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Child Support Modification

Child Support Modification

Colorado law requires parents to provide for their children, relieving the state’s burden to deliver benefits. Courts order child support according to the framework that Colorado law provides. According to Colorado law, the court calculates the child support award based on the combined income of both parents and the number of children. Then, each parent is responsible for part of the child support payment, but it rarely splits down the middle. Instead, each parent’s contribution is proportional to their income.

The calculation does not stop there, however. Next, the court factors how much each parent supports the child, including work-related childcare costs, health insurance costs, and medical bills. The parent who pays these expenses gets a credit against the child support award. In many cases, noncustodial parents must pay custodial parents child support. Childcare costs are split between parents proportionally, regardless of which parent has custody at the time care is needed.

Colorado Child Support Modification Attorneys

At Law Offices of Clifton Black, PC, our skilled lawyers understand that family issues can be complex and that the courts are not easily persuaded to make changes to any agreements, including those regarding child support. If you desire to modify child support, it is certainly worth it to consult with a knowledgeable child support attorney. Law Offices of Clifton Black, PC can help you navigate the process and achieve your goals.

Take the first step and call (719) 328-1616 to arrange a consultation with Law Offices of Clifton Black, PC today. Our family law attorneys have offices in Denver and Colorado Springs but serve clients throughout the state of Colorado.

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Child Support Modification

Circumstances often change following a child support order, making child support modification necessary. According to Colorado Child Support Services, parents can request that the court change a child support order at any time.

Generally, Colorado courts will amend child support orders when a parent’s income permanently changes by at least 10 percent and when a child needs health insurance. The change in income must be enduring. A temporary fluctuation in income might not be enough for a modification.

There are several reasons why a parent might ask the court might change a child support order. Suppose one–or both–of the parents’ incomes have changed. For example, a parent might have been given a raise, been laid off, or furloughed. The support obligation might change if a parent’s income increases or decreases, as child support is calculated based on the parent’s combined income.

When the costs of raising the child have changed, the court can update the child support order. If the costs of daycare or healthcare increase or decrease, the support obligation can adjust accordingly. Suppose a child starts school full-time and no longer attends daycare. In that case, it might make sense for the child support order to change. Additionally, a support obligation may be unnecessary or significantly reduced when a child has left home, becomes emancipated, or is no longer living with the custodial parent.

There are other reasons why a child support order might need to adapt. For instance, if the number of overnight visits a child has with a parent has changed, these new circumstances might give rise to a new payment responsibility. Alternatively, if the custodial parent changes, an adjustment might be necessary.

Finally, if it has been more than three years since the court last reviewed the order, individuals can have the court revisit it. Since circumstances rarely remain static, the court might modify the order according to developments following the last order.

Although many circumstances can give rise to child support modification, adding expenses, such as purchasing a new home or car, does not increase a child support award.

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Procedure For Modifying Child Support

Individuals seeking to have the court modify a child support order in Colorado must follow the court’s requirements. Although it is possible to request child support and make payments online via the Colorado Child Support Services’ website, individuals seeking to adjust child support orders cannot do so online.

As the process can be complex, those wishing to change their child support orders can benefit from the expertise of a Colorado-licensed family law attorney who understands Colorado’s process for modifying child support rulings. Family law attorneys help their clients prepare forms, explain the law, and advocate for their client’s interests. For instance, attorneys can help individuals who are paying too much in child support have their monthly payments adjusted. In Colorado, child support lawyers can also help custodial parents get higher child support amounts after a change in circumstances, such as an increase in the cost of health insurance.

The first step in requesting a modification is filing a Motion To Modify Child Support. Parents must format the motion correctly such that it includes the name of the court, the case number, and the name of the parties. The motion must provide the reasons for a child support adjustment–for instance, if a parent’s income changed. Individuals with legal representation can count on their lawyers to prepare motions for them, lessening the burden and confusion of the process. Although there is a cost to file the Motion To Modify Child Support, low-income individuals can request an exemption to the fee.

Before filing the Motion To Modify Child Support, it is also necessary to let the other parent know about the proposed modification. Individuals must then include a Certificate of Mailing with the motion, which informs the court that the other parent had notice.

After the court receives the motion, it might set the case for a status hearing or require mediation, depending on the county. When the court requires a hearing, parents must supply the court with additional documents.

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Additional Resources

Colorado Child Support Services – Colorado Child Support Services supports families in setting up child support and medical health insurance orders, collecting child support payments, establishing paternity, and modifying existing child support orders. Individuals can request child support and pay online. The website also provides specific information about modifying a child support order, including instructions about how to request a change. People must submit modification requests in writing to the county child support office. The Department of Social Services has a Child Support Enforcement (CSE) unit in every county in Colorado. The program is available regardless of whether an individual qualifies for public benefits.

Frequently Asked Questions about Child Support in Colorado – Colorado Legal Services has a Frequently Asked Questions about Child Support in Colorado page. In addition to providing general information about child support in Colorado, it includes instructions about changing a child support order. The resource links court documents such as a Motion to Modify Child Support, Sworn Financial Statement, and Child Support Worksheet.

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Denver Child Support Modification Lawyers | Denver County, CO

If you have experienced a significant change in circumstances, your existing child support order may not meet your current needs. If you are pursuing a child support modification, it is best to consult with an experienced family law attorney.

As with all family legal situations, the advice of a lawyer is recommended. Divorce, child support, and child custody issues are all complex. Having professional aid can ensure that your needs are met in court. 

Law Offices of Clifton Black, PC serves clients in Colorado Springs and around the surrounding counties of El Paso, Teller, Pueblo, Douglas, Denver, Elbert, Fremont, Pueblo, Lincoln, and Arapahoe. Call (719) 328-1616 to schedule a confidential consultation today.

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Law Offices of Clifton Black, PC