When parents in Colorado get a divorce or separate, it doesn’t absolve them of their responsibility to support their children. The same is true if an unmarried couple ends their relationship or they don’t live together for any reason. If a couple was not married when a child was born, a court must first establish paternity before a child support order can be created. Typically, merely putting a man’s name on a birth certificate does not legally make him the father.
Instead, the parents must both acknowledge paternity or confirm it through a DNA test. To determine how much support a mother or father must pay, the court will take into account the income and expenses of the custodial and noncustodial parent. The needs of the child will also be taken into consideration when creating a child support order. If a parent doesn’t want a relationship with the child, he or she will still likely need to provide financial support.
However, a court may reduce a child support order if a parent does choose to spend time with a son or daughter. While state law may establish guidelines for how much support a parent must provide, it is possible for a specific order to deviate from them if necessary. When a final order is entered, it will become part of a divorce or separation decree.
Parents generally want what is best for their children. Providing financial support may help to meet a child’s basic needs such as adequate food, clothing and shelter. It may also help to pay necessary medical and other expenses a minor may incur. Child support attorneys may be able to help parents negotiate favorable divorce settlements that include child support payments and other assistance raising a child.