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Child support: Can you receive it?

There's no doubt about it. Raising kids in the modern era is expensive and without additional financial help, Colorado parents could have trouble making financial ends meet. This is where child support comes into play.

While most parents who have full physical custody of their children can receive child support from the noncustodial parent to help pay the bills, there are a few things that every parent should know about this process if they hope to successfully receive the child support they deserve.

Have you established yourself as the sole custodial parent?

The custodial parent can usually receive child support. In other words, the parent with whom the children live full-time is the one who has the right to get financial support from the other parent -- i.e., the noncustodial parent -- to pay for living expenses, food and other costs related to the children.

A court may have designated you as the custodial parent during a child custody dispute. Or, you may have assumed the role naturally as a single parent in a household that was left by the other parent, or in a situation where the other parent was never really involved in the care and raising of the child.

Are you raising your child with joint custody?

Even in cases that involve joint custodial arrangements, if there is a significant income disparity between the parents, one of the parents may be required to pay child support to the other parent.

Situations that might bring this kind of arrangement could involve a couple in which one of the spouses was a stay-at-home parent and the other spouse was the only breadwinner. After divorce, the breadwinning spouse might continue to earn a lot more money than the stay-at-home parent and therefore this spouse might be required to pay the other spouse child support.

Pursue child support if you're struggling to make financial ends meet

A detailed review of your and your family's situation will determine whether you have the right to pursue child support in your case. If you can receive it, then legal strategies may be employed on your behalf to assert your rights in this regard.

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