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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.

Denver Child Support Attorney

Why Choose Ciancio Ciancio Brown For Your Child Support Case?

At Ciancio Ciancio Brown, P.C., our family law division understands your needs and the difficult times you are going through. All of the attorneys who work in the family law division have years of experience handling complex family law and child support cases.

Here are some reasons why we are your top choice for legal representation in Denver:

  • We have represented family law clients in the Denver area for more than 20 years.
  • Most of our attorneys were raised in Denver and we’ve built a strong network of resources to help build the strongest case possible.
  • Several lawyers in our family law group have been selected to Colorado Super Lawyers, Rising Stars and Best Lawyers.

When you hire a Denver child support lawyer from Ciancio Ciancio Brown, P.C., you are selecting a team that is dedicated to fighting for your rights and for the best possible outcome. Navigating a child support case should not be done alone. Let us do the work for you so you can focus on your wellbeing during this difficult time.

Get In Touch with Our Denver Child Support Attorney Today

At Ciancio Ciancio Brown P.C., we work hard to obtain a fair child support order for both parents to abide to state guidelines. Get in touch with a Denver child support attorney from Ciancio Ciancio Brown P.C., today, and you will get the personalized attention to your case that you deserve. Give us a call today at (303) 451-0300 or fill out the contact form below to schedule an appointment see if we could be of any help to you. We also have an office in Downtown Denver so our team is available for in-person appointments.

Here’s What Our Proud Clients Have To Say

“She constantly fought for me, and I will forever be grateful.”

Carrie and her team went above and beyond for me during the hardest year of my life. She is not only professional but kind. She is brilliant and hard working, and she takes the high road. It would have been easy to just hear what I had to say, in my most vulnerable time, but she listened. I always got a response for even my most basic questions. She constantly fought for me, and I will forever be grateful.

Sarah Werckle – Family Law Client

“I was recommended to them by a family friend and it was one of the best decisions I’ve ever made!”

There are not enough stars for me to rate my experiences with Ciancio Ciancio Brown! They are not only amazing attorneys but also amazing good hearted people. That is not something you can say about most attorneys offices but they actually care. I highly recommend them!!! I was recommended to them by a family friend and it was one of the best decisions I’ve ever made!

Amber Davis – Family Law Client

“I love my attorney and this firm.”

“They did such a precise and fast job in getting me divorced and it was such a pleasure by everyone involved. They have a great team and all work as a team, I was always in the loop of every step of my divorce.”

Lisa Landis – Family Law Client – Google Review

Table Of Contents

How Can a Denver Child Support Lawyer Help?

No one should go into legal arguments over child custody and child support without representation. Even in the best of circumstances, with both parents in agreement over the arrangements, there are still several matters to resolve, including the following:

  • The amount of the support order and/or child expenses
  • How the paying parent plans to pay the support order
  • How Colorado enforces law enforcement orders

The best-case scenario of both parents in complete agreement over a child support order is rare. In most cases, you’ll need a child support lawyer to ensure the protection of your rights during a contentious time. At Ciancio Ciancio Brown, P.C., our legal team is here to help with all elements of your child support case.

When Should I Contact a Child Support Attorney?

Any parent facing divorce should contact a child support attorney for representation as should an unmarried parent seeking child support or named in a child support order. A lawyer protects a child’s interests first but also protects the interests of their client in family court. In many cases, the other parent will have a lawyer defending their interests. A Colorado child support attorney can help with the following:

  • Understanding your legal rights as a parent
  • Calculating child support for either the payer or payee
  • Modification of child support orders
  • Establishing paternity in child support cases
  • Resolving disputes over child expenses
  • Enforcing an existing child support order
  • Collection of back child support
  • Wage garnishment
  • Disputes about extensions of child support beyond the age of 19

A Denver child support lawyer advocates for your goals while prioritizing the well-being of the child.

