Child Support

By law, parents must financially support their children, whether they stay together or not. Both parents should help pay for the child’s basic needs (e.g., food, shelter, clothing, and medical care). Courts may also include provisions for the costs of extracurricular activities and experiences that allow a child to develop socially. These could include music lessons, athletic activities, travel, etc.

In contentious divorce or custody cases, or in cases where arguments over money have become the norm, thorough investigations into finances may be required. In particular, arguments about income – how much money a parent makes or how much he or she should make – can become legally complicated.

As an experienced family law practice in Colorado Springs, the attorneys at Dailey Law, P.C. will work with you to ensure that the details of any child support arrangements are as equitable as possible and will support the best interests of your children.

How Child Support is Determined and Calculated

Each state has different ways to calculate how much child support is owed. In Colorado, the statute prescribes a formula that looks at parents’ income and the children’s expenses and provides a presumptive number. That presumption can be challenged, however, based on the unique circumstances of your case. It is important, therefore, that you consult with an experienced attorney who knows what questions to ask and can dig into each aspect of the formula and the statute to ensure that child support is calculated appropriately to your circumstances.

What to Do if the Mandated Payments are Too High or Too Low (Modification)

Child support is presumptively modifiable if a parent’s circumstances are sufficiently changed to require a change in child support. Those reasons can include anything from an involuntary job loss to an unexpected extraordinary expense. While it may not be worthwhile to recalculate child support every time minor changes in income occur, it is important to understand your legal rights and obligations when you or the other parent experience a change in financial circumstances.

The Number One Rule about Child Support

Even though child support is paid to the other parent, it is important to remember that support payments are for the support of the child. It is in your children’s best interests to ensure that child support payments are reasonable in amount and are paid timely. There are tools and public agencies available to assist, and if you and the other parent cannot agree, it may make sense to involve attorneys to work out the dispute before it escalates into a court battle. Alternatively, if court cannot be avoided, you want to find an attorney who understands the nuances of the law and can protect your interests in front of the judge.

Do I Have to Support Children that Aren’t Mine?

As with all good questions, the answer to this is: “it depends.” Non-parents who take on a parent-like role with a child and who have an ongoing relationship with that child (e.g., psychological parents) may have child support obligations similar to that of a parent. Similarly, legal parents – even if not biological parents – generally have child support obligations. But remember that every case is different, and what happens in most cases may not be applicable to you. That’s where Dailey Law, P.C. can help.

Child-Centered Attorneys

The attorneys at Dailey Law, P.C. can assist in your child support issues, whether you are trying to establish support, modify a previous order, or prevent a change in child support. The office has experience with all kinds of financial situations, and the attorneys understand the important of appropriate child support orders in providing for and protecting your children. Please contact the office for a consultation!