Child support is the right of the child. The amount of child support and maintenance to be paid is largely influenced by the gross incomes of each parent and the number of overnights each parent has with the child(ren). However, there are additional factors that affect the amount of child support and maintenance to be paid, such as daycare costs, health care/insurance, extraordinary expenses, and much more. A Fort Collins child support lawyer can help clients calculate these costs and build a case around the best possible option.
The gross income of each parent is defined broadly to include many factors, with a limited number of exclusions. When a parent is unemployed or underemployed, that parent may be imputed an income for purposes of determining their gross income for calculating child support and maintenance. When a parent is unemployed or underemployed, the services of a vocational evaluator should be considered to help in determining what that parent’s earning potential is.
Child support and maintenance can be modified anytime there is a continuing change in circumstances that would warrant a 10% change in child support and maintenance to be paid. Common changes that would warrant a modification of child support and maintenance include: change in employment/income of either parent, change in parenting time, and/or a change in the needs of the child. Hiring a Fort Collins child support lawyer to assist you through these transactions is an excellent decision.
The effective date of a modification of child support can be either: the date of the filing of a motion to modify child support, the date of an agreed-upon change in custody, or the date of any court order affecting parenting time.
Child support and maintenance is to be paid until the child emancipates or reaches the age of 19 years old in Colorado. However, child support can be ordered past the age of 19 (most commonly for college expenses), but only if the parents agree to such; without agreement of the parties, the court cannot order such. When one parent fails to pay child support as ordered by the court, the parent to whom child support is to be paid can pursue many options to enforce the child support order, including seeking a judgment on unpaid amounts to include interest of 12% a year compounded monthly, contempt of court, an award of attorney fees, and much more.
If a parent is voluntarily unemployed or underemployed, child support and maintenance shall be calculated based on a determination of potential income - except that a determination of potential income shall not be made for a parent who is physically or mentally incapacitated or is caring for a child under the age of 30 months for whom the parents owe a joint legal responsibility or for an incarcerated parent sentenced to one year or more.
To learn more about how child support and maintenance is calculated in Colorado and to discuss how much you may receive or have to pay with a Fort Collins child support lawyer, contact The Cossitt Law Firm to speak with one of our knowledgeable family lawyers.
"I interviewed many attornies before finding Tom. My initial case got complicated very quickly and Tom was straight forward on what I could expect throughout my case. Through his expertise, he proved to the court what was the best interest for my child even with unexpected challenges. I recently retained Tom again to handle my change in parenting time request form, and once again I got more than expected. I learned very quick that you get what you pay for. Having Tom on my side has been worth everything and I couldn't be more pleased with the results. I believe that if I had anyone else, the outcome would have been completely different. I would highly recommend him to anyone" - Mitchell Johnson (Google Review)
In matters of child support, Colorado law provides special guidance when the combined gross incomes of the parents exceeds the maximum income outlined in the child support guidelines. The standard guidelines provide an upper threshold of $30,000 in monthly income for purposes of calculating child support.
If your situation has changed since your original order establishing maintenance or child support and you need a child support orders modification, the attorneys at The Cossitt Law Firm can help you through the process toward the goal of a more equitable arrangement.
"I am very appreciative of Toms services. English is a second language to me, and this process seemed difficult because of that barrier. He was very patient and thorough making sure I understood everything before he proceeded. I will recommend him to everyone! He truly cares about you, as does his wonderful, helpful team"
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"I had a very challenging case, one that could have had indefinite financial consequences. Tom Cossitt evaluated my case and identified several strategies for moving forward. I chose one and Tom developed and implemented that strategy with speed and with the utmost in professionalism. The documents he drafted on my behalf, based on extensive research and case law / precedent were thorough and comprehensive. When the Court ruled, it used the arguments as developed by Tom Cossitt verbatim in its decision, and the case was decided in my favor. Needless to say, I was pleased beyond words. Based on my experience and the outcome of my case, I would highly recommend Tom Cossitt to anyone requiring the services of a family law attorney."
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"I met with as many as 10 different attorneys before coming across Thomas. After our initial consultation, I was very pleased with his knowledge and realistic expectations. During the really tough time, Thomas kept me calm and helped tremendously to get custody of my daughter. He kept me informed on what was going on and would ask for my input; if it was something that was unrealistic or could be done a different way, Thomas would tell me right away. During the hearings, he was amazing. He kept a professional attitude and was great at cross examinations. He took in all of the facts and evidence, and was able to present them efficiently and effectively. Ultimately helping me gain custody of my child."
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