Yes, Colorado allows for modifications to child support payments. To modify child support, there must be a substantial and continuing change in circumstances that occurred after your last order was entered. To show that the change is “substantial and continuing,” when applying the Colorado child support formula, there must be at least a 10% change in the amount of child support that would be due each month.
Additionally, the circumstances that have caused the 10% must be continuing. A short, temporary change does not qualify for a modification. For example, temporary unemployment is not a continuing change if employment is found within a few months.
The change in circumstances can come from a variety of sources, including:
- Change in the income of either parent
- Change in the parenting time schedule
- Change in daycare costs
- Change in health insurance cost for the child’s coverage
In many situations, a parent may suspect but not have full knowledge of a change in circumstances with the other parent. For example, one parent may have reason to believe the other has received a sizable promotion. In these situations, reviewing the court order may benefit both parents. Many parenting plan orders include a provision that requires the parents to exchange financial information every year. By invoking this order, parents can gain insight into the other parent’s income.
Any request to modify child support must be filed in the court where the original order was issued. Typically, once the Motion is filed, the parties will then be required to exchange an updated Sworn Financial Statement and financial information, such as bank statements, pay stubs, etc.
It is important to understand that any modification of child support must be approved by the court. This means that any agreement between the parties to change child support does not happen until the court approves. Even if the parents agree, a party who is ordered to pay child support should never stop paying (or lower the amount paid) without first obtaining the court’s approval.
If you or the other parent has experienced a significant change, your case may qualify for a child support modification. Contact the family law attorneys at Burnham Law to start your modification. It is important to immediately file your Motion as any change of child support usually only starts once the Motion is filed. Burnham Law has handled child support cases throughout Colorado. Burnham Law has a long record of negotiating child support agreements as well as obtaining favorable court rulings.