Aurora Child Support Lawyer
In any Colorado family law case with children, the issue of child support is highly likely to come up. This holds true for child custody cases, divorce cases with children, and cases filed solely for the purpose of obtaining support. The bottom line is that the financial needs of children are generally going to be important to both parents and one parent or the other may be entitled to child support under Colorado statute. Additionally, the prevailing consensus among family law courts and judges is that child support is mandatory, meaning it must be ordered if the Colorado child support guidelines indicate such. The family law attorneys at Plog & Stein, P.C. have been successfully advocating for Aurora child support clients since 1999, in both divorce and custody proceedings. With decades of combined legal experience, our attorneys understand what’s necessary to effectively argue your positions related to all aspects of child support litigation, including:
- Establishing Child Support Orders
- Modifying Child Support
- Enforcing Child Support Orders
- Child Support Judgments
- Payment of Child Related Expenses
Whether you’re dealing with the other parent or a child support enforcement agency, our only goal is making sure you are treated fairly and that the law is applied correctly to your circumstances. Whichever side of a child support case you’re on, we know we can help.
Call us today at 303-781-0322, or contact us online to schedule an appointment with one of our child support attorneys.
Understanding Child Support Proceedings in Aurora, CO
- Establishing Child Support Orders: Child Support is calculated pursuant to C.R.S. 14-10-115 and the guidelines set forth therein. The incomes of the parents and number of children are going to be the key factors leading to a monthly child support figure. The allocation of overnight parenting time is also a significant factor. In cases of equal parenting time and similar income, the calculation may lead to neither party owing the other a monthly amount, or perhaps a very minimal amount. Conversely, differing incomes or one parent maintaining majority time with the kids can lead to a monthly child support amount to be paid. Aside from certain child related expenses, which might be included in a child support calculation, courts don’t care about either parent’s extraneous expenses or financial needs. The figure generated is usually going to be the monthly amount ordered by the court. Litigation most often arises when there are disputes regarding income. Perhaps one parent chooses not to work, or is self-employed. In those cases, income may be speculative and may ultimately need to be determined by the court. Or course, issues may also arise regarding lesser issues, such as the calculation of overnights, day care expenses, or the monthly health insurance premium. Each case is different and it’s advisable to consult with an experienced child support lawyer from the outset. In addition to the monthly child support, it’s advisable to also obtain detailed orders regarding how and when payments are made, as well as other support related issues.
- Modifying Child Support: The duty to pay child support runs until a child turns 19 years of age. C.R.S. 14-10-122 allows for modifications of child support, up to that time, in the event that a substantial and continuing change in circumstances occurs. Numerically, the standard is that circumstances have changed such that the monthly child support figure would change, whether up or down, by 10%. Job loss, reduction in hours, changes to parenting time, or one of multiple children emancipating (turning 19) might be a valid bases to modify child support. Modifications are applied retroactively to the date a motion is filed. As such, it’s important to file quickly so as to preserve that retroactive accrual of the modified amount. When litigating a child support modification, the same C.R.S. 14-10-115 guidelines apply.
- Enforcing Child Support Orders: Though the general expectation of the courts and child support recipients is that child support will be paid, the reality is that in some instances it’s not, it’s not paid in full, or it’s paid late. Fortunately, statute offers various remedies including the filing of a wage garnishment (income withholding order), with which support can be taken directly from the payer’s income. Not all people have, or maintain regular jobs and there are those who try to avoid their child support obligations at all costs. In those instances, your case may call for the filing of a contempt of court action, which is designed to gain compliance and potentially to punish the violating party. The end goal of any enforcement efforts is to gain compliance. In some instances, it may be necessary to refer our clients to the county Child Support Enforcement Unit, which can take additional steps, including seizing tax refunds, suspending driver’s and professional licenses, and more.
- Child Support Judgments: Pursuant to C.R.S. 14-10-122, each child support payment due, and not paid, becomes a judgment. To effectuate that judgment, we file a Verified Entry of Support Judgment, which memorializes the amount owed as a judgment and allows all collection remedies commensurate with a monetary judgment. This can include additional wage garnishment, liens, and seizure of property, such as bank or other accounts. Statute also indicates that interest accrues on a child support judgment at the yearly rate of 12 percent, compounded monthly on each unpaid payment. Interest can accrue quickly and in cases of serious arrearages, the interest might even exceed the principal owed. Plog & Stein, P.C. has handled multiple cases with significant child support debt. It should be noted that there can also be spurious claims of child support arrears which may not be valid. As such, we also represent people facing wrongful collection efforts.
- Payment of Child Related Expenses: Statute mandates the splitting of out of pocket medical and similar expenses for the children. Hopefully your orders contain specific provisions related to these expenses, including time frames for reimbursement. Likewise, some cases will entail orders regarding the splitting of necessary school fees, tutoring costs, or tuition. It’s also not uncommon to have provisions in place regarding the payment of various extracurricular activities. Medical and educational expenses are generally split proportionately to the parties’ incomes. Order regarding the payment of these types of expenses are every bit as enforceable as the basic child support order, though the methods for gaining compliance are different. Understanding your options related to child expenses and making sure you have well written orders is important.
Get the Legal Help You Need in Your Aurora Child Support Case
With over 70 years of combined family law experience, the attorneys at Plog & Stein, P.C. are equipped with the insights and skills to help with all your child support related matters. While some child support issues are easily resolved, others can be quite complex. With so much at stake, it just makes sense to seek legal representation in your Aurora child support case. We will be there for you to effectively either settle your case or take it to hearing.
Plog & Stein represents men and women in all types of family law cases in Arapahoe, Douglas, Denver, Jefferson, Adams and all metro area counties. Call us at 303-781-0322 or contact us online to schedule your confidential appointment.