When determining child support guidelines in the State of Colorado, there are numerous factors taken into consideration.
A simplified Child Support Guideline Summary for Colorado:
- The judge must first determine the child support amount set under the statutory guidelines at C.R.S. 14-10-115.
- This amount is based on the amount of time each parent spends with the child(ren) (usually by counting the number of overnights) and the combined income of both parents.
- The judge can also factor other costs into the child support amount such as extraordinary medical costs, childcare costs, and insurance costs.
But now for some details:
- Currently, there are two separate child support calculations, commonly referred to by the Court as Worksheet A and Worksheet B.
- Worksheet A refers to a parenting schedule where one parent has 92 overnights or less. Using this calculation, it does not matter if one parent has 0 overnights or 92 overnights, the amount of child support is the same.
- Worksheet B is used if either parent has 93 overnights or more. Using this worksheet, each additional overnight to a parent will change the child support calculation.
Some factors that may also affect the child support amount:
Extraordinary Medical Care:
- Uninsured medical costs such as copays and deductibles.
- Medical procedures not be covered by insurance plans
- Costs that go beyond the insurance coverage
These costs are usually not planned and cannot always be predicted. Because of this, the Court may order the party not directly incurring the cost to directly reimburse the other for their share instead of including the amount directly in the child support amount.
- If a parent is paying for childcare to attend work or school, that amount can be included in the child support calculation.
- Typically, parents pay in proportion to incomes, regardless of which parent is incurring the cost.
- Most child support calculators will include the childcare amount minus the predicted tax credit.
- The cost of childcare should be reasonable. If the other parent wants to send your child to the most expensive daycare and you did not agree, you may be able to argue this is not a reasonable amount to pay.
- The Court is required to make a finding as to how the child(ren) is/are covered by health insurance (vision and dental may also be included).
- The responsibility to pay for the children’s insurance falls to both parents and, by statute, is allocated in the child support amount.
- Each parent is responsible for paying their share of the cost, in proportion to their respective incomes, to insure the child.
- If one parent is not working, working part-time, the Court may impute income to that parent.
- Essentially, this means the Court may assign an income amount the judge believes the parent could, or should, earn.
- There are exceptions to when a person will be imputed income, including, situations where that person is:
- staying home or working less to care for the parties’ child under 24 months
- completing an educational program that is reasonably expected to provide better job opportunities and will be finished in a reasonable amount of time.
For example, the judge is more likely to find this exception is met if someone has one semester left before obtaining a bachelor’s degree, rather than if a person just begins a four-year bachelor’s degree program at the time of the hearing.
Should you have any questions about your situation, contact us to schedule a free, 30-minute consultation.