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Boulder County Divorce Law Blog

Parental responsibilities can vary based on facts of custody case

How children will be raised and shared between their parents is often a major concern for Colorado residents who choose to go through divorce. In Colorado courts are involved in the process of ensuring that the divorce litigants understand their parental responsibilities, otherwise understood as their custodial rights, during and after their marriages have ended.

The responsibilities that divorced parents have toward their kids are the same as those that married parents must meet in order to provide the necessary support for their children - physical custodianship and legal decision-making. However, after a divorce one parent may find that they lack physical custodial or legal decision-making rights if a court decides that it is in the best interests of the child to do so. Parents often share legal responsibilities toward their kids after divorce but if there is a reason to deny a parent physical custodial rights then such an outcome may occur.

Money matters are paramount during a divorce

Most people work their entire lives to build up their wealth, save for the future and then enjoy their retirement years without having to worry about where their money will come from. When they plan for the future some Colorado residents are able to build significant nest eggs that can not only allow them to maintain their standards of living but also enjoy the freedom that comes with retirement without employment. A well-planned retirement strategy can withstand many financial storms but one legal issue can hit a person's accumulated wealth like a Category 5 hurricane: divorce.

During a divorce a court will require the parties to the legal process to recognize their property as marital or separate. If an item of property is deemed separate then it stays the property of its individual owner. However, if it is determined to be marital property then it may be subject to the laws of division and may be liquidated, sold off or given exclusively to one of the divorcing parties.

Will I receive enough alimony to maintain my standard of living?

Although divorce is a legal process it affects more than a person's status as single or married. It may wage an emotional war on their energy and happiness and it may significantly change the way that they look at their assets and money. In Colorado marital couples that choose to divorce must divide up their property, figure out how they will share their children, and in some cases determine if either of them should receive financial support from the other after their divorce is finalized.

Alimony may be awarded if one spouse will be economically disadvantaged after their marriage ends. To this end, one goal of alimony can be to help a financially disadvantaged individual maintain their marital standard of living. However, this goal is only one consideration that courts make when deciding if alimony is appropriate during a particular divorce case and this post will discuss a few of the other factors that may persuade a court to allow alimony for a disadvantaged spouse.

Valuation can be key component of equitable division process

When a Longmont resident takes a tally of the many items of property they own, the list may look something like this: a family home; one or more automobiles, furniture, artwork and other decorative household items, clothing and jewelry, musical instruments, books and hobby supplies and miscellaneous items that do not fit into other categories. Some of those items may have been acquired by them prior to marrying, while others may have only been purchased after the individual wed themselves to their spouse.

How and when property is acquired can play a role in whether a person will walk away with it should they divorce their spouse; in Colorado and other equitable division states, the value of the property can also greatly influence who will receive it. If property is considered marital and owned by both partners, its value will be assessed and considered with all of the other property, which the court parcel it out to the parties in a fair manner.

Conditions exist for alimony payments to be tax deductible

During a Colorado divorce, a court may order one of the parties to pay the other alimony for the financial maintenance of the recipient. Support of this nature can be a significant expense for the paying party but in some cases, that individual may be able to deduct the payments from their taxable income. Likewise, recipients of alimony generally must report payments as income so that they may pay the taxes on those transfers of money.

In order for a paying party to deduct alimony from their taxable income, several conditions must exist. The payments must be made pursuant to a divorce and they must be made to or on behalf of the recipient. The payments cannot be classified as another form of support such as child support, and the payments must cease if the recipient dies.

We help parents secure child support for their kids

Raising a child in Colorado is expensive. Aside from meeting a child's basic needs by keeping a roof over their head, food on their plates and clothing on their bodies, parents must make sure their children have what they need to be successful in school and the other activities they participate in. For parents of children who are not yet of school age, finding and securing adequate child care can be a great expense that is necessary so that the parent may work.

Having a child in one's home can require a parent to have a bigger residence than they would otherwise need if they lived on their own. It may necessitate buying a larger vehicle that can safely transport a child. It may cost a parent more in health insurance and other expenses to make sure a child can go to a doctor and receive medical care whenever they require it.

Will my child's wishes be considered in a child custody case?

When a Colorado family splits up due to parental separation or divorce, the weight that the children must bear can be extraordinary. In some cases, children may have to move out of the homes they have known their entire lives or split their time between the households of their mother and father. Children forced into these sometimes ugly legal situations can have strong opinions about how they would like their custodial matters handled.

Colorado courts do consider the wishes of children subject to their child custody rulings, but only to a point. A court must first determine that a child has the capacity to hold an independent opinion on the matter; this suggests that if a child is being influenced by one parent to state a preference that may not be true, a court could place little to no weight the comments of the child.

Alimony is a legal obligation between ex-spouses

This Boulder County family law blog has addressed a number of topics related to the important and often necessary subject of alimony. Alimony can be ordered by courts so that one spouse may maintain their standard of living in the wake of a divorce that may otherwise deprive them of access to their former spouse's earnings.

If alimony is ordered by a divorce court, it becomes an obligation between the parties. Unless otherwise indicated, it is not conditional and the party mandated to pay must do so by the terms of the alimony order. Alimony enforcement may be achieved by returning to court and seeking a finding of contempt to compel the responsible party's payment of the obligated sums.

I want the house. Will I get it in my divorce?

Property settlement agreements and negotiations can be difficult to work out as Colorado couples end their marriages through divorce. They may disagree about how to divide or dispose of major assets and pieces of property.

It often seems that the family home causes couples emotional stress as well as financial challenges. In some cases, a family home may be sold so that the parties are able to share in the profits. In other cases, one member of the ending marriage may receive the property through the settlement of the couple's assets.

Documents you may need if your ex stops paying alimony

Not every divorce will result in an award of alimony. After evaluating the petition of the requesting spouse, a Colorado court may determine if the requesting party will be financially disadvantaged after the marriage is over and if they will need support from their ex in order to maintain their livelihood. While many households now thrive on two incomes and marital parties are on relatively more even financial footing than they historically were, alimony payments are a necessary part of many divorce settlements to ensure that each party can survive on their own.

As long as a paying spouse keeps up with the payments, the administration of an alimony order between exes is rather straightforward. However, if the paying spouse stops making payments to the recipient, the recipient may need to demonstrate the deficiency to the court in order to compel the other to continue meeting their financial obligation.