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What are the requirements when filing to modify child support?

One of the most frequent topics for dispute when Colorado parents part ways is child support. This can be an endless cycle of problems for both parents. The supporting parent might not believe that he or she should pay as much as the order stipulates. The custodial parent could be under the impression that the amount is not sufficient for raising a child. It goes without saying that there are times when a parent does not make the required payments in full or is delinquent. For many, changing the amount via modification is possible. Understanding the basic information to do this is important to know whether it is worth pursuing.

This is valid when there is already an order in place for child support, and there is a desire to increase or decrease it. There are statutory guidelines that the state uses to determine child support. When the circumstances of either party changed, and that change is substantial and continuing, then a modification is possible.

That change must come to an increase or decrease of 10 percent in the current order. Examples of what might lead to the substantial and continuing change are: if the income of either parent has risen or lowered permanently and significantly; and if a child is emancipated and the order is for two or more children.

There are other circumstances in which parents can request modifications. If the order in place has no provision giving medical and dental care, it can be changed. If there are additional expenses, like purchasing a home or a car, it does not warrant a modification. When there is a modification, the change is retroactive to when the motion was filed. The court will conduct a review within 49 days of the filing and decide whether to schedule the case or resolve it.

Child support is one of the most important factors in a divorce. However, it is an issue that is the foundation for many disagreements. While it is beneficial for both parents to be on the same page, obviously that is impossible in many cases. Discussing a child support modification, and the rules dictating it with a qualified lawyer is critical to a case from either perspective and for the child's well-being.

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