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. An order for child support in Colorado typically covers the following:

  • Child care costs
  • Basic needs and expenses
  • Education costs
  • Expenses for extracurricular activities
  • Medical insurance and healthcare expenses
  • Child support in Colorado is based on the following considerations:
  • The financial resources and income of each parent
  • The needs of the parent with primary custody
  • The child’s physical and/or emotional condition and needs
  • The child’s accustomed standard of living

Determining child support is often the most contentious aspect of a divorce. Disputes over support amounts are common, even when both parents are dedicated to fully supporting their children. Determining the true income of both parents, examining the amount of time each parent spends with the child according to their parenting plan, and agreeing on the costs of raising children may become contentious issues for debate. A skilled family lawyer with experience in this type of economic analysis and deep familiarity with Colorado child support laws can help you and the other parent resolve these issues with the best possible chance of an agreeable outcome.

How is Child Support Calculated in Colorado?

Each state has its own child support guidelines to determine child support payment. Colorado has child support worksheets to calculate support by taking into account each party’s true full-time earnings/earning potential, overnight stays with the child and reoccurring expenses for the child. The child support calculator can help give you a general idea of the possible outcome of your child support obligations.

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 statutory 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 overnight stays 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 under Colorado law 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 obligations.

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 child support cases can be precedent setting, so one needs to carefully understand this area of law before going in front of a judge. Whether you are the custodial or noncustodial parent, we can help you through the child support process whatever your situation may be.

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.

Establishing Paternity in Colorado

When two parents are married, Colorado law automatically assumes the husband is the father of any children born into the marriage. However, for purposes of child support, unmarried parents must establish paternity. There are two ways to establish legal paternity in Colorado:

  • Through a Voluntary Acknowledgement of Paternity (VAP) form in which both parents agree to a father’s paternity
  • One parent files a court action for a paternity order. This process may be initiated by the mother, the potential (putative) father, or a child’s legal representative
  • Social Services or other state agencies
  • A legal representative of the putative father in the event that he’s a minor, incapacitated, or deceased.

Once a father has established paternity, he has the right to seek visitation or custody and also becomes responsible for contributing to the child’s support.

A Colorado judge in family court holds the authority to issue paternity orders as well as orders for child support, physical and legal custody of the child, visitation, health insurance coverage, and payment for any court costs and legal fees.

Modifying Your Child Support Orders

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.

Child Support Enforcement in Colorado

Child support amounts owed don’t disappear when left unpaid. Instead, the unpaid balance continues to grow and may accumulate interest. Colorado’s Child Support Services (CSS) program exists to enforce child support orders. They can do this through the following ways after the receiving parent files a motion for contempt:

  • Income withholding or wage garnishments
  • Seizing assets such as bank accounts or property
  • Lien placement on real estate property
  • Intercepted earnings from tax returns, unemployment benefits, lottery winnings, gambling wins, or income earned through the state of Colorado

The state may also impose penalties such as suspending a driver’s license or a commercial license, reporting the delinquency to a credit reporting agency, or in cases of the most severe delinquencies, filing criminal charges with jail time as a penalty.

A skilled family law attorney with experience in child support enforcement methods used by the state of Colorado can help you understand your rights and obligations.

How Long Does Child Support Last?

When a Colorado court issues an order for child support, in most cases, the order remains in effect until the youngest child named in the order turns 19. Some exceptions may apply, depending on individual circumstances. If a child is still attending high school beyond age 19, support payments must continue until the end of the month of the child’s graduation but not beyond age 21. The same applies to a child in a high school equivalency program.

A support-paying parent should never stop making their payments without clearing it with a judge in case an exception applies. For instance, children with certain disabilities or cognitive impairments may require additional years of support if they require lifelong care. Ceasing payment too soon could result in an unpaid balance, interest, and legal problems.

In some circumstances, child support payments in Colorado could end before a child turns 19 years old. Speak to an attorney about stopping child support payments before age 19 in the following circumstances:

  • If a child leaves home and has a job
  • If a child gets married
  • If a child joins the military

Unless any of the above exceptions apply, child support orders end when the youngest child in a divorced or unwed family turns 19. In the case of multiple children, a child support order does NOT end until the youngest child turns 19. If a paying parent wishes to reduce the amount of money they pay per month when an older child turns 19, they must file for a modification of their child support order.

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.

Contact Our Denver Child Support Lawyers

Our family 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 attorneys about your child support agreement.