On behalf of Cooper & Tanis, P.C. posted in family law on Tuesday, August 1, 2017.
Colorado divorcing parents of young children may try to estimate their child support payments through an online calculator. However, a judge may still create an order that differs wildly from what the parents thought was a reasonable amount. The calculator or worksheet will ask parents for basic information such as how much they make each year and how much time that they will spend with the child.
A judge may use information that a calculator or worksheet may not ask for. It is possible that the judge may add the cost of child care costs or medical expenses for the child. It is also possible that the judge determines that a parent is spending more time with a child than previously estimated. If an order is modified in the future, it may also differ from what a parent expected to pay or to receive.
Parents are encouraged to determined a reasonable child support figure on their own. They are also encouraged to work together to create a parenting plan that is in the child’s best interest. It is important to note that a judge can alter a child support or custody plan if it is deemed to not be in that child’s best interest or seems inherently unfair to one parent.
Child custody and child support issues may be difficult for parents to resolve on their own. Therefore, it may be a good idea for a parent to meet with an attorney to get a better understanding of the law. In some cases, parents may wish to talk to an attorney about any agreement reached either in private or through mediation sessions. This may increase the odds that a judge will approve the plan without making any modifications.