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Calculating Child Support Payments

I have always paid my ex-wife child support over the last 12 years. We didn’t use lawyers when we got divorced and filled out the child support worksheet strictly using ONLY our pay stubs. We are now both remarried and my financial situation with my current wife has changed and its a big stretch just to make ends meet.(I know that this does not matter in calculating child support payments, just giving you a little background info). My ex-wife drives a car that is owned and paid for her new spouse’s business. She also pays for ALL of the gas for that car with a company card provided to her from her new spouse. My oldest son also uses the company card to buy his gas and we give the ex-wife money to cover “our share” of that cost. Last year, her grandfather passed away and she received around $50,000 cash and will also receive some profits from the sale of his house. The house that my ex-wife owns with her new spouse is in her name only. When modifying child support calculations, would the inheritance, the car and gas allowance and any money she receives from her new spouse to pay for her monthly household bills be counted as income for her?

Good questions. The answers "depend." If your ex-wife is an employee of her husband's company and has no other car to drive, then yes, an imputation of income would be made based on the benefits she receives. However, if she does not work for the company, then no, that income doesn't count. The inheritance from her grandfather may or may not impact child support. If the cash was received in 2016, it would affect her income for 2016. If she receives profits from the sale of his house, that will be considered income to her in the year it is received. A modification of child support amongst other things, is based on the parties current gross incomes. In certain circumstances, a person's income might be based on an average of the income received over the past 2 or 3 years. Money contributed to household expenses by her new spouse is not considered income to your ex- wife. It would be different if he were just a roommate, and she was renting a room to him. Income of a new spouse is not considered for child support purposes since the new husband does not have a legal obligation to support your kids.

Paternity Exploitation

After divorce, my ex was paid for child support for two children she claimed to be mine. I thought no different at the time. A subsequent paternity test done in January 1997 showed my daughter not to be mine. My ex kept this information from me and continued to accept monthly checks for several years after. My putative daughter found out at the same time and was stopped from telling me by her mother. What can I do to get remuneration and added punitive compensation from the ex?

Unfortunately, twenty years have gone by. It is too late to contest paternity. A child born during the marriage is presumed to be a product of the marriage, unless you objected and contested paternity at that time. Any possible defenses you may have had regarding your obligation to pay child support have also expired.

Other Issues: Automobile Insurance

You have two issues.  The first is whether or not the Court Orders state how any additional costs are to be split between the two of you.  Do your Court Orders include these types of costs?
The second issue pertains to the insurance coverage.  Does your son have his own car?  If he has his own car, it doesn’t matter who actually obtains the car insurance.  The issue will be whether or not you both agree to  split the expense.
Will he be driving your or your ex-wife's vehicles? This is a trickier question, and one you need to address with the insurance company. Since auto insurance follows the car, if he is going to drive any of the cars at either of your two households, you each will probably have to obtain insurance for him. Since he essentially splits his time equally between you and your ex-wife, he will be deemed to be living in each of your households. As such, he would be considered more than a "permissive user" (occasional driver to whom you give permission to drive your car, and who is automatically covered under your auto policy.) Since he lives in each of your households, you will need to add him as a named insured on each of your policies.

Re-married and Child Support

When my ex remarries should my child support be changed in accordance with there combined income?

No. Your ex-wife's new husband has no legal obligation to support your children. Thus, his income is not considered.

Child Support

My son just found out he has a 14 yr old son when she filed for child support he is paying on back child which is 8000.00 can they put a lien on property if it being paid each month.

If a Judgment for the past due child support has been issued by a Court, any property owned by your son can be liened.

Modify Child Support

My ex wife and I divorced in 2012. It is now 2016. She has chosen to cut down from a full time employee to a part time employee. Can she modify child support for that reason? It was her decision to work less. Our children that we have together are 9 years old and 12 years old.


No.  If she voluntarily becomes under employed, full time wages will still be imputed to her.  If she gets fired or laid off, and couldn't find another full time job, she might be able to modify the child support.

Who Owns the House?

