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child and parent handsIn the state of Colorado, the amount of child support that a parent will receive in order to care for their child is a decision that is made based on the income of both parents as well as the general expenses of the child. It is an equation set up so that the parent who is responsible for the child can afford to take care of the child. It is also set up so the other parent is responsible for paying a certain percentage of the child care based on their income. The decision is meant to be as fair as possible to both parents while still keeping the child’s best interest in mind.

Naturally, this leaves a lot of people wondering exactly what is defined as a source of income that would be included in the decision. Your gross income can come from any of the following sources:

  • Your salary (including hourly wages and tips)
  • Commissions
  • Independent contractor payments
  • Bonuses
  • Severance pay
  • Dividends
  • Pensions
  • Rent (if you are a landlord)
  • Interest
  • Annuities
  • Trust income
  • Capital gains
  • Social security benefits
  • Money withdrawn for self-employed purposes
  • Unemployment benefits
  • Workers’ compensation
  • Monetary gifts
  • Monetary prizes (this does not include lottery winnings)
  • Expense reimbursements
  • Overtime pay
  • Alimony

In the state of Colorado income that can be used for child support is income that is obtained from any source. Basically, this means that you are responsible for reporting any money that you receive (with the exception of lottery winnings) as a source of income when you are being reviewed for a support order.

Individuals who make a lot more money on a monthly and yearly basis tend to be concerned that they are going to end up having to pay a lot more support due to the fact that they make more. However, the purpose of the support order is to determine what percentage you would be helping pay if you were raising the child together. In the event that the amount of money you make changes, the amount of parenting time you have – overnights – changes, or  the general expenses of caring for the child changes then you can request a review for your current support order, called motion to modify child support. Modification of child support can result in the amount being raised or lowered. The most important thing to remember is that a child support order is for the best interest of your child.