In Colorado, the issue of child support arises in most custody cases or divorce cases with children. At Plog & Stein, our experienced Denver area family law attorneys recognize that there are multiple aspects to raising a child. Kids need the love of their parents most, but also deserve to be taken care of in a financially appropriate manner. In the Denver metropolitan area, or Colorado as a whole, child support is intended to be truly for the children. With a firm grasp of the law regarding child support, we recognize that each case is different and that complex issues can arise which can affect the bottom line for either party.
At Plog & Stein, we handle all aspects of child support cases, including initial determinations, modifications, collection of past due support, enforcement of child support orders, and dealing with Child Support Enforcement Agencies. You need to know what you will be paying or what you will be receiving. Our goal is to make sure that you are dealt with fairly, regardless of which side of the child support equation you are on.
Child support is an area of family law with many variables and a lot of client questions. People often come to our attorneys with perceptions of what child support should be or how it works, based on talking to friends or family members. Perhaps one of the most black and white areas of family law, child support is generally based on a statutory formula and, therefore, can ultimately be a question of mathematics. At the same time, what goes into that formula is what matters, and where the legal battles usually occur.
Colorado child support is set forth pursuant to statutory section C.R.S. 14-10-115. The primary factors going into a child support calculation are the incomes of each party, the number of children, the number of overnights (if over 93 per year) for the non-custodial parent, day care (if any), and health insurance costs for the children. These factors are all plugged into a software program, which then generates the monthly amount of child support as per statute. Child support is generally not based on expenses or property. Though the statutory formula is a reflection of what the legislature has determined to be the dollar amount(s) needed to raise a child, the actual “needs” of a child are not generally an issue argued in court. In most instances, Colorado area courts will follow the statutory guidelines, barring extreme circumstances.
Though child support can be a function of mathematics, cases can also have individual complexities related to income. In a child support case, these complexities usually arise when trying to establish income for self employed, unemployed, or under-employed people. As child support lawyers in Denver, we also recognize the importance of other statutory support issues, such as medical expenses, activity costs, and claiming the children for tax purposes.
In Colorado, child support generally continues until a child turns 19 years of age, absent statutory exceptions, such as the disability of a child or continuing high school studies. Child support litigation can be a continuing, off-and-on, process until that time. As such, our attorneys are ready to thoughtfully and vigorously assist you until your last child is emancipated. We aim to ensure our clients are afforded their rights under the law throughout that process.