State laws establish the legal “age of majority,” which is the age at which an individual is no longer a minor and has the right to make the legal choices made by adults. In some states the age of majority is considered to be 18, while in others it is 21. In cases where the young adult is still in high school, the age of majority may extend beyond the stated age. States such as Colorado define the age of majority—also known as the age of emancipation—as 19. Under Colorado laws, child support typically lasts until the child reaches the age of 19, however there are certain factors which can increase or decrease this age limit.
Depending on the circumstances of all those involved, a Colorado court may order support for a child who is in college. Prior to 1997, a Colorado court could order child support beyond the age of 19 if the child was enrolled in college or post-secondary education. Since 1997, both parents must agree such support will be included under the mandatory child support obligation. In the case of a mentally or physically disabled child who is not equipped to support himself or herself when the age of majority is reached, a court may order the parents to continue to support their adult disabled child.
Colorado law does not require that either party file a motion to end child support at the age of emancipation, however a motion must be filed if there are extenuating circumstances and child support is being requested for an additional length of time. Colorado child support may be ended in the case of early emancipation. A child may be considered emancipated in the state of Colorado before he or she reaches the age of 19 if it can be shown the child is financially independent, has married or is a member of the military.
MODIFICATIONS OF CHILD SUPPORT
Under Colorado laws, a modification to ordered child support must be due to a substantial and continuing change in circumstances or on the grounds the prior support amount failed to provide for medical expenses, insurance coverage or other medical expenses. Most commonly, such a change relates to the loss of a job, or a significant decrease in regular pay on the part of the paying parent. A modification may also be requested when one parent experiences a significant increase in wages due to a promotion or due to securing a better job. Any group of circumstances, which changes the basic child support calculation by more than 10 percent will likely satisfy the “substantial” requirement.
If you have questions about your child support or making changes to your child support agreement, it is important to contact our Boulder child support lawyers. Contact the Boulder child support attorneys at Goff & Goff today for a free initial consultation.