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Does Shared Custody Affect Child Support?

There are several terms used when discussing child custody in Colorado. Before delving into how shared custody affects child support in the state, it is vital you understand these custody terms. 

A thorough knowledge of Colorado custody language will help you avoid confusion when discussing your child support case with others. However, the best way to protect your legal and financial rights in an initial child support calculation or modification is to retain the services of an experienced Colorado child support attorney.

Allocation of Parental Responsibilities in Colorado

Child custody in Colorado is called Allocation of Parental Responsibilities or APR. Parental responsibilities are divided into decision-making responsibilities and parenting-time responsibilities.

Decision-making responsibilities are held jointly by parents or solely by one parent. A parent or parents who hold decision-making responsibilities  for a child makes significant life choices for that child, such as:

  • Schooling;
  • Medical care;
  • Religious upbringing; and
  • Extracurricular activities.

Parenting-time responsibilities refer to the time a parent or parents spend with a child. Parents may have equal or nearly equal parenting-time responsibility, or one parent may have the child or children for the majority of the time. 

What is “Shared Physical Care” in Colorado?

According to Colorado’s Child Support Guidelines, a parent has “shared physical care” of their children when each parent keeps their children for more than 92 overnights each year and contributes to their expenses in addition to a child support payment.

Shared physical care may affect Colorado’s monthly child support obligation calculation method. It is important to note that a parent may hold joint decision-making responsibility for their child but not qualify for a shared physical care child support calculation. The two are unrelated.

How Does Shared Physical Care Affect Child Support in Colorado?

Parents who share physical care of their children in Colorado may still be subject to a monthly child support obligation. Child support payments are to ensure the basic needs of the children are met in each parent’s household  and take the following into account:

  • Each parent’s gross monthly income;
  • Any extraordinary expenses of the children;
  • Work related childcare costs; and
  • Health insurance for the children.

Often, a discrepancy in parental incomes requires the higher-earning parent to pay a monthly support payment to the other parent. However, the number of overnights the children spend with each parent will also affect the support amount.

Child support calculations can quickly become complex when accounting for overnights. For an accurate estimate of your child support obligation, contact an experienced Denver child support attorney.

Contact an Experienced Denver Child Support Attorney Today

Have your child support obligation calculated accurately by an experienced Denver child support attorney at our family law firm. At Hogan Omidi, PC, we “wrote the book” family law in Colorado.

Hogan Omidi, PC, can resolve your child support matter independently or in a divorce or child custody dispute. We tailor our representation to suit your style and needs.

Call Hogan Omidi, PC, now to schedule a confidential consultation at (303) 691-9600 or contact us online.