Getting divorced in Colorado is a time-consuming and expensive process. Many people assume that the final terms of their divorce are effectively set in stone. However, it is actually possible to change aspects of your child custody agreement or your child support order after a divorce.
In order to make those changes, you need to seek a modification from the courts. Otherwise, you must continue to pay child support as ordered in your divorce. There are certain times when seeking a modification to your child support order is probably in your best interest.
If your job changes or your income drops
Even if you have been with the company for years, your career can change suddenly. Your employer could sell the business to someone else or new management could come in. That could leave you in a vulnerable position, especially if the new management team wants to change the way the business is run.
You could find yourself facing a demotion, a decrease in pay or the loss of your job. All of these factors can influence your overall income. If your income has dropped, that may be grounds to request a modification for your existing child support order. After all, Colorado bases child support on income, as well as other factors.
If you are approaching retirement age
How many people wait until they have established themselves professionally to start a family? That means you can offer better stability to your spouse and children. However, it can also mean that you start considering retirement before your children are actually adults.
Retirement usually means living on a fixed income that is noticeably lower than your income while you work. Once you do retire and your income drops, you may very well need to seek a modification. It may no longer be possible for you to pay support as ordered in full.
If you remarried and your family is growing
One of the factors the courts will look at is your obligation to other family members and children. If you have remarried since your divorce and are expecting a child, that can drastically affect your budget. While the courts will prioritize an existing support order, they will potentially consider adjusting your support levels as your family grows.
Each family situation is unique, and your best option is to familiarize yourself with Colorado's child support policies. Other factors, like the number of overnight visits with the child, can impact child support as well.
You are also entitled to a review of support amounts every three years, even if nothing drastically changes. Understanding when changes are significant enough to justify modifications can help you make informed choices about your options.