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What is Included in Colorado Child Support?

Friday, 31 December 2010

blog-logoAs a Colorado Springs child support attorney, I am always amazed at how differently the custodial and non-custodial parent looks at child support.  As one would assume, the non-custodial parent, who typically spends less time with their children, is often shocked at how much support that he or she is expected to pay.  But on the other hand, the custodial parent, who assumes the daily expenses of raising the children, is left wondering why child support isn’t higher. 

This begs the question – what is included in Colorado child support? 

If one reads the Colorado state child support web site, the guidelines are based upon keeping the children in the same living standard that they would have if the parents were together.  This means if their parents’ household income enabled them they live in an expensive neighborhood and attend private schools, the child support amount should allow that lifestyle to continue. 

The actual amount of support is calculated based on the total amount of household income, the number of children, and the percentage that each parent contributes to the household income.  It also includes daycare expenses and medical insurance.  Outside of that, there is very little “wiggle room” unless the parties agree to account for additional expenses.  This is where a Colorado Springs child support attorney can help.

As children grow up, there are a number of extracurricular activities and special expenses that can come up, all of which fall outside of the normal child support order.  These include braces, music lessons, vacations, summer programs, computers, bedroom furniture, cars, birthday parties and extracurricular activities such as sports and clubs.  Custodial parents usually pay for these expenses, and unless they have an amicable relationship with their ex, it is rare they will see a penny of “extra” child support to pay for them. 

The best advice I have for parents who are in this situation is to have an attorney file a petition to modify the current support order.  The state allows for an increase in support every three years anyway, but a modification may be granted when there is a significant change in circumstances.

For more information about what is included in Colorado child support, and to learn how you can petition for a modification, contact a Colorado Springs child support attorney at Marrison Family Law LLC for a free consultation.

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MPatMarrisonFor over a quarter century, we have helped people during what is often the darkest time in their lives. Divorce is not easy even under the best of circumstances. For most people, family is central. Having something go wrong in the family can have a ripple effect that extends beyond the home and into other areas.

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