Factors in determining the amount of child supports include the parties’ individual incomes, their combined gross income, the number of children, the number of overnight stays with each of the parents, the daycare expenses, health insurance costs, and some “extraordinary expenses.” Those “extraordinary expenses” may include transportation or private schooling in some cases.
The income of the parents is always gross income, not net (after tax) income. It includes those items on a typical paycheck that are deducted from the gross amount. It also includes other forms of income, such as rent payments received, dividends, interest on investments, and most types of income. In some cases, the Court may consider employer payments, such as those for automobile expenses, as imputed income. The Court also can find that a parent is “unemployed” and impute additional income to that parent.
One of the most significant changes in the law effective January 1, 2014, involves the parties’ maximum combined gross incomes. Prior to the modifications, the Child Support Statute accounted for a maximum combined monthly gross income of $20,000. The new amount for a maximum combined monthly income is $30,000 per month or $360,000 per year. This means that the guidelines only go up to $30,000 per month in combined gross income, although some courts will “extrapolate” for higher amounts, which means that they will calculate child support based on what the child support guidelines would be if they continued beyond the combined gross amount of $30,000 per month.
The Colorado State Judicial Department website at www.courts.state.co.us has forms for the calculation of child support, as well as more information about child support.
Doris B. Truhlar