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Understanding Colorado child support calculations

On Behalf of | Apr 9, 2021 | Family Law

When parents face divorce in Colorado, the state requires each person to provide financial support to their children. The amount of child support ordered by the court varies based on the family’s financial circumstances and other factors.

Review the elements Colorado courts consider when determining child support for families in the state.

Guideline worksheets

Colorado parents can use one of two guideline worksheets to estimate the child support they will receive or pay. Worksheet A, “Sole Physical Care” applies to families where one parent has the child for more than 92 overnight stays a year. Worksheet B, “Shared Physical Care” applies when both parents each have at least 92 overnight stays with the child each year.

Calculation method

Once parents identify the correct worksheet, they can add their combined monthly gross income. Based on this number and the number of children the parents have, the worksheet will provide a recommended amount of child support. The judge can adjust this amount based on the cost of child care, medical bills and health insurance premiums for the child.

The court can also make a low-income adjustment to the support amount if the noncustodial parent earns less than $1900 per month. When one parent does not work, the judge can estimate how much he or she would make with a full-time job, except in cases involving a parent who has a disability or is a full-time student.

Colorado requires child support to continue until the child turns 19 or graduates from high school. Either parent can request a child support modification if custody or financial circumstances change.