Children deserve to be financially supported by both parents, whether those parents are married or not. At Karin Johnson Chatfield LLC in Denver, I represent Colorado parents and legal guardians who seek to establish equitable child support arrangements for their children. Whether you have an amicable relationship with your child’s other parent, or you are dealing with a parent who hides financial assets, refutes paternity or proves difficult to locate, I will adamantly pursue the support your child is entitled to.
Parents who go through a divorce may come up with their own formal agreement to share financial responsibilities for a child. If this is not an option, the legal system offers its own process.
A parent who wishes to hold a child’s other parent accountable for child support must file an application with the county court. A guardian who is not a biological parent must open a case against both parents. With the application, the petitioner must submit detailed financial and personal information about all parties involved. The court will review all evidence and consider the family’s specific circumstances before it issues orders detailing how much is owed and when payments are due.
Hiring an attorney with a detailed understanding of Colorado family law can be invaluable when putting together your application or responding to a request. My decades’ worth of experience enables me to handle complicated cases with proficiency.
Colorado’s guidelines intend for a child to be allocated financial resources equivalent to what he or she would receive if parents lived together. The parents’ adjusted gross income serves as a base for determining their combined financial obligation. Adjustments are made to account for the child’s extraordinary medical needs, work-related childcare costs, and each parent’s responsibilities in regard to custody and visitation.
The court considers several other factors to determine the amount of support a parent should pay. These factors are outlined in the Colorado Revised Statutes 14-10-115, and include the:
An order for child support issued in Colorado generally remains valid until the child reaches the age of 19 or until a month after the child graduates from high school, whichever comes later, but not beyond the age of 21. If the child has mental or physical disabilities, payments may be required for an extended period of time.
Child support ends early if the child gets married, joins the military or obtains a legal emancipation. Parents may also seek to end the child support obligation by filing a Motion to Terminate Child Support with the county court.
Because a child support order is based on the financial resources of parents, only a “substantial and continuing” change in circumstances can justify a modification to a child support order. A parent or guardian can request an increase or decrease in support payments by filing a Motion to Modify Child Support. The court will review new evidence and consult the Colorado Child Support Guidelines before granting or denying a modification request.
When payments are past due, the court can be asked to enforce the order. A parent may seek help from the Colorado Child Support Enforcement Unit or may file a motion of contempt with the court. Whether you are seeking to modify or enforce a support order or oppose these actions, I will advocate for your rights.
If a parent falls behind on child support payments or refuses to abide by an order, the court can take enforcement actions that include seizing bank accounts, intercepting tax returns, garnishing paychecks, and placing a lien on property. Parents who fail to make payments may lose their driving privileges or have their professional or recreational licenses taken away. Courts can also charge a delinquent parent with criminal contempt of court, with penalties that include a fine or jail time. I assist parents throughout Denver County in actions to enforce child support orders.
At Karin Johnson Chatfield LLC in Denver, Colorado, I help parents negotiate child support agreements and assist them in modifying or enforcing support orders. To schedule a free initial consultation with my office, call 720-386-5511 or contact me online.