Colorado Child Support Guidelines

Colorado has child support statutes to ensure every child has an adequate standard for financial and emotional support from both parents, and the guidelines are intended to for the children to receive the same amount of financial support as they would if they still lived with both parents. This support generally comes in the form of money paid by the parent without custody to the child’s other parent or caregiver. Colorado uses a strict, and also fairly complicated, guideline when deciding the appropriate amount of child support. Parents are allowed to create their own child support agreements, but if these agreements stray too far from the state guidelines they won’t be approved by the court. This is a quick summary of child support guidelines in Colorado.

Child Support Statutes in Colorado

The following table outlines Colorado's Child Support statutes.

Code Section

COL. REV. STAT. §14-10-115: Child Support Guidelines

Who Is Responsible?

Both parents.

How Is Support Calculated?

Calculation of the gross income of each parent, gross income being income from any source other than child support payments, public assistance, a second job, or a retirement plan. Child support is a percentage (roughly 20% for 1 child, and an additional 10% for each additional child) of the combined gross income of the parents, which is then split between both parents, depending on other factors.

Factors

In determining the amount of support the court shall consider all relevant factors, including:

  • The financial resources of the child;
  • The financial resources of the custodial parent;
  • The standard of living the child would have enjoyed had the marriage not been dissolved;
  • The physical and emotional condition of the child and his or her educational needs; and
  • The financial resources and needs of the noncustodial parent.

What Is Included in a Support Order?

Child care expenses, health insurance coverage, medical expenses, educational expenses, and travel expenses.

How Long Must a Parent Pay Child Support?

Until child turns 19 or 21 if the child still attends high school. (Child support continues indefinitely if the child cannot support themselves due to a physical or mental disability.)

Local Child Support Offices

Colorado Child Support County Units

Colorado Child Support Formula

Colorado Child Support Calculator

How to File For Child Support in Colorado

If you are seeking child support in Colorado, the Colorado Division of Child Support Services can be your resource for:

  • Establishing child/medical support orders and paternity;
  • Modifying child/medical support orders;
  • Enforcing child/medical support orders, including spousal maintenance when combined with child support;
  • Processing payments through the Family Support Registry (FSR);
  • Collecting past due child support from the non-custodial parent's federal and state tax refunds and lottery winnings
  • Collecting past due child support from the non-custodial parent through other enforcement measures; and
  • Asking another state's child support agency to establish, modify, or enforce an order on your behalf.

You can also apply for child support services online and find additional forms on the DHS website.

Colorado Child Support Guidelines: Related Resources

Calculating amounts and navigating Colorado's child support guidelines can be confusing. If you would like legal assistance with a child support matter, you can contact a Colorado family law attorney. You can also visit FindLaw’s sections on Child Custody, Child Support Modifications, and Child Support Enforcement for more articles and information on this topic.

Next Steps: Search for a Local Attorney

Contact a qualified attorney.