Obligation to Children, Regardless of Relationship to the Other Parent
Regardless of the relationship or legal status of parent’s status, they each share a financial obligation to support the basic needs of their child. Judges in the Colorado family law court system will rule in favor of the child’s best interest, taking into account health, safety, and emotional and developmental needs.
Child support is one of the most common topics for family law trials in Colorado. Colorado state law includes guidelines for child custody and child support for children whose parents are married, unmarried, separated, or divorced. When children are the topic of the lawsuit, matters are much more intense and heated. All cases seek to determine the child’s best interest, not necessarily the wishes of each individual parent. In Colorado, the law seeks to have a voice that the child cannot.
Child support in Colorado is determined using calculations that are based on the gross income of both parents, custody terms, and the financial needs of the child(ren). The amount of child support obligation can vary based on how many nights the child spends with each parent, how much income each parent contributes to the child’s daily life, as well as the needs of the child. Child support is meant to help pay for basic needs including clothing, food, shelter, child care, and education. The financial obligation may also be based on the recreational and academic needs of the child, including living a richer, fuller life, including extracurricular activities, sports camps, music lessons, and enrichment tools.
Adjustments to Child Support Payments in Colorado
Adjustments to final child support orders may be granted in certain circumstances. Examples of these circumstances include change in health or employment by either parent or change in custody status. Things that do not influence your child support obligation include quitting your job, remarriage, or having another child with a different second parent. Modifications to the monthly amount of child support paid may be made based on the changes in need of the child. For instance, when a child stops going to daycare and attends school instead, the monthly financial requirement is reduced. Additionally, when children move out of the primary custodian’s house, or custody of the child changes, modifications to child support may be necessary.
Child Support and Divorce
In any divorce case where children are involved, child support and child custody will be secondary cases. During divorce proceedings, temporary orders for both child custody and child support may be awarded to provide for the child during the divorce. However, the terms in the temporary orders may not be the same as what is awarded in the final divorce hearing. It is not typical that child support will not be awarded in some amount. In Colorado family law courts in matters of child support and divorce, even when both parents deny the need for child support, child support will still be calculated and likely awarded.
At the Law Offices of Kelli J. Malcolm, we fight to find the best solutions for families and the children caught in the middle. With your child’s best interest at heart, we will seek the best outcomes to finance your child’s life. If you are caught in a legal battle for child custody or child support, whether as part of a divorce hearing or not, contact the Kelli J. Malcolm and her team for the full range of family law support. Call to schedule your consultation today.