Child Support

Worried about getting adequate child support? Think you are paying too much child support? Need to enforce a child support court order? Our team of family law attorneys at Knies, Helland & McPherson are here to help you get the support that is lawfully yours and make sure the needs of your child are put first, or to protect you from paying more support than is required.

Child support is a court ordered support payment established when two parents are no longer living together. In most cases, support is based on several factors; however, the specific responsibilities of each parent vary depending on state law. Colorado functions based on the Colorado Child Support Guidelines. The partners at Knies, Helland & McPherson will help you navigate these guidelines and help you come up with a solution that is in the best interest of your child.

Call us today at 719-635-8499 to schedule a consultation to learn more about what realistic expectations and responsibilities look like for you and your child.

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What Is Child Support?

Child support is a form of payment intended to support and meet the needs of the child(ren) in the event that the parents are divorced, separated, or unmarried. It is typically considered to be in the best interest of any child to have the financial support of both parents. Likewise, it is typically considered good public policy to require parents to effectively support their children to keep them from becoming wards of the state or otherwise. In many cases, child support is even ordered when the parent does not have contact with the child(ren).

Support is paid by one parent or the other. Several factors are considered by the Court in determining support amounts, including how much each parent earns, how many nights per year the children spend with each parent, child care expenses, medical insurance and other variables.

Child support is designed to cover costs for the basic necessities, including food, clothing, and shelter.

Other expenses may still require contributions from the parents in addition to any child support paid, such as:

  • Medical care
  • Uninsured medical expenses
  • Educational fees and school supply costs
  • Childcare
  • Transportation and travel
  • Extracurricular activities
  • College expenses

Section How Is Child Support Calculated in Colorado?

Colorado Legislature outlines the specifics of child support in the Colorado Child Support Guidelines. The guidelines allocate an equivalent share of each parent’s income and resources to be given to the child.

The obligation of support is determined based on the income of both parents as well as information regarding the amount that families that are intact typically spend on care for their children each month. The parents still share the support obligation based on their gross incomes. The amount of support is also affected by the number of overnight stays the child spends with the parent. Childcare, medical insurance, and uninsured medical expenses are shared costs.

In most cases, the amount of support calculated using these guidelines is considered appropriate unless one or both parents demonstrate a deviation. If the noncustodial parent’s gross monthly income is between $900 and $1,900, he or she may qualify for a low-income adjustment. The team members of Knies, Helland & McPherson can help you determine what is fair based on Colorado legislation and your financial standing.

What Counts as Income?

The answer to this question may surprise you. Colorado includes unearned income, such as certain disability and retirement payments as income. If you work overtime or a second job, you may not have to count that as income for calculating child support.

Speak with one of our top Colorado Springs family lawyers at Knies, Helland & McPherson today to help you figure out what will be counted as income toward your child support calculation.

What Can Change Child Support?

If you hope to modify your current child support, you will need to prove that a substantial change of circumstances has occurred since the original order was issued. The change must result in a change of at least 10% in the amount of child support owed. What courts determine as substantial varies depending on state law, but the family law experts at our firm can help you traverse those requirements. At any rate, the following may be grounds for a modification:

  • A change in your child’s medical needs
  • An illness or disability of the paying parent
  • A substantial change in either parent’s income
  • A change in the child’s residence

How Can I Get the Other Parent to Pay Child Support?

The Child Support Enforcement Act of 1984 provides basis for enforcing child support collection in accordance with the court order. The act provides district attorneys to serve your ex-spouse or child’s parent with papers. The papers provide instructions for meeting with the district attorney to establish a payment arrangement. The papers also outline the consequences of failing to pay, including imprisonment. Before that step, the attorney will likely impose such consequences as:

  • Withholding federal and state tax refunds
  • Garnishing wages
  • Seizing property
  • Suspending an occupational license
  • Suspending a business license
  • Revoking the driver’s license

Regardless of the consequences imposed on the delinquent payer, the reality is that you have options if you are not receiving due child support. At Knies, Helland & McPherson, we specialize in family law and can help you get the support you are owed.

Can I Collect Past Due Child Support?

The Child Support Recovery Act makes a willful failure to pay past due financial support a Federal misdemeanor. Additionally, an amendment to the act makes traveling in interstate or foreign commerce to evade child support obligation or failing to pay a child support obligation of $2,500 or more for a period of two years or longer a felony.

Under this act, you are able to actively pursue child support owed you. Our attorneys recognize the unique challenges you face providing for your child and will work with you to make sure you get the financial support you need to most effectively provide and care for your child.

Do I Need a Lawyer for Child Support?

Every state has child support agencies designed to help parents establish and enforce child support. It may be in your best interest, however, to hire a knowledgeable, private lawyer, such as an attorney from Knies, Helland & McPherson. This is of particular concern if you are not only dealing with child support issues but also other problems involving your child and his or her parent. It’s important to keep in mind that while the federal and state mandated agencies can assist with support issues, these agencies cannot help with any other issues, such as child custody, or allocation of parental responsibilities, as it is termed in Colorado.

Like any of the other lawful concerns regarding your child, child support can quickly become a complicated and even heated issue. Knowing your rights and working with an attorney who will keep your and your child’s needs in mind will help you ensure you get the support you need.

Speak with one of our top Colorado Springs family lawyers at Knies, Helland & McPherson. Contact our law firm today.

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At Knies, Helland & McPherson, we partner with you to come up with a customized solution that meets your individual needs and goals.