Child Support

Durango Attorneys Knowledgeable in Child Support Matters

Child support is an obligation owed to one's children, not their other parent. Colorado courts typically determine this amount using a mathematical formula. However, a Durango child support lawyer at Greenberg, McGuinness & Alt can look at your case in a nuanced way to make sure that any appropriate deviations from child support are requested, based on the financial condition of you and your spouse. We are skilled advocates with significant experience helping parents with child support issues in La Plata County, Archuleta County, Montezuma County, and the Southern Ute Tribal Court jurisdiction.

Colorado Formula for Child Support

Who has to pay child support? Parents. If there is some question, such as when parents are not married, a legal order must be obtained stating who the parents are. Paternity must be established before child support is ordered. Fathers who sign an acknowledgement of paternity at the hospital establish paternity through that action. The acknowledgment becomes valid 60 days after the signature is obtained. Fathers who do not sign this acknowledgement and who won't voluntarily admit paternity may be ordered to submit to genetic testing by a judge. Child support will be determined subsequently.

Child support is governed by C.R.S. §14-10-115. Child support goes towards children's basic needs, such as housing, clothing, medical care, and food. Parents must pay child support until children turn 19 or until a month after they graduate from high school. Colorado children are entitled to receive part of each parent's income so that they are as financially supported as they would have been had their parents not divorced. However, the child support guidelines follow a formula so that there are no big surprises associated with support payments.

The formula looks at the financial resources of both parents, the child's own financial resources, the child's health insurance costs, work and educational related child care costs, and any special physical or educational needs. All of these factors are entered into a software program. However, some kids have more needs. For example, a child with developmental delays and needs would most likely require more support. Additionally, the court will look at how much time you spend with your kids and how many kids there are. A parent who is the primary caregiver is more likely to need additional support than parents who share parenting responsibilities 50-50. The court will take that into consideration and may ask the non-custodial parent to pay more.

What if one of the parents is a millionaire, while the other is disabled and unable to work? Or what if a child has severe psychiatric issues and needs significant therapy and expensive medications not covered by insurance? There are cases of extreme disparity between parents or special needs in which it makes sense to deviate from the formula. Your attorney can file a petition with the court to ask for this deviation.

Consult a Compassionate Durango Child Support Lawyer

You may feel some anxiety about where the money is going when the court awards child support to your spouse. Conversely, you may be worried that your spouse will not pay the child support you need to take care of the kids. Your kids are important, and the Durango family law attorneys at Greenberg, McGuinness & Alt will spare no effort in finding an arrangement that is beneficial to your child. Our clients come from cities such as Durango, Pagosa Springs, Cortez and Ignacio. Contact us at (970) 259-4422 or via our online form to start a conversation.