What Can You Do When You're Not Getting Enough Child Support?

The purpose of child support is to ensure that the basic needs of children are met. Both parents have an obligation to provide support to their children under Colorado law. Some parents provide this support by feeding, sheltering and providing direct care to the children while living with them. Other parents may provide support financially to ensure the payment of bills related to basic life expenses and educational, or health needs.

Colorado does its best to ensure that the amount of child support ordered is fair for everyone involved, especially the child. There is a formula that typically determines the appropriate amount of support. It looks at the number of children, the income of the parents and expenses related to daycare and health insurance.

When circumstances change, the amount of support that's appropriate for your situation could change as well. This could mean it is a prudent time to consider a child support modification.

Sometimes, the expenses for your children increase

As your children grow and mature, their needs will change as well. Unexpected medical issues related to illnesses or sudden injuries could leave you struggling to make ends meet. Even with insurance, you could face costs due to missed work, deductibles and in-home medical needs. Other times, you could secure a job and work more hours, which could drastically increase your child care costs.

These issues and many others can stretch your monthly budget past the breaking point. Alternatively, you may find out that your ex has recently taken a new, better paying job or has gotten a significant pay raise, while you and the children are still struggling financially. You can use the state calculator to determine if your situation would potentially change the amount of support ordered. If it looks like the amount may change by 10 percent or more, you could request that the courts review and potentially modify child support.

Modifications take time, but they can benefit your children

During your marriage, you and your children grew accustomed to your standard of living. After divorce, it can be jarring for children to adjust their expectations. Living with a lower household income and only one parent can be a difficult adjustment. You may want to give them everything you can to succeed in life, but basic bills must come first. If you can't sustain the same standard of living as you did before divorce, that may mean that you worry about whether your children have what they need to thrive.

A change in the level of child support you receive could help you afford the things your children need, other than simply a roof over their heads and nutritious food. It can also reinforce the idea that their non-custodial parent wants to support them as well.