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Colorado Child Support Questions

Sunday, 20 March 2011

blog-logoEven if you have been receiving child support for many years, disputes can still come up between you and your ex-spouse.  As a family attorney at a Colorado Springs law firm, I am often asked about child support and college expenses and child support and tax exemptions.  Of course, there are many other questions to be answered about child support, but these two are the most common.

Can I still collect child support when my son or daughter goes to college?  The state of Colorado makes no provision for the continuation of child support payments after the age of 19, when a child is emancipated.  The only way you would be able to get help with college expenses is to make a separate voluntary agreement with the non-custodial parent and incorporate it into your parenting plan.  This was not always the case in Colorado but many legislative changes took place in the 1990s, resulting in the court no longer being able to legally require the payment of college expenses.

Can the non-custodial parent claim the children as exemptions on his or her personal income taxes?  Yes, but only if they are current on their child support payments and do not have an arrears balance.  In many cases, the stipulation about dependents on tax forms is outlined in a divorce settlement, or the dependency exemptions are allocated according to the parties’ proportional incomes.  If the non-custodial parent is claiming these exemptions, the residential parent should fill out IRS Form 8332.

You may have other child support-related questions that can be answered by a Colorado Springs law firm.  Some of the most common questions I hear are about the child support credit for long-term stays with a non-custodial parent.  Others are about how to collect half of a child’s medical expenses from the non-custodial parent, or whether the income of a non-custodial parent’s new spouse will be considered in a child support modification. 

If you have questions or need to make changes to your child support order, contact the Marrison Family Law LLC, a Colorado Springs law firm specializing in all aspects of family law.

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