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Denver Child Support Lawyer 

Denver Child Support Lawyer 

At Ciancio Ciancio Brown, P.C., our Denver child support attorneys represent men and women in child support cases. We focus on ensuring that child support arrangements are based on accurate information and are in the best interest of children and parents. Our team of lawyers and paralegals has been handpicked by Cynthia L. Ciancio, one of the most accomplished family law attorneys in Colorado.

It is important to make sure that children have the financial support they need, even when their parents are no longer together. Child support is determined according to a formula that takes the income of both parents and the parenting plan into consideration.

Focusing on the Best Interests of Children and Parents

In child support and child custody cases, our Denver child support attorneys always put the child first. We practice child-focused legal services that protect your child’s best interests. This means reducing the stress and emotional toll of divorce or legal separation on the entire family by creating a personalized legal strategy suited to your needs and working toward a solution that works for everyone.

What is Child Support?

Child support is the right of the child. Each parent has an obligation to financially support the child. When two parents end their relationship – either in a divorce or legal separation – the courts hold that the child(ren) should not suffer any negative financial consequences. The child(ren) should have the same standard of living that they enjoyed prior to the divorce. The solution to this is a child support order. This is a court order requiring one parent to pay the other a specific amount to cover costs related to childcare after a divorce. Typically, the higher-earning parent must pay the lower earner.

How is Child Support Calculated in Colorado?

Each state has its own child support guidelines to determine payments. Colorado has child support worksheets to calculate support by taking into account each party’s true full-time earnings/earning potential, overnights with the child and reoccurring expenses for the child. Issues such as fault for the divorce or marital misconduct are not considered. Here’s what a basic child support calculation looks like under the guidelines laid out in Section 14-10-115 of the Colorado Revised Statutes:

  • Determine the gross income of each parent (or potential income if a parent is unemployed or underemployed) and verify the income statements submitted by both parents to ensure accurate wage documentation.
  • Consider prior financial obligations. If one parent receives alimony, the amount should be multiplied by 1.25 and added as a source of income for the recipient. On the other hand, any pre-existing child support orders should be deducted from a parent’s gross income.
  • Ascertain the basic child support obligation using Colorado’s Schedule. The Schedule gives a base amount of child support according to the parents’ combined monthly adjusted gross income and the number of children.
  • Alter the basic amount in the Schedule according to the actual value of child care costs, health insurance, extraordinary factors, medical expenses and other circumstances unique to the family.
  • Compute child support based on whether one parent has sole physical care of the child(ren) for 273 or more overnights per year (Worksheet A) or shared physical care with at least 93 overnights per parent (Worksheet B).

Colorado’s child support guidelines are strict and complicated. If you’re wondering how much you or your spouse might have to pay in child support, the best way to use Colorado’s formula is with assistance from a Denver family law attorney. Keep in mind that each divorce case is unique – the standard formula may not apply to your case if your family is an exception, such as with high earners. A child support lawyer can help you accurately calculate child support using the facts of your specific case.

Determining Child Support When a Parent is a High Income Earner or Self-Employed

With high-income individuals, the “formula” does not apply. These cases require a special analysis that takes into consideration the needs of the child and the standard of living prior to the parental separation.

With self-employed individuals or business owners, the determination of income can be very complex. Our Denver child support lawyers pride themselves on understanding the income of a business and reading and understanding tax returns. Determination of income is the most important factor in determining child support.

Income of a Parent Who Is Unemployed or Underemployed

This area of law can be very complex and confusing. If a parent is unemployed or under-employed, there is a possibility that a court will “impute” (assign) an income to that individual even if he or she is not actually earning that amount. The imputation of income in support cases can be precedent setting, so one needs to carefully understand this area of law before going in front of a judge.

Child Support for Unwed Parents

The issue of child support extends beyond divorce. Unwed parents must also deal with this issue. In order for child support payments to be ordered, paternity must first be established. Our lawyers can assist you with all of your paternity and child support needs.

Child Support Modification

Child support is generally modifiable. If you, like many of our clients, have experienced a change in your financial or parenting time circumstances, you may be eligible to have child support modified. The courts in Colorado will only grant a request for child support modification if a parent has had a substantial and continuing change in circumstance since the time that the order was given. This could refer to:

  • The loss of your job.
  • A change in career due to a serious injury, illness or disability.
  • A significant demotion or reduction in your wages.
  • Acquiring a new or additional job.
  • A change in the size of your family, such as remarriage or having additional children.
  • New extraordinary care or medical expenses connected to a child.
  • The changing needs of a child, such as post-secondary school or extracurriculars.
  • You or your ex-spouse going to jail.
  • You or your ex-spouse being deployed as part of military service.
  • Child custody or visitation changes.

The courts will only grant a modification request if the application of the Child Support Guideline would lead to a new order that has a difference of 10 percent or more compared to the existing order. A Denver child support attorney can assist you with submitting your modification request and proving a substantial change in circumstance.

Contact Our Denver Child Support Lawyers

Our law firm’s attorneys, handpicked by renowned Colorado family law attorney Cynthia L. Ciancio, understand what it takes to protect the rights of parents in child support cases. Contact us at (303) 451-0300 to schedule a case evaluation with our Westminster attorneys.

FAMILY LAW

Litigation is a journey. This is a journey we have taken with our clients a countless number of times. If you face the uncertainty, risk, fear, anger, or disbelief that comes with the prospect of going through a legal dispute, the law firm of Ciancio Ciancio Brown, P.C. will help you through it.