An important part of the Child Custody arrangement is the determination of the level of child support. Child Support is when a parent who is not granted custody or the power to exercise parental rights, is compelled to pay monetary compensation for the purpose of raising the child.
Child support is the right of the child and not of the primary caregiver. Hence, non-custodial parents are often required to support the child until he or she is 18 years of age. In some States, college fees are also included.
How much is Child Support?
The value of child support depends on the state where the custody case takes place since each has its own statutory guidelines used to determine the monthly payments. However, to eliminate unfairness, judges abide by a specific formula, which includes the following factors:
- Dependents. If one parent has other children and is legally obligated to support them, the court will consider this and balance out the child support cost.
- Overnight Visits. These refer to the time that a parent is financially responsible for a child. If, for instance, the child stays with one parent only once a week or so, the child support would include compensation for all expenses incurred by the other parent for the entire duration the child is residing with him or her.
- Healthcare Costs
- Child Care Expense
- Other Deductions
Can you modify child support?
In the same way that child support costs would differ depending on which state you are in, differing statutes will also come into play to determine if child support can be modified.
In the State of Colorado, child support can be modified if all the following qualifications are met:
- There is a continuing and substantial change of circumstances.
- That change results in a 10% or more difference in income.
- The change is not temporary.
For example, the child support order is for $500. Any of the factors taken into consideration to determine child support should increase or decrease by 10% of $500 in order to justify a modification.
These changes cannot be temporary. Instead, they have to be continuous and substantial in order for the court to grant a modification of child support. This is because they want to ensure that the person seeking to modify payments did not intentionally sacrifice a source of income in order to escape from his or her obligation.
What to do to modify child support payments?
If you’re seeking to modify your child support payments, you need to file a motion to modify child support in the proper family court. As the burden of proof will be on you to prove that all the qualifications have been met, you will likely need a good family court attorney as well.