Castle Rock Alimony Lawyer
Spousal support (more commonly known as “alimony”) can be a sensitive issue in any divorce case. With one of the highest median household incomes in the nation, it’s not uncommon for Douglas County and Castle Rock divorce cases to include alimony as one of the contested issues. Colorado family law courts generally use a formula and time table to calculate both the amount and the duration of alimony payments. However, other factors can impact an alimony case, such as the distribution of marital property or the specific financial needs of each spouse. The financial aspects of a divorce and dealing with the issue of spousal support can become complex and overwhelming. This isn’t the time to go it alone. Let the Castle Rock alimony attorneys at Plog & Stein, P.C. help you navigate these tricky waters. With over 70 years of combined legal experience, we understand what’s needed to effectively deal with your alimony issues. Whether you’re going through a divorce or dealing with a motion to modify maintenance, we can help!
How is Alimony Calculated in Castle Rock?
Under Colorado statute, alimony is technically called “maintenance.” Beginning in 2014, the legislature adopted the following formula to calculate this maintenance: 40% of the higher earner’s gross monthly income minus 50% of the lower earner’s gross monthly income. This equation is used by all courts, including the Douglas County District Court in Castle Rock. In 2018, further adjustments were made to the formula as the Legislature’s reaction to changes in IRS Code and the fact that payment or receipt of alimony (for new cases) would no longer be a taxable or deductible event. If a judge does not use the formula, he or she must explain why. However, if your family’s income exceeds $360,000 per year the formula is not applicable. This does not mean that a court cannot apply it, judges are just not required to consider it. More factors are involved with higher income families such that the courts need more flexibility in their maintenance assessments.
Requests for temporary alimony utilize the same 40%/50% formula. These payments are meant to assist with normal living expenses during the pendency of your divorce case. Separately, the time table for permanent orders is based on the length of the marriage. If your marriage lasted 20 years or less, the time table increases upward, capping out at 50% of the length of the marriage as you move closer to that 20 years. If you and your spouse have been married for over 20 years, the duration of maintenance payments would likely be at least half that time or longer, if not more. In some cases, alimony can continue for life.
For tax purposes, alimony is still tax deductible for the payer, but only for orders entered prior to 2019. Conversely, the recipient of these payments will need to include any alimony received as income, but, again, only for orders entered prior to 2019. Given the 2018 adjustments to the alimony calculation, the tax ramifications of new alimony orders are no longer a significant topic of discussion when litigating or settling a divorce case. Likewise, lump sum payouts, in lieu of alimony, may become a more attractive option, given that income tax implications no longer really apply. Generally, alimony will cease upon the death of either party or remarriage of the recipient. Alimony can typically be classified as either contractual and non-modifiable or with the court retaining jurisdiction as to modify maintenance. A seasoned Castle Rock alimony lawyer will be able to let you know which option best suits your situation.
Securing Your Financial Future
Do not waive your right to alimony without first getting the sound advice of a knowledgeable alimony attorney who understands both the law and the Douglas County court system. Once alimony is waived, you may not return to seek it at a later time. The waiver is forever. Plog & Stein has been helping Castle Rock residents with representation in family law cases for decades, including with spousal support matters. Whether you are in need of spousal support or defending against an alimony request, we can help. Let us take the burden of worry off your shoulders and help you move on to the next chapter of your life. Call us at 303-781-0322 or contact us online to schedule a consultation with our family law team.
Plog & Stein also represents clients with all divorce and child custody related issues throughout the Denver metropolitan area, including in Arapahoe, Jefferson, Adams, and Broomfield County courts.