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Child support and Colorado's laws

Children have the right to financial support from their parents, and this often factors into a divorce and parenting time. As a parent, you want to make sure you get enough time to see your child, but how often you see your child and your custody arrangement will also affect how much child support you have to pay or need to receive. If paternity is in question during your divorce, this is when the courts will likely order a DNA test to determine if the man in question is responsible for child support.

When a child's parents aren't married, he or she still have a right to financial support from each parent. The father, when identified through a paternity test, is also entitled to some parenting time and obligated to pay for child support, medical care and the child's education. How much can depend on your lifestyle, earnings and other factors.

Although you may think that child support stops when a child reaches adulthood, that's not actually the case. It's common for child support to be paid until a child has turned 19. In cases of disabled children, this child support will continue for the remainder of the child's adult life unless the courts decide to release the parent from this obligation.

Colorado has a simple way of determining child support. The formula that is most commonly used considers both parents' gross incomes and how long the child lives with each parent (this includes only visits with overnight stays). There are two worksheets that could be used, one for when a child spends less than 93 days in a home and one for children who spend more time than that in the home. This difference is made to help determine the fair amount of child support, so one parent isn't having to pay more of the expenses than the other for their child's upbringing.

Source: Colorado Department of Labor and Employment, "Connecting With Your Kids: Important Information on Parenting Time in Colorado" Jane A. Irvine, accessed Mar. 05, 2015

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