One key secret to changing your child support amount in Colorado

How do I change child support? This is actually a question I also get a lot of people calling about.

Child support is a formula here in Colorado. So you’re not going to be able to change child support unless there is at least a 10 percent change to the bottom line of that formula. So let’s talk briefly about what’s in the formula.

What is in the formula is how many overnights each parent has a year, the gross income of both parents, who pays the health insurance for the child, extraordinary expenses like ongoing medical expenses, or sometimes even extraordinary expenses that had to do with extracurricular activities might also go in the formula. The first question is what of any of those have changed?

screen showing a bunch of formulas

Most frequently people are calling me about this because what’s changed is income. Someone will say, “I have a new job and I was laid off from my old job and I was only able to get a job that pays me 2/3 of what I used to make, so I need to change child support.” Then you look, you go through the formula, you add in all the new numbers, and if that bottom line of who pays who what changes by more than 10 percent, and that change is ongoing, then you have a good case to go in and modify child support.

The other thing that changes typically would be parenting time. If the parenting time has changed significantly then that might also change the bottom line of the child support formula.

Glitches. Glitches may be that the opposing side, which would be your former spouse, would say that you’re underemployed. That yes you’ve changed your income level, but you didn’t get fired, you quit your job and you’re only making half of what you used to and that’s by choice, and you could get a job that made just as much as you used to make. That’s going to be a defense to changing child support.

So there’s a number of things that can go on inside of that formula. It’s whether or not the change has occurred, and whether or not the change is valid, that determines if it is it a valid change. Those are the elements that make up whether you can alter your child support. For more information about filing for divorce, how divorce works, or any other family law matters in Colorado, call us at 303-329-3802.