Get the Help You Need with Colorado Child Support Modification
The court will issue a child support order when children are involved in a divorce. After the order is handed down, the amount for child support cannot be changed – except through a modification that must be approved by the court. Any parent who pays child support can’t simply skip a month or change the amount they are paying unless they go through a special legal process that can change an existing child support order.
At The Law Office of Andrew Bryant, we do not have to tell you that life is uncertain. Unforeseen circumstances can lead to changes in finances that couldn’t have been anticipated. Parents who have been ordered to pay child support can lose their job and no longer be able to afford the amount that was ordered at the time of the divorce. When these things happen, it may be necessary for the parent to ask for child support modification.
Unfortunately, child support modification in our state can be a complex undertaking. This is where The Law Office of Andrew Bryant comes in. We can help you navigate the process and ensure your rights and interests are considered.
How Child Support Works in Colorado Springs
Here in Colorado, it is required that every child receive adequate financial support from both of their parents to help keep them healthy and well cared for. Typically, the parent who does not have custody is required to make payments until the child reaches the age of 18 or graduates from high school.
The state provides general guidelines under which child support is determined. However, reaching a reasonable and fair amount during a divorce can be complicated. To determine what amount can accomplish this goal, the court relies on a few different factors to calculate child support, such as:
- Total gross monthly income of both parents
- Spousal support paid or received
- Maintenance or child support from previous marriages
- Costs associated with health care
- Daycare costs, if required for the child
- Any extraordinary expenses for the child paid by the parents
These factors can increase or decrease over time, which is when a modification of a child support order is warranted.
When Colorado Child Support Can Be Modified
Under Colorado law, any continuing and substantial change to the circumstances of a person paying child support must include at least a 10 percent difference in the amount of child support paid. Typically, child support modification is filed for circumstances in which:
- There is a significant change in income
- The cost of childcare is reduced
- The parenting schedule has changed
- The child has new medical needs
- The oldest child is emancipated
Of course, not all orders for modification are due to hardship. A positive change in a parent’s financial circumstances, such as a promotion at work or a new job with a higher income, can result in a child support modification to reflect those better financial circumstances.
There are some circumstances that the court will reject as a reason to modify child support. A good example is a parent who loses their job and immediately files for a modification. The court may reject it because it’s not a substantial and continuing change in the circumstances.
How CO Child Support Modifications Both Parties Agree With Work
If you can work together with your ex-spouse to reach an agreement for a modification on an existing child support order, they are required to file what is called a stipulation with the court that ordered the current child support agreement you operate under. The court then reviews the changes proposed and will modify the child support agreement if it is agreeable.
However, if both parents cannot agree on a modification to child support, then the person who wants to have the current agreement modified has to file what is called a Motion to Modify Child Support with the court that ordered the current child support agreement. The other parent of the child or children is required by law to be served a copy of the motion so they can be made aware of any proposed changes.
The Process of Filing a Child Support Modification Order in Colorado
If you need to file a motion to modify your child support order, start gathering the evidence you need to support your changes in finances. This type of documentation can show the court that your circumstances have been altered since the child support was ordered and that you expect your new circumstances to be ongoing.
What if you are on the other side of the fence and want to modify the child support you receive? This typically happens when the other parent gets a promotion, a new job increases their income, or if you have to take over some of the responsibilities they were assigned in the original order. In these situations, you must initiate the child support modification process.
The experienced legal professionals at The Law Office of Andrew Bryant can help you start the child support modification process. They can assist you in filing the motion with the court as well as these other required documents:
A Sworn Affidavit
A sworn affidavit that reveals the current financial situation and includes income, assets, and debts, in addition to an exchange of financial documentation with the other parent
Child Support Worksheet
A new child support worksheet that includes revised calculations for child support, with the use of the official child support calculator to determine this
You may also need to file additional forms for the county in which you currently reside. In the event that the parents cannot come to a determination together after these documents have been filed, a hearing will be set by the court to determine if the modification is warranted and what amount of child support is appropriate at this time