Child Support Attorney in Denver, Colorado
Lawyer Helping Parents Establish Child Support Orders in Golden, Weld County, and Douglas County
Of the various issues that must be addressed and resolved when parents separate or divorce, matters related to a couple's children are among the most important. In addition to making decisions about how they will share custody of their children, parents will need to address their children's financial needs. Divorced or separated parents must support their children financially, and they will want to make sure their obligations are calculated correctly based on the income they earn and the guidelines provided in Colorado law.
When addressing child support, parents will want to work with an attorney who has experience dealing with these matters. Pesch Law Office PC provides clients with legal help and representation, and we will make sure all legal and financial aspects of your case are considered properly when calculating child support. We will make sure your children will receive the support they need while also ensuring that you will be able to meet your own financial needs.
Colorado Child Support Guidelines
Child support is meant to ensure that children of divorced or separated parents receive financial support similar to what parents would have spent to care for their children if they were still married or living together. Child support is based on the gross income earned by both parents. All sources of income earned by parents should be considered, including salaries, hourly wages, overtime required by employers, commissions, bonuses, dividends, royalties, interest, capital gains, retirement benefits and income from a pension, annuities, re-occurring income from trusts, Social Security benefits, workers' compensation benefits, spousal support received, and income earned from a business. If a parent is paying child support for children from a previous relationship, their gross income may be adjusted by deducting the amount of these payments.
Child support is calculated using a "schedule of basic child support obligations" defined in Colorado law. This schedule lists the amount of support for parents' combined adjusted gross income and the number of children they share. The obligation will be divided proportionally between the parents based on their respective incomes. The guideline amount of child support is calculated based on the standard tables. That amount is then allocated between the parents based on their respective gross incomes. For example, the parent who earns 60% of the couple's total gross income would be responsible for 60% of the total guideline amount, and the other parent would be responsible for 40% of the same.
The second factor in determining guideline child support is the number of overnights the children will spend with each parent. If children live primarily with one parent, the other parent will usually make child support payments to the primary parent. This calculation is made pursuant to Worksheet A. If the parenting plan includes overnights with one parent for 273 nights or more, that parent is considered the primary parent, and Worksheet A is used to calculate child support.
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If the parents divide the 365 overnights per year equally, then child support is calculated pursuant to Worksheet B. The exact number of overnights each parent receives according to their Parenting Plan Agreement or Court Order is the number used on Worksheet B.
The parent receiving child support will be presumed to directly spend their child support money on their children. However, the receiving parent is not mandated to account for said expenditures. Spending money on a child to provide housing (rent or mortgage) is included in this presumption.
In addition to the basic child support obligation calculated using these guidelines, parents will usually also be required to share other expenses for their children, including those related to childcare, medical treatment, and extra-curricular activities. While Colorado law does not require divorced parents to pay for children's college expenses, a couple may agree to address these costs in their divorce settlement. In high net worth divorce cases, additional factors may need to be considered, and child support obligations may be determined on a case-by-case basis depending on children's needs and parents' financial resources. The Court has the discretion to deviate from the guideline calculations described above if the circumstances of an individual case warrant a different amount, higher or lower.
Contact Our Lawyer About Setting Child Support for Your Case in Columbine and Surrounding Areas
By working with an experienced attorney during your divorce, you can make sure your children will have the support they need while also protecting your own rights and financial interests. At Pesch Law Office PC, we can address any concerns you may have about child support and help you negotiate a satisfactory divorce settlement. Contact our office to arrange a consultation today. We help divorcing and unmarried parents address child support and related issues in Golden, Jefferson County, Boulder County, Broomfield County, Arapahoe County, Denver, Littleton, Douglas County, Boulder, Weld County, Highlands Ranch, Columbine, and the surrounding Denver metro area.