How can we fight paying more child support in court? 1 Answers as of August 12, 2011We have previously gone to court for a child custody case with my fiance's ex-girlfriend. We ended up only paying $63 a month for child support and the child spends equal amount of time at both homes; the mother is now threatening to go back for more money. Both sides make about the same amount of money per month. We can simply not afford to pay anymore and dont understand why we need to when we make the same amount of money per month. How do we fight this in court?
John E. Kirchner, Attorney at Law | John Kirchner
First, you need to realize that you have no legal standing in the matter. Only the father has a legal support obligation and what "he" or "we" can afford is basically irrelevant to the discussion. Child support is established using the combined income of both parents, the amount of time in the homes of each parent, and certain other expenses (such as day care or health insurance). The law establishes a presumptive obligation indicating which parent pays the other and how much that payment will be. From the actual facts, there is very little to "fight" because the court is required to follow the presumptive guidelines unless there are extraordinary reasons to deviate. Deviation is rarely ever allowed. However, just because mother is threatening to "go back to court" doesn't mean she will, nor does it mean she will succeed even if she does. The legal requirement for a modification is that there must have been a substantial and continuing change of circumstances since the previous order. By definition, that means that whatever the "new" facts are, they must create a new calculation that is at least 10% different from the existing order. Until she actually files a motion to modify and states the reasons for a modification, it is not worth the effort of worrying about how to "fight" anything. Once you know the specific reasons, it isn't that difficult to sort out whether a modification is or isn't justified.
Answer Applies to: Colorado