Your Family Matters – Ask Attorney April

Most people have a lot of questions and misconceptions when it comes to their family matters and Colorado law. People experiencing difficult times with their families often don’t seek legal advice because they are embarrassed, in denial, or are simply afraid of the answers. The purpose of the Ask Attorney April column is to address some of your general legal issues, including questions on divorce, legal separation, child custody, back child support, paternity, domestic violence, restraining orders, and alimony. Ask Attorney April is a forum for you to face the tough questions and tough answers.   This is a place where readers going through separation, divorce, or custody battles can see that they are not alone – that help is out there and that they can learn and grow from whatever trial they find themselves in.

Today we will be looking at a couple of questions I have received about child support. If you have a question that you would like me to answer please comment below and I will gladly get back with you.

April D. Jones has been an attorney in private practice for over 20 years. Her law firm, “Jones Law Firm, PC,” specializes in family law matters and is located in Greenwood Village, Colorado. 

Dear Attorney April,

My husband and I are separated and are in the process of getting a divorce.  We have two young children, ages 3 and 4. Because I work part time in the late evenings, the children spend all day with me, from 7 a.m. to 5 p.m. every day. I don’t have an attorney, but my husband’s attorney says that I owe my husband 100 percent of the child support because the children aren’t spending the night with me. Is this true? ~ Mary

Dear Mary,

Your husband’s lawyer is right in that child support is based on the amount of overnights spent with each parent. Since your children spend less than the minimum 93 overnights with you, the child support worksheet calculator will not take into account the time you are with them, and your support amount will be calculated using the same parameters as a “deadbeat parent.” You can ask the Court to deviate from the child support calculations because you parent your children all day every day, but there is no guarantee that the court will deviate.  Seek the advice of a good attorney immediately before child support orders are entered by the Court.

Dear Attorney April,

My ex and I used to fight all the time concerning child support and parenting time, but now we’ve both mellowed out, and I spend more time with my children and pay half the child support ordered by the court. Do I need to inform the court of our arrangement? ~ Stacey

Dear Stacey,

Until the court modifies its order, the order continues to be in effect. You, therefore, can be found in contempt of court by paying less child support than the court ordered. If relations with your ex should sour again, he can legally seek arrearages (including interest) from you. His remedies would then include garnishing your bank accounts or putting a lien on property you own. I urge you to be proactive and file a motion to modify child support and parenting time with the court. You and your ex can stipulate to the new arrangement and ask the court to sign off on it.

Disclaimer:

The Ask Attorney April column is intended to be general information only. It is not intended to be legal advice and may not address your specific legal matters. If you have a legal question, it is imperative that you seek the advice of an attorney who will provide you with legal counsel tailored to your specific need or situation.  Please contact your local bar association if you need an attorney referral. Remember, knowledge is power!

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Comments

  1. Great column! Awesome ladies serving God and His people, keep up the good work!

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