Motions to Modify Child Support
The family law attorneys at Sharon D. Liko, P.C., are experienced in helping fathers prosecute or defend motions to modify child support. A motion to increase or decrease child support may be filed by either party if the new child support amount changes the existing child support order by 10%.
In motions to modify child support, one party can ask the court to increase or decrease the existing child support award. We fight to protect the rights of men in these cases and to help them fight to achieve the absolute best possible result. Call us today to schedule a consultation to discuss your case with an experienced family law attorney in Denver, Colorado.
Overview of Child Support Modification
Examples of Reasons to Modify Child Support
Under Colorado law, child support is calculated under statutory guidelines. In order for the child support to be modified either upward or downward, there must have been a “substantial and continuing” change in circumstances. In the modification of child support cases, the change in circumstances must amount to a 10% increase or decrease in the current child support order. C.R.S. §14-10-122 governs the requirements for modification actions.
Issues which arise that may cause a substantial and continuing change in circumstances to include the following:
- a permanent, significant increase or decrease in the income of either party;
- a change in the child’s physical care from the mother or father;
- the emancipation of a child when support is ordered for two or more children;
- the current order does not provide for medical / dental support, insurance coverage, or payment for deductibles, co-payments or unreimbursed expenses.
Effective Date of the Modification
A court order modifying child support should be effective as of the date the motion to modify was filed, or earlier if there has been a mutually agreed change in physical custody. After the motion to modify is filed, the Court will review the matter within 49 days. If the facts are sufficient, then the court will schedule a hearing to resolve the case under Colorado Rule of Civil Procedure 16.2(c). In certain cases, the matter can be handled based on the documents provided to the court without a hearing.
Change in Physical Care of Child
Generally, under C.R.S. §14–10–122(a modification of child support generally takes effect as of the date the motion is filed. However, if the parties mutually agree to change the physical care of the child from one parent to the other, the child support order will be modified retroactively prior to the filing of the motion, to the date when physical care was changed.
Although the modification can be applied retroactively, it is a good idea for the parent that now has primary physical care of the child to seek the modification of child support as soon as possible.
Modifying Child Support by Agreement between the Parties
Modification of child support is not subject to the law of contracts. Changes to child support are equitable in nature and require a court order to be enforceable.
Absent a written court order, oral or verbal agreements between the parties to modify child support is NOT ENFORCEABLE. Written agreements between the parties to modify child support are also NOT ENFORCEABLE absent a court order.
Circumstances may arise where due to a father’s loss of employment or decrease in income, the mother agrees to lower or waive the child support due. Unless that agreement is reduced to writing and signed by a judge, it is not enforceable. The mother can later return to court and obtain judgment for all past-due child support with interest accruing at 12% per MONTH not year.
At times the parties may agree that in lieu of child support, the father will pay the mother’s mortgage, rent or car payment. Despite his good faith payment of mother’s mortgage, rent or car payment, mother can still go back to court and obtain a judgment for the full amount of past-due child support with interest accruing at the rate of 12% per MONTH not year.
Do NOT make cash child support payments unless you get a written receipt from the mother which clearly states that the amount received is solely for CHILD SUPPORT. You must keep those receipts forever. Each child support payment due becomes a money judgment which the mother can enforce at any time, even decades later.
Do NOT give the mother cash or pay for misc. expenses and expect that the cash or misc. payments will be credited against any child support due. It will not.
Child support is for the child’s benefit and not the parent’s benefit. The courts do not generally allow the parties, by agreeing with each other, to escape their responsibilities to provide adequate child support. For this reason, any stipulation regarding the amount of child support is not effective unless the court reviews and approves it via a written court order. Pursuant to C.R.S. §14–10–122(1) (c), a court-ordered child support payment becomes a final money judgment when it is due and not paid and such judgment shall not be retroactively modified.
Denver Attorneys for Child Support Modification
The family law attorneys at Sharon D. Liko, P.C., are experienced in representing men in child support modifications. We will not find ways to allow men to escape their child support obligations, but we will find ways to ensure that a father is not exploited and pays an amount which is legally fair considering his circumstances. Call today to talk directly with an attorney in Denver, Colorado, about the specific facts of your post-decree child support modification case.