Colorado Child Support Guidelines

Supporting Your Child After Divorce

In Colorado, the amount of child support you pay or receive after divorce can depend on your parenting time arrangement. Colorado uses one child support worksheet (worksheet A) if the non-majority-time parent has the children 92 overnights or less each year, and a different worksheet (worksheet B) if the non-majority-time parent has the children 93 overnights or more.

In Colorado, 93 overnight visits per year is considered a shared parenting plan and reduces the amount of child support paid by the non-majority-time parent — sometimes as much as $500 dollars a month or more for an average family with two children. However, if a parent seeks a shared parenting time arrangement solely for the purpose of reducing child support, it is the child who loses.

Your children have two parents and are entitled to be supported by two parents. The majority parenting time parent spends her/his money directly supporting your child with food, shelter, and clothing on a daily basis, and they receive child support to cover the other parent's share of these expenses.

When there is a shared parenting plan and Worksheet B is used to determine child support, both parents are expected to contribute to the expenses of the child in proportion to their incomes. These expenses may include costs of extracurricular activities, lunch money, clothes, school supplies, cell phones, computers, and other out of pocket needs of the child.

Child Custody and Child Support

I was one of the first lawyers in the Denver area to help men obtain primary custody of their children in divorce. In most of the cases in which I was involved, the mother was the majority parenting time parent, but I have represented both men and women.

The determination of which parent should have the majority of the time and decision making always depends on the facts of the parties relationship with the children. However, today, I believe that the pendulum of fathers' rights has swung too far. My goal as a family law attorney is to place your child's interests first and ensure that the majority time parent receives enough money to adequately support your child — whether the majority-time parent is the father or the mother, my client or the other party.

A shared custody or parenting plan (one in which the non-majority-time parent has the child at least 93 overnight visits each year) should not be sought or allowed where the purpose is reducing the child support amount.

Supporting Your Child After Divorce

It's important to remember that child support is not money for your ex spouse. It is money for your children.

In Colorado, the court can't order a parent to pay for college. However, expenses such as extra curricular activities, school fees, car insurance, clothes and other expenses should be shared proportionately by both parents in addition to child support. These expenses are to be directly shared where the parents have a shared parenting time schedule, the non-majority parenting time parent has 93 or more overnights per year.

Child support can be changed after divorce if the financial circumstances or the parenting time arrangement changes.

Learn more about child support:

Post-divorce decree modifications

For more information or to schedule an attorney consultation about child support: call 303-427-5581 or complete the contact form on this site. My law office is located near the Pecos Street exit of the Denver-Boulder Turnpike.