Searching over 5,500,000 cases.


searching
Buy This Entire Record For $7.95

Download the entire decision to receive the complete text, official citation,
docket number, dissents and concurrences, and footnotes for this case.

Learn more about what you receive with purchase of this case.

In re Marriage of Boettcher and Boettcher

Supreme Court of Colorado, En Banc

September 23, 2019

IN RE the MARRIAGE OF Ryan E. BOETTCHER, Petitioner, and Christina L. BOETTCHER, Respondent.

Page 383

          Certiorari to the Colorado Court of Appeals, Court of Appeals Case No. 17CA262

         Attorneys for Petitioner: Eckelberry Law Firm, LLC, John L. Eckelberry, Denver, Colorado

         Attorneys for Respondent: Aitken Law, LLC, Sharlene J. Aitken, Denver, Colorado Peek Goldstone, LLC, Amanda M. Peek, Greeley, Colorado

         OPINION

         HART, JUSTICE

         [¶1] Colorado’s child support guidelines provide district courts a framework for determining the amount of child support they should award in dissolution of marriage proceedings. One part of these guidelines is a schedule of child support obligations that sets specific presumptive payment amounts based on the number of children and the parties’ combined income. But that schedule does not include an award amount for every conceivable family income level.

         [¶2] In this case, we must determine how a district court should calculate child support obligations when the parties’ combined income exceeds the uppermost specified combined monthly income of $30,000. Because we conclude that the plain language of the statute provides that the uppermost award identified explicitly in the schedule is the minimum presumptive award for families with higher incomes, we determine that the district

Page 384

court may, within its discretion, award more than that amount so long as the court supports its order with findings made pursuant to section 14-10-115(2)(b), C.R.S. (2019). Accordingly, we affirm the judgment of the court of appeals.

          I. Facts and Procedural History

         [¶3] At the time of the dissolution of their marriage, Ryan E. Boettcher ("father") and Christina L. Boettcher ("mother") agreed that neither party would pay child support. Several years later, mother, citing a substantial change in father’s income, sought a modification of the original decree so that she could receive child support. The district court conducted an evidentiary hearing to determine whether modification was appropriate. At the hearing, the parties admitted evidence of their incomes showing that mother earned $13,343 per month and father earned $92,356 per month— a combined monthly income far exceeding the highest combined income of $30,000 per month listed in the schedule contained in the statutory child support guidelines. See § 14-10-115(7)(b).

         [¶4] Father requested that the district court impose a monthly child support obligation of $1,424.82, which would be the presumptive award amount if the parties combined income were $30,000 per month. Father argued that the presumptive amount of child support for that income level was also the presumptive amount for any higher income level. If the court ordered a higher payment, father argued, such payment would constitute a deviation from the statutory presumptive amount and would require specific findings under section 14-10-115(8)(e).

         [¶5] Mother disagreed. She contended that the district court should extrapolate father’s monthly child support obligations from the uppermost level of the guidelines in light of the parties’ actual combined income. This approach would result in a monthly support payment of $5,024.

         [¶6] The district court rejected both arguments. In doing so, it observed that section 14-10-115(7)(a)(II)(E) provides that a court "may use discretion" in setting child support amounts where the parties’ combined income is higher than $30,000, "except that the presumptive basic child support obligation shall not be less than it would be" if the combined income were $30,000. That statutory provision, the court explained, was inconsistent with both father’s and mother’s respective positions because ...


Buy This Entire Record For $7.95

Download the entire decision to receive the complete text, official citation,
docket number, dissents and concurrences, and footnotes for this case.

Learn more about what you receive with purchase of this case.