Both married and unmarried parents have a responsibility to support their children. The issues of child support and parenting time are separate and distinct and the payment of child support may not be conditioned upon parenting time.
In the state of Colorado, child support is based on strict guidelines dictated by the state laws and statutes. The first step in determining child support is to establish the gross monthly income, before taxes and deductions, of the parents. The formula then takes into consideration how much time the children spend with each parent by determining how many overnights each parent has with the children. Generally, the parent without primary custody will pay child support to the other. However, if the parent with primary child custody has significantly higher earnings, the parent without primary custody may receive child support.
In addition to child support based on income, parents must also share costs for the following types of expenses based in apportion to their income: medical, health care, day care, schooling, and extra-curriculum activities.
There are also situations that require deviation from the child support guidelines. Most commonly, these include cases involving high-income earners. The guidelines were not written to address high incomes, so deviation is necessary.
For additional information regarding how child support is calculated, you can check out our blog post "How is Chid Support Calculated."
If you know your financial information and the financial information of the other party, you can approximate how much your monthly child support payments should be by using the current child support worksheet which has been prepared by the State of Colorado. If you need the link to that worksheet, contact us through our web page Contact Form.