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Colorado Child Support
Child Support in Colorado

In Colorado, child support is based on the Income Shares model and is described in Colorado Rev. Stat. Sections14-10-115 et seq.

In considering child support, the court may order reasonable and necessary child support to be paid by either or both parents, without regard to marital fault. In doing so, the court considers:

  • the financial resources of the child;
  • the financial resources of the custodial parents;
  • the standard of living the child would have enjoyed if the marriage had not been dissolved;
  • the physical and emotional conditions and educational needs of the child; and
  • the financial resources, needs, and obligations of both the noncustodial and the custodial parent.

The Clerk of the Court of any District Court can provide standardized child support guidelines, which are spelled out in the statute. Child support payments may be ordered paid through the Clerk of the Court, as described in Colorado Rev Stat. Article 10, Sections 14-10-115 and 14-10-117.

Child support is typically calculated by using a Child Support Worksheet. The worksheet generates an appropriate Colorado child support obligation according to each spouse's income and other relative numeric factors, such as taxes paid and retirement contributions. Once this amount is determined it is essential to look at any appropriate Colorado child support deviation factors that may be applicable to the situation.

Additional information on child support can be found in the Colorado state statutes.

Colorado uses the Income Shares Model to determine the amount of child support the noncustodial parent must pay. The Income Shares Model estimates the amount of support that would have been available if the marriage had not failed. This estimated amount is then divided proportionally to the parents according to each parent's income. It is easy to do this using the Colorado child support worksheet. Pay records typically substantiate the estimated incomes.

This routine takes into account both parents' gross income and applies a percentage to it based on the number of minor children they have together. The court takes the combined income of both parents and works out the proportion each contributes. That figure is then divided proportionately based on each parent's ability to pay and which parent has primary custody.

If the noncustodial parent has a higher income than the custodial parent, the noncustodial parent would then be responsible for the greater portion of the child support obligation; conversely, if the noncustodial parent has a lower income than the custodial, the noncustodial parent would then be responsible for the smaller portion of the child support obligation.

Calculate Colorado Child Support

Other Expenses and Deductions

Extraordinary expenses are either add-ons, where the expense is added to the support payment, or deductions, where the amount is deducted, and indicated as either mandatory or permissive. Extraordinary medical expenses and childcare expenses are mandatory deductions.

Secondary education support is permitted, and private school tuition is permitted. Support for post-secondary education of the child may be ordered on both the parents.

Provisions for medical insurance and medical care for any children may be ordered.

Child Support Enforcement

More information about Colorado Child Support Enforcement can be found at their website.

Emancipation

Support terminates at age 18 or when the child graduates from high school. Child support may continue until a child becomes emancipated, graduates from high school, or it may continue beyond the age of 19 if the child is mentally or physically disabled. Parents cannot be compelled to pay for the college education of their children. Child support must continue through high school graduation, unless certain factors are met.

Deviation Factors

Adjustments are made when a parent is supporting other children from a different marriage.

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