According to Colorado family law, both parents— married or not — must provide financial support to their children. The state upholds the Income Shares support model. This model estimates the amount for child support that parents must spend on their children as a family, and then divides the estimated amount equally between both parents based on their income.
How to Determine Income for Child Support
Child support calculations in Colorado depend on the parents’ adjusted gross income, imputed income, and the time that each parent devotes to their children.
- Gross Income – This includes majority of unearned and earned income, such as wages, income for self-employed, commissions, interest or dividend income, and bonuses. Transportation, meal, or housing allowances may also be included.
- Adjusted Gross Income – If you receive spousal maintenance or alimony, you should add this to your gross income. If you’re paying spousal maintenance or child support for other children, you may deduct these from your gross income. You can also deduct child support payments for adopted or natural children from previous relationships if they live with you, says a child support attorney in Denver.
- Imputed Income – If you’re underemployed or voluntarily unemployed, the court estimates your potential earning ability by considering your work history, available employment opportunities in your area, education, and training. They may calculate support payments based on these factors, or the minimum wage.
- Extra Expenses – These include expenses — after applying tax credits — for child care while you’re work, medical insurance policy for your child, as well as uninsured medical care costs that are more than $250 annually for every child. These will be shared by both parents proportional to their gross income, but without adjustments for parenting time.
Why Legal Help is Crucial
The abovementioned guidelines are applicable to permanent and temporary orders for child support in Colorado, as well as modifications. The calculations can be detailed and complex, so it’s recommended to seek legal aid. This will give you a clear idea of how much to cover for child support payments.