My girlfriend lives with me for 3 years and the house is in my name and her name isn’t on any of the paperwork. I have asked her to leave and she said it is her house too. Is this a true statement.

If you are the only person named on the Deed, the house is yours, not hers.

Nonpayment of Court Ordered Medical Expenses

My ex-husband and I have the same income level, so we do not have a court order to pay each other any child support. However our divorce decree states that we will split the medical insurance, medical bills, school fees and agreed upon sports expenses 50/50. I am the main insured adult on the insurance policy for the 3 boys, and due to that fact, I also receive all of the medical bills since I am the responsible party. My x husband owes me $912 from LAST year’s medical bills that he refuses to pay. That being said, I continue to pay all of the medical expenses in 2016 for insurance and medical bills so the total is growing. It’s not the amount he disagrees with, he doesn’t want to pay the entire amount because I was re-married in October of last year and he feels that since my new husband is very successful, that I now should pay for more than 50% of the children’s expenses. How do I force him to pay for his half of his own children’s expenses as they are outlined in the divorce decree? Keep in mind that my ex-husband earns well over $100K a year, so it’s not a lack of funds that keeps him from paying.

If the Court Order requires your x-husband to pay 1/2 of various expenses, and he is not doing so, you have two choices: (1.) File a contempt citation against him for failure to pay or (2.) File a motion for entry of judgment and garnish his wages.

Claiming Children on Taxes

A mother and biological father share custody of a 13 year old. The step dad (no longer married to the mother) has been awarded rights as a psychological parent . The step dad and mother each pay for all of the child’s activities and medical bills. However, the step dad does NOT pay child support. The biological father pays child support but not on a regular basis and is always in arrears. In accordance with the court order, the step dad has equal parental rights as the mother and biological father, but because he isn’t ordered to pay child support, he cannot claim the child as a dependent, medical bills or any activities on his taxes. Can the step dad have the order modified to show that he is obligated to pay child support (and actually pays it) in order to claim the child on taxes?

If there is no legal obligation to pay child support, the Court will not enter an Order re same.

Child Support in Arrears

My ex tried to pay all back child support on December 31 but as of January the Family Support registry shows he is still in arrears. SInce they didn’t recieve the money till January 4 they applied the money to the current month which then showed him in arrears still. Does this disqualify my ex from claiming our son on tax exemption this year?

The statute is vague as to the date the arrearage needs to be paid to qualify for the dependency exemption for a particular year. However, if he catches up prior to the time that you file your taxes, he would most likely still be entitled to the dependency exemption for 2015.

Home Improvements

I live in Aurora, and plan on filing for divorce from my wife. I already owned our home when we got married. Since then, though, we have a new addition on the house and have put in a pool. What does she have a claim to?

If you didn't add your wife's name to the title, she would have a claim to part of the increase in value from the date of marriage to the date of divorce. If you added your wife's name to the title, it will be deemed a "gift" to the marital estate, and she will be entitled to share in the full amount of equity in the house at the time of the divorce.

Signing Bonus and Child Support

I’m a professional athlete. Earlier this year, I signed on with a new team and received a signing bonus. My ex-girlfriend just had a kid that I think is mine, and she is going after child support. Will the signing bonus be considered part of my income?

Unfortunately, yes. It will be considered income in the year that it is received.

Jurisdiction for Divorce and Paternity Test

I live in Colorado. My wife lives in California. I want a divorce and a paternity test. Can I file for divorce and a paternity test in Colorado?

That depends on the following: For divorce, if you and your wife lived in Colorado as a married couple, and you have lived here for the past 90 days, you can file for divorce in Colorado. If you are able to file for divorce in Colorado, custody would also be an issue in Colorado, and you could request a paternity test as part of the divorce action. If you and your wife have not lived in Colorado as a married couple, but have lived in California as a married couple, and your wife meets the residency requirement of that state, you could possibly file in California. You'd have to talk to an attorney licensed in California to confirm. For paternity, as stated above, if you are able to file for divorce in Colorado, you could raise the issue of paternity as well in this state. If you can't file for divorce in Colorado, you could still file a Paternity action in Colorado, if the child lives in this state or if the child previously lived in this state within the last 6 months.

