Child support in Colorado is calculated pursuant to a formula which considers the monthly “gross income” of each parent, the number of children shared by the parents, annual overnights in each parent’s home, and additional payments for the children, including insurance and other “extraordinary” expenses. When determining “gross income” for the purpose of calculating child support, all sources of income are included, including pre-tax employment income, bonuses, commissions, alimony, interest or dividends, retirement/pension benefits, unemployment compensation, worker’s compensation benefits, and substantial work-related benefits (company car, meal reimbursements, etc.). Gross income does not include child support for children from other relationships, income from a new spouse, or public assistance benefits.
Additional expenses for the children can be included in the child support calculation. For example, health insurance, extraordinary expenses such as private school tuition or specialty programs needed for the child’s education, recurring uninsured medical expenses, or child care. If a parent is unemployed and seeks to modify child support based on their lack of income, the Court may still impute (assign) the unemployed parent income based on their employment and earning history.
Child support can be modified if there is a substantial and continuing change in the financial circumstances of other parent resulting in at least a ten percent in the monthly child support obligation. Child support terminates when a child reaches age 19. The attorneys at Harrington Brewster Mahoney and Smits, P.C. are experienced and successful in negotiating and litigating modifications of child support when a change in support is necessary.