Colorado state law is specific when it comes to child support. Let’s take a look at support in general and then how it relates to children with disabilities.
In the state of Colorado, parents who have finalized their divorce must meet their child support responsibilities until the child is legally emancipated. That happens when the child turns 19, graduates from high school, becomes self-sufficient, joins the military, marries, or dies – whichever is earliest.
A child support order entered after July 1, 1997 normally stays in force until the only or last child reaches the age of 19, unless ordered differently by the court. The child support obligation does not immediately terminate on a child’s 19th birthday if there are younger children still profiting from the child support order.
If the child is attending high school when they turn19, the obligation to make child support happens goes on until a month after they graduate. In no case can child support go beyond the age of 21, even though the child may still be in high school.
There exists are a number of thing that can either decrease or lengthen this time period. Child support can also be altered when a noteworthy and continuing change in terms of circumstances happens.
A rather routine exception to lengthening child support is the existence of a physical or mental disability. Most states have put in a rule that parents are obligated to provide for their adult disabled children.
If a Colorado child is mentally or physically disabled and is not able to support him or herself; then the age of emancipation for the disabled child exists without determination. This means a child support order can still stay in place past his or her 19th birthday, until support is still needed or until the disability ends. Child support for the disabled child may include payments for medical expenses, insurance coverage, or both.
Colorado state law does not explicity define “disability”. Although disability can be obvious in some individuals, it may not be readily seen in others. Statutes also do not note a difference between mental and physical disability. Parents often obtain Social Security benefits for the child, as they continue after the child has reached 19 years old. Therefore, most courts consider the Social Security Administration’s designation of disabled as enough proof.