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Understanding Colorado's complicated child support guidelines

There are few areas of family law that are easily understood and Colorado's child support guidelines are no different. While the basic foundation for child support remains relatively untouched from state to state, here in Colorado parents are allowed to modify this foundation slightly in order to agree on an adequate child support amount. However, it is important to work with a family law attorney when doing so. If parents try to impose too much change, the family court will be quick to reject their agreement.

In Colorado, like most other states, both parents are responsible for providing support to their minor children. When determining the amount of child support due, the calculation of roughly 20 percent for the first child and 10 percent for each additional child is made by combining both the mother's and father's incomes. This percentage may be a bit higher in Colorado than other states, but may also be adjusted slightly to account for certain costs.

In addition to income, the family court will also consider a family's resources, the child's standard of living and their emotional and physical needs. When determining child support and agreeing on what it will cover, it is important for divorcing parents to understand that certain expenses are expected to be covered by child support. These expenses may include health insurance, education, childcare and travel. While these factors may change over time, modifications can be made throughout the course of a minor child's life to reflect a change in circumstance.

In Colorado, child support must continue until a child turns 19 or until it is ordered to stop by the family court. Other factors may affect the duration of child support but should be discussed with a family law attorney. By working with an experienced lawyer, divorcing parents can reach a fair child support agreement that has a higher likelihood of being approved by the family court.

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