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How does Colorado calculate child support?

On Behalf of | Nov 26, 2020 | Child Custody & Parenting Time |

Understanding Colorado’s child support guidelines can help you budget for life after divorce as a parent. The state requires both parents to provide financial support for minor children and determines a fair child support amount depending on parenting time and other factors. 

Review the factors that influence child support in Colorado as you negotiate a separation agreement. 

Basic child support calculation

Generally, Colorado adds the gross income of both parents, which does not include public assistance, second job income, child support received or retirement income. Child support will be about 20% of this total for a single child, 30% for two children and 40% for three children. Next, the state divides this amount between you and your former spouse proportionally based on individual income and parenting time. 

Extenuating circumstances

The judge can divert from the basic child support calculation in certain circumstances. He or she will review: 

  • The expenses and financial resources of the parent who does not have custody 
  • The child’s educational needs, emotional health and physical health 
  • The standard of living you enjoyed during the marriage, particularly for high-income households 
  • The financial resources of the parent who has custody 
  • Any independent financial resources your child may have 

The state requires parents to continue child support until your child turns 19, or until age 21 if he or she remains in high school. The court may order ongoing support for a child with severe mental or physical disabilities. You and your spouse can come to an independent agreement on child support, but the court will review to make sure it serves your child’s needs and provides a fair arrangement for both parties.