Boulder County Alimony Lawyer
When marriages dissolve, very few are easily split down the middle with both parties able to walk away completely unaffected. The process of partitioning out assets, property, and making decisions about children, if they are involved, is formidable even in the most amicable circumstances. Sometimes, one party will need assistance with their financial needs and living expenses from the other party, which generally comes in the form of spouse support. Commonly referred to as “alimony,” spousal support is called “maintenance” in Colorado. When you’re going through your divorce, having an experienced Boulder County alimony lawyers as you enter into negotiations or litigation matters. The attorneys at Plog & Stein, P.C. have more than 70 years of combined legal history dealing with family law cases. Our years of familiarity in the family law arena mean we’ve seen alimony issues from almost every angle and we’ll be able to fight to protect your interests, no matter which side of the equation you’re on.
How Alimony is Calculated in Boulder County
In 2014, the state of Colorado enacted a maintenance formula for all cases in which the combined adjusted gross income of the parties in a divorce is less than $360,000 per year (which correlates with the upper limits of the child support guidelines related to income). If you and your spouse make less than this amount, the Boulder County District Court is likely to use this formula to determine the appropriate amount of alimony to award in your situation. The equation takes 40% of the higher earner’s monthly income and subtracts 50% of the lower earner’s monthly income. If the court does not use this formula, they must state their reasoning for declining its application.
The other significant variable affecting an award of maintenance in a Denver divorce is the length of marriage. C.R.S. 14-10-114 also sets forth a suggested time table delineating how long alimony should run based on the length of marriage. For example, 19 year marriage could lead to a support order requiring maintenance to be paid for roughly have the length of the marriage. As with application of the formula, a court is not required to utilize this table and still maintains discretion.
In any alimony case, issues such as the potential recipient’s realistic needs and income figures for each party can also become contested. Making sure the proper figures are accepted by the court matters, particularly when monthly cash flow is on the line for both spouses.
The median yearly income for a family household in Boulder County is around $95,000. So, half of the families in this area have an income higher than that amount. If your family income is over $360,000 a year, your alimony case might be even more complex. The courts will certainly want to take a lot more variables into account to make a fair assessment of both parties’ reasonable financial needs. This assessment can also include assessing the marital estate and property allocated to each party. In any spousal support case, detail matters.
You may receive a temporary award of maintenance to assist with your living expenses until the divorce is finalized. C.R.S. 14-10-114 also applies the maintenance formula to temporary alimony requests, as Colorado statute recognizes that financial help may be needed at the outset of a case, particularly after physical separation of the parties.
When dealing with Colorado alimony, and regardless of whether you are the payer or recipient, have well structured, succinct orders matters. This includes clear provisions for when payments are due, how they will be made, when alimony ends, and reference to the court’s ongoing jurisdiction. In some cases, people enter into a contractual agreement by which they agree that the court has no continuing jurisdiction to modify alimony, thus leaving the court with only jurisdiction to enforce the alimony orders. It should also be noted that alimony recipients would be wise to insist upon a life insurance policy to ensure continued financial support upon death of the payer and that both parties will have income tax implications tied into the spousal support orders.
Diligent Alimony Advocacy for Boulder County Residents
Alimony awarded during a divorce can have far-reaching consequences on your financial future. Protect your rights by getting the advice of a seasoned Boulder County alimony attorney on the Plog & Stein, P.C. team. Finances can be one of the messiest parts of a divorce. Let us help you protect your financial future. Call us at (303) 781-0322 or contact us online for an in-depth look at your financial situation and outlook for your alimony case.
The Plog & Stein, P.C. Broomfield office is located conveniently off Highway 36, just a short drive from Boulder and the Boulder County District Courthouse.