October 31, 2017

How do I determine income for Colorado child support?

One of the most frequent questions that I get asked as a family law lawyer in Colorado is, “how do I figure out my income for child support purposes?”. Colorado provides clear instruction in the statutes as to what income is for purposes of determining child support. C.R.S. 14-10-115, Section 5 determines what “gross income” is defined as related to child support.


C.R.S. 14-10-115 says that gross income includes, but is not limited to the following income:

  1. Income from salaries;
  2. Wages, including tips…;
  3. Commissions;
  4. Payments received as an independent contractor for labor or services, which must be considered income from self-employment;
  5. Bonuses;
  6. Dividends;
  7. Severance pay;
  8. Pensions and retirement benefits…;
  9. Royalties;
  10. Rents;
  11. Interest;
  12. Trust income;
  13. Annuities;
  14. Capital gains;
  15. Any moneys drawn by self-employed individual for personal use that are deducted as a business expense;
  16. Social security benefits;
  17. Workers’ compensation benefits;
  18. Unemployment insurance benefits;
  19. Disability insurance benefits;
  20. Funds held in or payable from any health, accident, disability, or casualty insurance…;
  21. Monetary gifts;
  22. Monetary prizes, excluding lottery winnings not required by the rules of the Colorado lottery commission to be paid only at the lottery office;
  23. Income from general partnerships, limited partnerships, closely held corporations, or limited liability companies…;
  24. Expense reimbursements or in-kind payments received by a parent in the course of employment, seld-employment or operation of a business if they are significant and reduce personal living expenses;
  25. Alimony or maintenance received; and
  26. Overtime pay only if the overtime is required by the employer as a condition of employment.

Not Income

  1. Child support payments received;
  2. Benefits received from means-tested public assistance programs, including but not limited to assistance provided under the Colorado works program…supplemental social security income, food stamps, and general assistance;
  3. Income from additional jobs that result in the employment of the obligor more than forty hours per week or more than what would otherwise be considered to be full-time income;
  4. Social security income received by the minor children, or on behalf of the minor children, as a result of the death or disability of a stepparent are not to be included as income for the minor children for the determination of child support; and
  5. Earnings or gains on a retirement account, including an IRA…

It is important to review the list provided in the statutes when determining income for child support in the State of Colorado. Income is one of the main factors in determining the dollar amount owed in child support.

If you have questions about child support or are looking for a child support lawyer in and around Colorado Springs, please reach out to us at Springs Law Group for an initial consultation. We are here to help.

Christopher Nicolaysen is a Family law Attorney who practices in Colorado Springs, CO. He graduated from Denver Sturm College of Law, and has been practicing law for several years now. Christopher Nicolaysen is passionate about helping you solve your family matters. Learn more about his experience here.

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