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Boulder County Divorce Law Blog

Helping you work through child support issues

We all get astounding when we see the estimated costs with raising a child. As a unit, parents think they might be able to tackle that amount, but separately is a different question. Because of this, parents often consider how to meet the financial needs of their children during dissolution. Child support is often requested and is sometimes considered essential to ensure that a child is well cared for in a two home family.

When one parent makes more money or when one parent stays at home to care for the children, it is likely that he or she will need child support to ensure that the financial needs are met. When requesting child support during dissolution, the state of Colorado uses a guideline to establish whether child support is necessary, and if so, how much should be paid each month.

Alternatives to keeping the house after a divorce

The question of who is going to get the house after a marriage ends is commonly one of the biggest ones to resolve. Sometimes, it makes sense to fight as hard as possible to keep the house in a divorce, but this is highly dependent on a couple's circumstances and other assets. It is important to understand what other options are available during property division and what advantages and disadvantages they offer.

Renting an apartment in the Longmont area during or after a divorce brings some distinct advantages. A divorce is a major change in one's lifestyle, and renting for a while after allows one the luxury of a transition period. Renting is usually cheaper than taking care of a home and will inoculate individuals against unexpected expenses associated with home maintenance and repair. Divorced parents with custody of their children may also be able to rent in a good school district, where they otherwise would not be able to afford to buy a home right after a divorce.

Intercepts and child support enforcement in Colorado

We recently discussed some ways Colorado Child Support Services (CSS) can act to make sure Longmont parents with custody of their children are receiving the support to which they are entitled. There is another type of action CSS can take though, which we will devote some additional time to discussing in detail. Here, we are talking about intercepts.

One widely-known type of intercept is the tax offset. If a parent is delinquent on child support payments, and that parent is receiving a tax refund -- whether a federal refund from the IRS or a Colorado state tax refund -- CSS can intercept those funds and direct them to back child support payments. This can be done even if the parent is making some payments.

What child support enforcement may look like in Colorado

It goes without saying that when a court issues an order, the subject of that order is legally bound to abide by it. Yet, significant sums of court-ordered child support go unpaid every year.

Sometimes, Longmont residents have legitimate reasons for being unable to make their child support payments. They may have lost a job, or be unable to work for medical reasons. In situations like these, parents may wish to seek a modification to the court order to account for changing circumstances. But, in other cases, it becomes necessary for a court to take action to enforce a child support order. Let us look briefly at a few things that Colorado Child Support Services (CSS) do to recover unpaid child support.

Helping divorcing Longmont parents overcome fear of the unknown

Sometimes, fear of the unknown can keep Boulder County couples who are at the end of a marriage from moving on with the next chapter in their lives apart. Here at the Law Firm of Shea L. Burchill, P.C., we have over a decade of experience helping our clients find the right answers to some of the toughest questions in a divorce.

For partners with children, child custody can be one of the most common issues to produce anxiety and even dread of a divorce. The idea that one's children could be ripped away by the court, only to be seen a few times a year -- certain holidays, or birthdays, for example -- is unthinkable to most parents. Fortunately, Shea L. Burchill helps clients negotiate a custody arrangement that they can understand and that will be in the best interests of the children.

Your child custody arrangement: make it formal

In Colorado, where the last vestiges of the Old West are a matter of pride, folks can be tempted to seal a deal with nothing more than a handshake. When it comes to child custody matters, however, informal arrangements can be fraught with pitfalls. Child custody is a matter that you will likely have to work with for several years. Over a period that long, even the best relationship between ex-spouses can become strained and result in a child custody dispute.

It is for this reason that having a formal custody arrangement is in the best interests of the child, as well as the parents. If a dispute or disagreement arises, you can look back at the custodial agreement for clarification and not rely on memory or what you think is correct. Like the old saying, "good fences make good neighbors," good custody arrangements make good parents.

Tax break for those paying spousal support to vanish in 2019

Our discussion of asset division and taxes last week may have raised some additional tax-related questions for our Boulder County readers. Of course, major new tax legislation has gone into effect as of the first of January. One component of that legislation will have a major impact on anyone paying, and even potentially receiving spousal support.

For the last 75 years, divorced spouses paying alimony to their former partners have been able to deduct those payments from their income when preparing their tax returns. The reasoning behind this deduction was that it would (ideally) facilitate greater amounts of spousal support, making divorce settlements perhaps, much easier to reach. And, the payments themselves would help the receiving partner become established independently from the marriage.

Will complex asset division incur significant taxes?

Let's continue our discussion of complex asset division and related issues at the end of a marriage with a look at some other considerations for wealthy Boulder County residents. For example, how could a divorce affect each partner's taxes? We present the information as general in nature only, not as legal advice.

One important point to emphasize is that divorcing spouses can more or less continue to exchange property between each other without the IRS getting involved, just as they could while they were married. They'll need to be able to show that they are making the exchange as part of the divorce, but that is not usually difficult. Exceptions, however, include stocks, bonds, or other securities that one partner may sell to the other; assuming the price has gone up since the original purchase, the spouse buying the securities from the other will likely be face capital gains taxes.

Should one be prepared for a high-asset divorce?

Last week, our blog took a look at the case of a multimillionaire couple involved in contentious, ongoing litigation over the end of their marriage. However, we want to remind our Boulder County readers that these issues can affect anyone, not just celebrities and business tycoons. Any high asset divorce or a normal divorce can quickly become a legal quagmire.

In fact, even a modestly successful business can complicate property division. It is common for entrepreneurs and small business to combine separate personal funds with business assets from time to time as they build their business. But, Colorado divorce law divides marital property equitably between divorcing spouses, and when these assets are comingled, it is often difficult for the courts to decide which property is martial property, which is divided, and non-martial property, which is left with its original owner.

Challenges in high-asset divorce can take time to work through

The end of any Colorado marriage is a difficult time. As much as both partners may want to move on and start their new lives, sometimes, challenges in the divorce take time to work through. This is particularly true when the issues are contentious and require complex litigation. And, the scenario is compounded for couples in a high-asset divorce.

For example, back in 2009, the wife of the man who founded Cancer Treatment Centers of America filed for divorce. The multimillionaire couple was married for over 20 years and had an adult daughter. Although they had a prenuptial agreement, it indicated that if the marriage lasted for a certain length of time, alimony payments would be open to negotiation.