Waving United States flag background and a picture of attorney Sabra Janko

Parental Responsibilities and Child Support

Child support amounts are an important factor to consider in dissolution and individual support actions. Child support is calculated using an income shares approach and is also based on the number of overnights each parent has with the children. Therefore, parenting time should be set forth before child support is calculated. The magic number that designates shared physical care is at least 92 overnights for both parents. If both parents have more than 92 overnights a year, then physical care is considered shared. If both parents do not have more than 92 overnights a year, then one parent has majority time care. There are also mandatory add on expenses to support such as work-related childcare and medical care.

Mandatory add-ons

Mandatory add on expenses are generally shared pro rata according to a parent's proportion of the total income earnings. Childcare is a mandatory add-on expense if incurred for employment, job search or education. The parties share the amount pro rata. The amount is typically broken down to a consistent monthly average for purposes of a child support award despite the fact that the amount often fluctuates. For example, childcare costs are often higher during the summer months when the children are out of school. Medical expenses are also shared for insurance premiums and unreimbursed expenses. Educational and travel expenses can be included as well.

Income and Expenses Comprising a Child Support Calculation
  • Gross income of each parent
  • Amount of spousal maintenance paid or received
  • Amount of child support paid for children not of the marriage or relationship
  • Number of children
  • Number of other children for whom a parent has a duty to support
  • Number of overnights
  • Cost of work-related childcare
  • Cost of insurance premiums
  • Cost of extraordinary medical expenses
  • The child's income
  • Cost for travel expenses for parenting time
Child Support Worksheets

There are two different worksheets for sole and shared care. Worksheet A is used when one parent has majority parenting time, which means that the other parent does not have more than 92 overnights per year. Worksheet B is used with shared parenting time when both parents have more than 92 overnights per year. The worksheets take into account the income for both parents and each parent's percentage earnings of the total income. If a parent is unemployed or underemployed, then income can be imputed to that parent.

Deviation From The Guidelines

Courts may deviate from the guidelines, though a deviation requires written findings setting forth the presumptive child support amount, the deviation and the rationale for the deviation.

College Education

Colorado courts can not order a parent to pay for their child's college education. That is not the case in all states. However, parents can enter into an agreement with regards to college expenses.

Child Support Enforcement Agency

The Colorado Child Support Enforcement Agency can assist in establishing and enforcing court orders. Their priority is to those receiving public benefits, however services are available to all. The agency has a parent locator service that allows a custodial parent to locate a nonpaying obligor parent, which can be very helpful in collections actions.

Are you looking for a Family Law Attorney who understands the importance of financial support? At JLaw and Mediation, LLC we know family law and how to obtain a solution that will turn change into opportunity. Give us a call for a complimentary case assessment at 303-210-4204, or fill out our confidential online intake form.

Contact Us for a Consultation
303-210-4204