Child Support and Wage Garnishment

Question 1: My wife pays child support to her ex-spouse. Can child support garnish my wages if she changes her last name to mine? Question 2: I file an injured spouse form every year when doing my taxes and my income tax gets garnished every year. I don’t feel I should be responsible for my wife’s debts. Can I stop this from happening?

No, child support enforcement cannot garnish your wages no matter what last name your wife uses. You are not the obligor. However, the reason your income tax refund is garnished is due to your filing a joint tax return with your wife. Unfortunately, although it is your wife's debt, since she is a designated recipient of the tax refund, the entire amount gets taken regardless of your also being a recipient of the refund. In order to protect yourself, you would need to file a separate tax return.

Modify a non-modifiable alimony order?

My finance was separated in 2009 and divorced Aug. 2011. He lost his job in Nov. 2013 and has not been able to get one and we just found out his ex wife got remarried last week. She lives in Virginia, he has been here in Colorado since 2009. Although his alimony is non-modifiable and he pays $3500.00 a month, does he have any rights to have it adjusted or cancelled? It has become a hardship over the last 2 years. Any help would be great. Thank you.

Unfortunately, there is nothing your fiancee can do. A non-modifiable order is just that....non-modifiable... no matter what happens.

Can my wife fire me as CEO?

Shortly after marrying 16 years ago, I started a tech company. It has grown, and we currently have 85 employees. I serve as CEO, and take a salary. I own about 80 percent of the company. My question is, if I divorce my wife, will she own part of the company, and if so, can she fire me as CEO?

It depends on how your company is structured. Does your wife have an equity ownership interest, or is the remaining 20% owned by a third party? If you and not your wife holds equity, then the company will remain yours. A valuation of your company will be necessary to determine its fair market value, and your proportionate share of its net worth. Your wife will be entitled to share in your interest. Depending on various factors, she might or might not be entitled to 50% of your interest. Once a dollar value is established, you could buy your wife out of her share. This can be accomplished by offsetting the value of other marital assets or a cash payment. If your wife also holds an equity interest, a determination would have to be made as to whether you both want to remain in the company, or whether one of you will buy the other out, or place your combined interests for sale to a third party.

Division of Financial Portfolio

When my wife and I married in 2009, my financial portfolio was worth about $11 million. I am planning to file for divorce, and my portfolio is now worth $23 million. How much of that can my wife reach? What about stocks that I owned before we got married that have increased in value?

The $11 million is considered your separate property. Assuming that you didn't put your wife's name on your portfolio, she is entitled to share in the increase in value from the time of your marriage until the date of your divorce. Thus, your wife has a claim on part of the $12 million increase. The amount to which she is entitled depends on several things, such as the length of your marriage and her contribution to your marriage. If you put your wife's name on your portfolio, you have "gifted" the $11 million to the marital estate. In that case, your wife has a claim on part of the entire $23 million. Same analysis regarding your stock porfolio.

Husband’s Child Support for Child Outside of Wedlock

My husband had a child outside of our marriage while we were on a split, “Filing for divorce”. We would like to stay married and have a child of our own. How will his child support be determined? I make more income than he does, will that be factored into the support he owes? What if he falls behind, could she come after me to pay? We live in Colorado. Thank you.

Your income does not factor into the equation. Only your husband's income is considered, and he will be given a credit for the child that you have together. If your husband falls behind in child support, the mother of the child could garnish his wages or bank accounts, or lien the house. If your husband's name is on any bank, investment, or financial account or asset including the house, even if it is jointly titled, it can be attached. The only accounts or assets which could not be attached are if those accounts or assets are in your name only.

File for Emancipation to Stop Support?

