Child Support Law Firm in Denver, CO
If you are seeking a divorce and have children, or if you are a party to an allocation of parental responsibilities case, you will likely be involved in some type of child support order. Whether you are in the position of paying or receiving court ordered payments on behalf of your children, you want to be well-informed as to how the laws work in Colorado and of your rights and responsibilities as a parent.
Calculating the amount of support from the Colorado child support guidelines is a fairly straightforward process. Basically, it is determined from an examination of the incomes of each of the child’s parents. However, there are numerous other short term and long term financial factors involved in supporting the children that also should be taken into consideration. To ensure that you child support calculations are fair for each child’s situation, you should reach out to a child support attorney in Denver, CO from Hulse Law Firm. Our expertise will make certain that the right income and deductions are included in the support calculations. We will also bring to light any other financial needs of the child that should be considered, and if appropriate, diligently negotiate that those requirements be addressed and met.
Sometimes it is fairly easy to determine the income of each parent, especially if both parents work a fixed amount of hours each week, receive a set hourly rate, or have a salaried income. Even then, each child support case should be looked at carefully and with great attention to detail. Other sources of parental income may be taken into consideration including commissions, pensions, trusts, annuities, social security benefits and payments that one of the parents might receive on a regular basis. Complexities in calculating a parent’s income arise if he or she earns bonuses or is self-employed. If a parent is unemployed, or considered to be underemployed, the Court will step in to “impute” or “assign” an income rate to ensure that neither parent “shirks” his or her duty to the children by trying to avoid financial responsibility.
If you are in the position of not knowing the full extent of the other parent’s income, this is another reason why having a Denver child support lawyer is so critical. In order to look out for your best interests, and those of the children involved, it may be necessary to ask for additional discovery to calculate both parties’ incomes correctly. Hulse Law Firm can help guide you through this important process.
Other Considerations for Determining Child Support
In addition to determining a parent’s income, it is also necessary to correctly calculate other expenses related to the children. One parent is generally required to maintain the children’s health insurance and will receive a credit for the amount paid on behalf of the children. Medical expenses such as copays and other out-of-pocket costs are generally split in proportion to income.
Additionally, if the parents need daycare so that they can work or attend school, this cost will either be split in proportion to income or will be part of the child support calculation. Educational expenses, special circumstance needs, and other extraordinary expenses of the child may also be treated in this manner. All of these things may be factored into the calculation of child support.
Colorado state guidelines will also use the number of overnights each parent has with the children and how many children are part of the relationship when determining appropriate child support. If the parents do not live close to each other, travel expenses may be part of the child support calculation, too.
Since there are so many different factors that can be taken into consideration to calculate and determine support, it is very important to seek the advice of a Denver child support attorney. Hulse Law Firm is a preeminent legal firm in Colorado, and we will assist you in this process, helping you to achieve the best possible results for you and for your children.
Child Support and Income Taxes
Child support is not taxable to the parent receiving it, nor is it tax deductible to the parent paying it. It is important for each parent to consider the tax consequences of other items that are related to child support and consult a tax expert regarding these issues.
The child support statute also states that parents are to split dependency exemptions for tax purposes in proportion to income. It is generally advisable to be very clear as to who is claiming what child in what year to avoid disputes in the future regarding this issue. In addition, some parents may receive a tax credit for payment of daycare expenses depending on which parent is responsible for the costs and what has been agreed upon.
Modification of Child Support
Child support can be modified provided a parent can demonstrate that a situation has changed significantly. Those circumstances can include a dramatic increase or decrease in parental income resulting from a job change. Other reasons could be that the amount of time a child stays with each parent is not as originally planned, termination of daycare, or changes in health insurance costs.
Child support can be modified numerous times until the children are emancipated. If there is more than a 10% change in support due, there is a rebuttable presumption that child support must be modified. To determine if a modification is necessary, consult with a child support attorney in Denver, CO.
Emancipation of Children
Generally children are considered emancipated at age nineteen, and child support terminates automatically at that time. A child may also be considered emancipated if he or she gets married, enters active duty military service, or other extenuating circumstances. Child support may extend beyond the age of nineteen if a child is determined to be mentally or physically disabled, or if he or she is still enrolled in high school.
You Deserve the Best Child Support Attorney in Denver, CO
Every child support situation is unique. Be advised and counseled by a Denver child support attorney of Hulse Law Firm about your rights and obligations regarding child support. We will see that your interests and the interests of your children are protected in the best possible way.