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How To Modify Child Support Orders

A divorce can significantly change your life, and it continues to change afterwards. Change looks different for everyone, whether it means a promotion, a new job, a new house or even a new marriage. 

If your life continues to change, the court orders filed at the time of your divorce may no longer be appropriate for your circumstances. Colorado family courts regularly review past orders, such as child support, to make sure they are still relevant. However, you do not have to wait for the courts to catch up to the change in your life. You have the option to ask for a review and a modification of child support orders.

The Original Child Support Order

When Colorado courts determine the original child support agreement, they follow very specific guidelines outlined by the law. Similar to determining child custody, the child's best interest is one of the most important elements of the agreement. The other factors courts use to calculate the amount of support include:

  • The child's financial resources
  • Both parents' financial resources
  • The accustomed standard of living 
  • The educational needs of the child
  • The emotional condition of the child
  • The physical condition of the child

Though the law clearly outlines these factors, many of these are subject to change as time goes on. 

How To Change It

Since both your life and your child's life are subject to change, you have the ability to modify child support orders. However, the law is as clear about modifications as it is the original order. Courts even use the same guidelines to determine if a modification is warranted.

To adjust a child support order, one parent has to officially request a review and send it to the Child Support Enforcement of their county. Some reasons for review include:

  • A child's emancipation
  • Changes in income
  • Changes in cost of care

If these circumstances apply to your situation, the Colorado Division of Child Support Services has a helpful guide that details the steps to modifying court orders. If you choose to pursue a modification, it may also be helpful to consult an experienced attorney to protect your parental rights. 

Not every request for review will lead to a modification. However, there is no limit to requests, reviews or actual adjustments themselves. As long as your life changes, your child support orders can change along with it. 

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