Hi, I got divorced in 2000 and my child support order states that when my daughter turns 19, I do not have to pay any longer. Do I need to file for emancipation or anything with the court to stop paying child support? Also, my ex-wife states I have to pay for college for my daughter, when in fact I know Colorado state law states I do not unless we have a signed agreement with the court and a judge has signed. Am I right about this?

Unless you have younger children for whom you are providing support, child support automatically ends on your daughter's 19th birthday. If you have other kids, you will need to modify the child support. You are correct. Unless you agreed in writing that you have to pay for college, you are not obligated.

No Income and Child Support

We were married in 1976 and had kids in 1980 and 1985. We divorced in 1994. I moved around, got married again, moved, divorced again, and moved. Now a Colorado Court ordered me to pay $87 a month for $23,000 due. I recently Heart Attack on 6/6/15, which caused me to have no income. Do I have a chance to get it dropped?

Child support becomes a money judgment at the time it is due. Since you owe $23,000 in past due child support, the judgment stands. If you truly have absolutely NO INCOME, you should contact child support enforcement or your ex-wife's attorney, or whoever is pursuing the judgment, and advise them. However, if you have ANY money available to you and you are not paying anything towards your arrearage, your ex-wife could file a contempt action against you and amongst other things, ask for jail time. Therefore, you need to pay something, even if it is $10/mo. This shows the Court that you are not trying to shirk your obligation and are making a good faith effort to comply with the Court Order, despite your circumstances. Assuming you have no income nor assets, and do not have the present ability to pay anything, there is not much they can do to you.

Paying Child Support If Spouse Withholds Parenting Time

My ex sprung a child support payment after my daughters turned two. We broke up shortly after their first birthday, but I got stuck with back child support because I just gave her cash and bought everything myself. She quit letting me get my court ordered parenting time as we’ll as not let me have any say in their life. I’m worried the back child support which continues to rise will bury me. Is there any way I can get out of the hole without paying her a fortune? She has not followed any court orders with me.

Your obligation to pay child support is independent of your right to see your kids. If she is not letting you see your kids, you need to take her back to court. However, your child obligation does not cease just because you are not seeing your kids.

If your financial circumstances have changed (gotten worse) since the original child support order, you might be able to seek a modification. However, you need to pay her something every month. Failure to do so could land you in jail. At the very least she could get a judgment against you for past due child support which accrues interest at the rate of 12% per MONTH.

Terminating Child Support for Children Over the Age of 19

My older daughter is turning 19 on August 26th. So when can I file ‘Motion to Terminate Child Support’ paperwork? and get the decision from the court in time to stop September 1 2015?

Since you indicated that your "older" daughter turns 19 on August 26th, you obviously have additional children under the age of 19, and for whom child support is presumptively still owed. Thus, child support will not be terminated. You need to file a motion to modify child support as it will need to be recalculated due to your eldest daughter aging out.

Child Support Payments After Unemployment

Do I still receive child support if my ex loses his job?

Unless and until your ex files a motion to modify or reduce his child support, he still owes you child support . Whether or not he continues to pay is another issue

Paying Maintenance While Unemployed in Colorado

I live in Colorado and have recently become unemployed. Do I need to pay maintenance to my ex-wife while I’m unemployed?

It depends on what kind of maintenance you are paying. If you are paying "contractual, non-modifiable maintenance", you cannot modify the maintenance amount for any reason.

If you are not paying "contractual, non-modifiable maintenance", you can modify your maintenance both in amount and duration.

Consequences of Breaking a Temporary Protective Order (TPO)

If I am served with a temporary protective order and within 24 hours of being served, I angrily break the order by making contact, and am subsequently arrested; does that automatically hurt my case at the return hearing and allow the judge to immediately make the order permanent?

Yes, violation of the TPO will certainly hurt your case, and you will have an uphill battle. However, that does not allow the court to automatically make it permanent. You are still entitled to your Due Process rights and have a right to a hearing on whether or not the TPO should be made permanent. At the hearing to make it permanent, the complaining party will have to prove that there was a basis for the issuance of the TPO, and that absent a permanent protection order, the conduct giving rise to the initial TPO will continue.

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