Family Law Group

Author:  Whitney A. Hey, Esq.

Family Law Attorney

What is Income in Child Support Cases in Colorado?

Colorado child support guidelines factor in the “income” of both parents.  People are often surprised to learn that the “income” that Colorado law is talking about is different than what people have on their tax returns.  The IRS has a variety of rules that reduce a person’s gross income.  Colorado has its own set of rules for what counts as income for purposes of child support.  Colorado’s definition starts off with a broad statement of “gross income”:

“Gross income” includes income from any source, except as otherwise provided in subsection (5)(a)(II) of this section, and includes, but is not limited to . . .

The Colorado law then goes on to list no less than 26 categories, literally (A) to (Z).  These categories include some things you might expect such as:

  • Salaries
  • Wages

These categories also include some other things that might surprise you:

  • Commissions
  • Payments to you as an independent contractor
  • Pensions and Retirement Benefits
  • Bonuses
  • Dividends
  • Rents
  • Capital Gains
  • certain Social Security Benefits
  • Monetary Gifts
  • Alimony or Spousal Maintenance received and potentially adjusted
  • Overtime pay, if required by the employer as a condition of employment
  • and more

Colorado child support law does exclude some financial payments from “gross income”.  These are:

  • Child Support payments received
  • Benefits from means-tested public assistance programs (think SSI or food stamps)
  • Income from additional jobs beyond forty hours per week or full-time employment
  • Certain earnings on retirement accounts


The attorneys at Family Law Group can help you determine your income and that of the other party to the case under Colorado law.  We can help you with your child support case.  Give us a call at (719) 687-2328 or email us at