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How child support is determined in Colorado

Colorado courts consider a number of factors when calculating how much child support a non-custodial parent may be ordered to pay. While the court usually relies on a guideline to determine the amount, life circumstances and other factors can often make the determination of which figures to use in the calculations much more difficult.

Some of the considerations are based on what it actually costs to raise the child while other considerations are based on the custodial and non-custodial parent's unique circumstances. The United States Air Force Academy provides an example of child support considerations for a non-custodial parent who is in the military. A military parent receives both base pay and other benefits, and these other benefits are taken into account because they can affect the child. Additionally, a child support order may change the military member's allowance entitlement amount. It can be even more difficult to determine child support if both parents are currently active in the military.

Another factor is the child's educational future. In Colorado, non-custodial parents are required to pay child support until the child turns 19 or finishes high school, whichever is later. If the child plans to attend college, the non-custodial parent may be ordered to help pay college expenses depending upon his or her financial situation.

If a couple who has a child decides that they no longer want to be together, an attorney may be able to help a client seek child support. If it is believed that the other party is hiding or failing to provide financial information, the attorney may be able to investigate and bring to light the other party's financial assets.

Source: USAFA, "Child Support", September 09, 2014

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