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Colorado's child poverty rates show importance of child support

Everyone knows that the economic recession has created hardship for families across the country. At the same time, a growing trend that pre-dates the recession has caught the attention of many in Colorado: Child poverty in our state is growing at one of the fastest rates in the country.

According to a recent study, 18 percent of children in Colorado live in households with earnings below the poverty line. Knowing how many children are impacted by this problem, this reality underscores the importance of creating accurate child support agreements and ensuring they are enforced.

Colorado's child support laws are designed to provide financial assistance to custodial parents trying to raise children. If parents fail to meet their obligation to make monthly payments, it's not hard to see how that problem could contribute to the larger issue of child poverty.

The study, conducted by KIDS COUNT, also showed that the costs of childcare in Colorado are among the highest in the country. Specifically, the average expense of day care for infants is ranked as the fourth most costly when compared to other states. High childcare costs may put single parents in a position to decide between maintaining a full-time job and paying for childcare expenses.

Fortunately, Colorado's child support laws allow considerations for day care costs. This means that the parent who makes payments may be required to help offset the childcare expenses, which is often critical for single, working parents. Beyond childcare, payments may include considerations for health insurance and other basic expenses.

When approaching divorce or simply looking to obtain child support, custodial parents should make sure they request support that truly accounts for their child's needs. A fair child support settlement can ensure that children have the resources they need to thrive and avoid the hardships of poverty.

Source: KUSA-TV News, "Colorado Kids Count survey reveals little progress in child poverty," Jack Maher, March 18, 2013

  • Our firm has experience helping parents negotiate favorable child support settlements. To learn more, please see our Fort Collins family law page.

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