Colorado holds both parents responsible for the child support. However, a parent only has to pay child support for his or her own children. The court will presume that you and your spouse are the biological parents of all children born within a marriage or acknowledged as such. If the husband denies paternity, your lawyer can arrange for DNA testing.
Who determines the amount?
The court will calculate the amount each parent must pay. Generally, this is a percentage of the total gross income of both parents, which is then split according to the amount each parent earns. Under normal circumstances, this is 20% for one child, and then 10% for every additional child. Other factors may come in, such as who has custody, the standard of living, and special needs.
Some parents try to hide some or all their money to minimize the amount they have to pay. A lawyer will make sure the court has all the information it needs to make a fair decision. Once the court makes the calculation, it will issue an order. If you can’t afford to pay the set amount for whatever reason, you can ask for a deviation. Your lawyer can help you present your case.
How long is the order effective?
In most cases, child support payments continue until the child turns 19 or 21. If the child has a disability that keeps him or her from becoming self-supporting, the support will continue indefinitely. If you have custody and your spouse fails to pay child support, you can ask your lawyer to file a motion for contempt.