while the child resides in their home. It is presumed any obligation the primary parent has will be spent directly on any children in their care.

Child Support for Obligors

Child support must be paid year-round for obligors with less than 93 overnights per year. This includes any time the children stay with the obligor. 

Child support is a fixed monthly amount based on a twelve-month calendar.

Contact an Experienced Westminster Child Support Attorney Today 

So many variables affect a child support calculation. It is understandable how these seemingly simple calculations can become nightmares for both payees and payers.

Have your child support calculated by an experienced family law attorney at Danielsen Westhoff, PC. Our Westminster child support attorneys will walk you through each step of the process to ensure your child gets the support they need while your rights are protected.  

Do not wait to speak with Danielsen Westhoff, PC. Every day you fail to take action could cost you.

Call Danielsen Westhoff, PC, in Westminster at (720) 739-1770, or fill out our online form.