October 2019 | 2019COA153 (Co. Ct. App. 2019)

In re N.J.C. (Colorado 2019)

Deferred compensation isn’t income for child support when a parent doesn’t have the ability to use the money to pay expenses. The mother and father were unmarried and had a child. The father, a doctor, took a new job, and the mother filed to modify child support. The father’s income consisted of a base salary and an annual contribution to a deferred compensation plan that would not be available to him until retirement. The father had to meet specific conditions before receiving any of the deferred compensation. The mother argued this contribution should be considered income. The magistrate didn’t include the deferred compensation as income, and the juvenile court adopted the magistrate’s decision. The mother appealed. The court of appeals noted income from deferred compensation wasn’t included or excluded from the statutory definition. The court looked to other decisions that found when money wasn’t available to reduce a parent’s daily living expenses, it wasn’t income for child support.

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