The short answer: Possibly. You may petition the courts in Colorado for a support modification after any changes in your financial status. This includes losing your job, changing careers, getting a demotion or promotion, or having another child.
Child support is a financial responsibility one parent may owe the other after divorce. One parent – typically the noncustodial one – may owe the other parent child support to keep the child’s quality of life the same after a divorce. Each state has unique child support laws and regulations. In Colorado, the courts will analyze each parent’s financial situation and the needs of the child to set an appropriate child support amount. If you and a new partner have another child, you may need to officially modify your child support agreement. The amount of the support order may decrease.
Recalculating Child Support After the Birth of Another Child
The courts in Colorado determine child support orders based on numerous factors. A judge will look at measures such as each parent’s income and the child’s needs to decide a fair amount to order one parent to pay. Parents may create their own support agreements before a judge will intervene, but if the agreement does not align with the state’s laws, the courts might not sign off. Most child support payments last until the child turns 19 or 21 if the child is still in high school. If the child has a disability and will never be fully independent, child support can last indefinitely.
The number of children between the spouses may also play a role in determining child custody. In general, more children to care for means a higher amount owed to the custodial parent. Although remarriage will not impact a child support order, a new child could. If you remarry or find a new partner and you two have a child, the addition of this child could decrease your child support responsibility to your ex-spouse. Since you will now be financially responsible for another child, the courts may see this as a qualifying reason to reduce the payment owed to your ex-spouse.
After remarriage, your new spouse will not be financially responsible for the children from your last marriage (with some exceptions). You will still have to keep up with your child support obligation even after you remarry. If you two have a child together, however, this could impact how much you have to pay your ex-spouse for the care of your other children. Now that you have a new child to provide for, the courts will take your new financial situation into consideration during a child support modification request.
How to Modify Your Child Support Order in Colorado
If you and your new spouse are expecting a child, discuss the related laws in Colorado with a child support attorney to see how it might affect what you are currently paying in child support. In most cases, a new child will qualify you for a modification of your support order. You may petition the courts in Colorado for a support modification after any changes in your financial status. This includes losing your job, changing careers, getting a demotion or promotion, or having another child.
Always go through the official legal process for modifying your support order. Do not modify your order through a verbal agreement with your ex-spouse. You will continue owing him or her the same amount on paper through your legally binding support order. In the future, should your ex-spouse choose to hold you responsible for the unpaid amount, he or she lawfully could – along with significant fines and penalties for late payments. Instead, request a support order modification through the courts in Colorado.
Fill out and submit the correct paperwork for modifying your order, along with the $105 filing fee. If you cannot afford this fee, submit a Motion to File Without Payment and Supporting Financial Affidavit. Indicate your reason for the modification request: the birth of another child with a new spouse. Note that under Colorado family law, the change in your financial situation must decrease the dollar amount owed by at least 10%. If your change in circumstance qualifies, a lawyer can help you fill out and file the appropriate paperwork to make the modification official.