Let’s face it; divorce is messy. Unfortunately, the children of divorce often become leverage that one parent tries to use against the other. For example, it’s tempting for parents who are embittered by the end of their marital relationship to “punish” each other in a custody battle. Some may even go so far as trying to terminate the parental rights of the other parent.
The termination of a parent’s rights to his or her children is a very sensitive topic, and one that is defined by the Colorado courts in one of two ways. Depending on the situation, a court will either terminate parental rights voluntarily or involuntarily.
In cases where both biological parents agree, a court may allow a parent to voluntarily terminate parental rights, but only when certain factors are taken into consideration.
The court must be sure that the parent wishing to terminate their rights is not doing so because of undue influence, duress, or improper pressure from others. In cases where a birth parent is under the influence of drugs or other substances that could affect his or her judgment, or other situations where the action would be in the best interests of the child, the court may grant a voluntary termination of parental rights.
Child support laws may vary from state to state, but they have certainly evolved over the years. Not that long ago, only the father was obligated to pay child support in a divorce, but now the obligation is “formally” imposed on either parent, whoever is not living with the children. That is not to say that the custodial parent doesn’t pay child support. Ultimately, custodial parents are responsible for their share of the support, plus anything else their child needs that isn’t covered by child support laws. As a Colorado Springs child support lawyer, I’ve seen many of my clients seek compensation for uncovered expenses, including extra-curricular activities, home computers, orthodontic work and summer camp. Unfortunately, these expenses are not included in a basic support order and must be negotiated separately.
If you are facing a divorce, then you may be dreading a property settlement or possibly a custody battle, but you probably don’t expect the payment of child support to be a big deal. However, if you spend any time in Colorado family court you will soon learn that more time is spent enforcing child support than any other aspect of a divorce. As a Colorado Springs child support lawyer, my clients often continue the battle over child support for many years after the divorce is final.
If you ask a Colorado Springs child support lawyer, there are many aspects of Colorado child support law that could be improved. One of these is the fact that the calculations for support exclude many of the child-related expenses incurred by the custodial parent. Similar to the laws in many other states, Colorado statutes make the wrongheaded assumption that parents will cooperate with one another and share the burden of extracurricular activities. But it is rare to see this happen, which means the custodial parent either tells the children “no” to sports, lessons and birthday parties, or they pay for it themselves.
As a divorced or separated parent in Colorado, dealing with potential job relocation issues can be tricky, especially if you are the non-custodial parent. Depending on how far away your relocation takes you, it could dramatically change the amount of time you get to spend with your kids. But parents are not the only ones affected by relocation. According to Colorado Springs family law attorneys who deal with these situations frequently, children are also required to make some major lifestyle changes.
If you're a parent of a teenage girl who has recently become pregnant, you may be thinking about more than just the legal aspects of her condition. But after the shock wears off and reality starts to set in, it is very important for you to understand the rights and responsibilities of your daughter and the father of her child. Why is this so important? Colorado Springs family law attorneys are often consulted about custody issues and child support for teenagers who choose to keep their baby, but unless you have personally dealt with these issues yourself, you may not be familiar with the family court system in Colorado.
As 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.
With high unemployment and a less than stable economy, it is no surprise that many Colorado parents have had to reexamine their child support obligations over the past few years. The recession has taken its toll on nearly every American family, but single parent households have had a much harder time making ends meet. With a budget that is already stretched, if one parent loses a job and requests a reduction in child support, things can quickly go from bad to worse. As a Colorado Springs child support attorney, I’ve seen many parents file for a modification petition to reduce their obligation, only to have the custodial parent counter it with their own request for more support.
Like every other state, Colorado has some stringent laws on the books concerning child support. Most of these laws are contained with the Colorado Revised Statutes, in Articles 13 and 14. These laws state that child support is mandated and should always be paid, or negative consequences could ensue. Child support laws are based on the fact that regular payments are in the best interest of the child and will make a difference in their everyday life. A child support attorney can help enforce an existing order, and make sure that back child support is paid in a lump sum amount if necessary.