Child Support Attorney
"The primary variables in any child support calculation are gross monthly income and parenting time."
What is Child Support?
Since Colorado utilizes a presumptive formula for child support, people mistakenly believe that it is straightforward and easy to resolve.
Families often break up because of financial issues, which get even worse when parties separate and have to support their children in separate households. Even though child support is the right of the child, parties often struggle to agree on child support related issues, which include basic support, insurance premiums, daycare, and tax deductions, to name a few.
The primary variables in any child support calculation are,
gross monthly income and parenting time. That is where the most conflict arises. Parents often want more parenting time to avoid paying child support or to receive more child support, without considering what schedule would be best for the children. Cases that involve typical hourly or salary wages are the easiest to resolve. However, self-employment, commissions, overtime, and bonuses are some of the income-related issues that plague many cases. Income from self-employment is generally determined by deducting ordinary and necessary business expenses from gross revenue. Commissions are usually averaged over 3 or more years. Overtime is usually included if it is either routine or a condition of employment. Bonuses are included if they are guaranteed or very regular.
The child support guidelines apply to cases where the parents’ combined monthly income is less than $300,000 per year. That means, the most conflict arises when one or both parents have no income or really high income. If the Court believes that a party is voluntarily unemployed or underemployed, the Court may impute income to a party that is consistent with their earning potential. A party may avoid imputation if they are caring for a child less than 18 months old or if they are enrolled in a qualified education program and not intentionally shirking their responsibility to support their children.
Parents may receive credit on the child support worksheet for certain expenses they pay for their children such as health insurance, work or education related daycare, and uninsured expenses. However, private school tuition, cars and other luxury items, and post-secondary education are generally not included absent a mutual agreement.
Under Colorado Law, allowable expenses that are not included in the calculation of child support are generally paid in proportion to income. Tax dependency exemptions are also divided in proportion to income. However, the 2018 changes in the tax code have suspended dependency exemptions for children until 2025.
You may visit the State of Colorado’s website here for a child support calculator. Otherwise, our attorneys have extensive experience in even the most complex child support issues.
Child Support Services
Attorney Márquez’s extensive experience in high conflict, complex financial, and high asset family law cases affords him the unique ability to help parties find detailed and often creative solutions to solve their cases. He is an empathetic and active listener, but more importantly, he is honest, practical and effective. Less time is spent on rehashing the conflict than on understanding the conflict to formulate options that lead to resolutions.
We look forward to assisting you find ways to resolve your complex cases efficiently and fairly.