When you decided to divorce, you were fully prepared to pay child support. Not only did you expect it, you welcomed it because you love your children and want to help financially provide for their needs. Like most good parents in Colorado, you have your kids’ best interests in mind. Just because you wanted out of a marriage doesn’t mean you were planning to negate your parenting obligations.
If you’re concerned about how high the payment amounts might be, however, there may be several ways to convince the court to lower it. Every state has its own guidelines for matters concerning child custody, visitation or support. The court makes such decisions on a case-by-case basis. The judge overseeing your case is most concerned with your children’s well-being and most judges take two main factors into consideration regarding financial support.
Key factor in most child support guidelines
The court typically believes that children fare best in divorce when they have ample opportunity to spend time with both parents. Beyond the idea that time with you is good for your kids, the court also recognizes that when your children are with you, you are footing the bill for groceries and other expenses related to their needs. Therefore, it would not be logical to increase the amount of child support you pay if your children spend a lot of time at your house.
Your income and the your ex’s income are the other key factors the court analyzes before deciding how much child support you should pay. Even after it issues an order, if one or other parent’s income changes, it may affect support payments if a parent files a petition to request modification of the amount due to those changes.
What constitutes parenting time?
The parent who spends the most time with the children is basically the parent who receives child support because he or she will be providing for most of the kids’ financial needs. The percentage of hours you spend with your kids, including but not limited to overnights, the lower your child support payments might be.
By closely assessing the amount of time you spend with your children, you may be able to show the court that you have valid reason for requesting lower child support payments. Perhaps you often agree to take your kids at times not scheduled for visitation. This equates to parenting time and you can add it to your documented percentage.
A fair and agreeable outcome
In most cases, it’s possible for the court to set forth terms that are agreeable to both parents. If that’s not the case, and your co-parent refuses to cooperate or is not adhering to an existing order, you can try to rectify the situation through litigation, if necessary.