If you live in Colorado and receive or pay child support, you need to understand how child support payments affect you and how they’re determined for your family. The Colorado Child Support Guidelines are used for children’s parents who are divorced, separated or even unmarried. The guidelines make sure children receive the right care by making each parent provide a fair share of income and resources to the child.

Typically, support is determined by looking at the monthly income of the parent. The gross income is considered as well as the average amount of money a traditional family would spend on a child. By using this method to determine child support, the child in question has a better chance of receiving the same benefits and quality of life as others in traditional families.

Of course, when parents can’t afford much, then the child support may be adjusted to reflect that. For instance, if a noncustodial parent only earns between $900 and $1,900 per month, then she or he may be able to have the support reduced. Parents must remember that they are also meant to share the cost for childcare, uninsured medical costs and medical insurance, which can add additional costs to the already withdrawn child support amount each month.

If you’re concerned about the amount of child support you pay each month or are concerned that your ex isn’t providing enough for your child, it’s important to discuss your case with someone who can help. The guidelines don’t have to be followed by the court, but in most cases, they will be upheld, allowing you to get the money you need to care for your child.

Source: Colorado Department of Human Services, “Calculating Child Support Payments” accessed Feb. 05, 2015