Child support is governed by Colorado Revised Statutes 14-10-115. It is a very detailed statues and a very detailed mark that all of our judges here in Colorado Springs will follow. Colorado Springs is a city in El Paso County and the El Paso County District Court Judges are the ones that will decide in the absence of an agreement what an appropriate child support amount is.
Child support is calculated based upon a formula and part of the law says that the court must include the gross incomes of the parties, the number of children that the parties have that are going to be included in the child support worksheet and most of the time the most important part of a child support worksheet is the number of overnights that the parents have with the children. There is a lot of variables in calculating child support.
It’s always a good idea to check with an attorney whenever you have a child support problem because an attorney can tell you whether or not you are paying too much or the right amount or not enough and there is a lot of factors that have to be taken into consideration such as health insurance, extraordinary medical, extra curricular activities and those kinds of issues that need to be calculated when determining child support.
The thing to keep in mind when you are trying to factor child support and determine what is appropriate is that over the course of time child support may change. Parties have the right to seek modification or review of child support when there is a substantial change in economic circumstances that results in a 10% change of the child support amount. An example of that would be when parties divorced 5 years ago and they have two children. Dad gave primary custody to mom and dad was making $4,000 a month but 5 years later he was making a $1,000 a month. That’s the kind of circumstance that would allow mom to go back to the court and to seek the change of child support.
The same way, the same process can be used if dad retired and his income had dropped from $4,000 because now he is on a fixed retirement instead of making $4,000 a month, he is making $2,100 a month and both an increase and decrease of 10% or more in the child support will result in the court appropriately adjusting child support.