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Boulder County Divorce Law Blog

Having legal help is critical when dealing with alimony

At the end of a marriage in Colorado, some people will be faced with the legal obligation to pay spousal support - also referred to as alimony - to the other spouse. This can be a point of contention in a divorce as the amount, time for which it must be paid, and other factors will be in dispute. This is true from the perspective of the paying spouse and the receiving spouse. For spouses receiving alimony, they will want to receive what they believe they are entitled to. For spouses paying alimony, they do not want to pay any more than they deem necessary. This is when legal assistance is a must for both parties.

There are no specific guidelines to dictate how much is paid in spousal support in the state. That makes it even more difficult to come to an agreement that everyone can live with. The paying spouse might believe that he or she is paying too much for the other spouse to maintain a lifestyle. The length of the marriage can also be a concern because a short marriage could leave the paying spouse supporting the other person for a longer time than the marriage lasted.

Tax benefits expiring for those in a high asset divorce

While ending a marriage should not be taken lightly, certain circumstances might make it more urgent to move forward with a case than at other times. This is especially true when it is a high asset divorce. Since those in Colorado with significant assets will want to ensure their property interests are protected, it is imperative for those who are thinking about a divorce to understand how the new tax plan might spur them to move forward with it more quickly.

The tax law will end a tax break for those paying spousal maintenance if the divorce is finalized after the end of the year. After 2018, those payments are not deductible. If the agreement is signed prior to year's end, the annual deduction will still be in place. This is critical for couples in which one person earns a great deal more than the other. In the past, people who paid maintenance could deduct it and get a tax break. As of now, those paying can make that deduction regardless of what they are paying. This is a boon to wealthy people.

When is a premarital agreement unenforceable in a divorce?

Colorado couples who have one or both spouses being of significant means will often want to have a premarital agreement as a means of protection if the marriage does not last. The premarital agreement must adhere to the law when it is written and completed, otherwise it could be declared invalid. There are certain foundational requirements for a premarital agreement that should be considered when there is a divorce and the validity of the agreement is in dispute. Understanding the law when it comes to a premarital agreement is imperative.

When there is a premarital agreement or a marital agreement signed after the couple is married, it can be unenforceable if the party who agreed to it did so in an involuntary manner or because he or she was under duress. Such agreements may also be unenforceable if one or both spouses did not have independent legal counsel, or there was independent legal counsel, but there was no waiver of rights in the agreement. Premarital or marital agreements may also be unenforceable if there was no financial disclosure.

People in Colorado who divorce may have fewer assets to retire on

The emotional and personal factors that are part of a Colorado divorce are frequently the most talked about issues, but property division is something that can be a bigger problem over the long term. As part of property division, the separation of assets can be complex and worrisome. Retirement accounts are a notable concern, as the chance of not having enough to retire on increases after a divorce. Understanding how finances are affected and, in certain categories, not affected is key when ending a marriage.

People who are in a household that has not had a divorce will have a net of financial wealth that is 30 percent greater than similar households that have had a divorce. This information comes from the Center for Retirement Research (CRR). There is a 5 percent greater chance of not having enough assets for retirement after a divorce. One group, however, seems immune to this: single women. This information can be important for those who are divorcing as it can be a signal on how to proceed to ensure their assets and portfolios are shored up after a divorce.

When does emancipation occur to end child support?

When a parent is paying child support, one of the most important things to remember as the child begins to reach legal age for adulthood is when the payments will stop. This is also referred to as emancipation, meaning that the child can technically support him or herself. When the child is an adult, the child support payments will end.

Knowing when emancipation takes place is important so the parent knows when to stop making payments, the custodial parent will be aware that the payments are coming to an end, and the child is cognizant that it is stopping. If the child support order was entered on or after July 1, 1997, the support will continue until the child turns 19. This will be true unless the court finds that the child was emancipated prior to turning 19.

Getting the right help with child support in Colorado

Divorce can be difficult for couples in Colorado, but there are times when it is necessary. Along with a divorce will come other issues that must be navigated. One that often arises for discussion and disagreement is child support. For the parents, it is imperative that they understand how the best interests of the child are paramount.

The financial needs of the child must be met and care must be provided. However, a vast number of parents are not fully up to date regarding how child support is determined and what happens if the supporting parent does not make the necessary payments. When the state determines child support, it uses the gross monthly income and how many times the child will spend the night at the parents' respective residences. It is also important to consider health care costs, if daycare is needed and its costs and other financial necessities.

A growing number of women are ordered to pay alimony

Alimony - also referred to as spousal maintenance - can be a major point of contention when a marriage ends in divorce in Colorado. Understanding how state law views these issues is an important factor when the process is moving forward. However, it is also important to keep a close eye on trends as to who pays the alimony and how much it will be. Oftentimes, there has been a perception that the male in the relationship will end up paying the support. In recent years, however, that has changed, and more women are being ordered to pay alimony and other forms of support to their ex-husbands.

Surveys among attorneys who specialize in these cases say that more than half have seen a rise in the number of mothers who are paying child support after a divorce. 45 percent say they have seen a greater number of women who pay alimony. There are many potential reasons for this, including the number of women who are earning more money from their employment. Lifestyle factors, no matter how frivolous they might seem, are considered when these payments are ordered and this will factor into the alimony payments.

How will the courts try to settle a parenting time dispute?

Couples in Colorado who have ended their relationship will often have issues with one another after the marriage or relationship has concluded. If they have children, this can cause many different problems. One common reason for there to be a dispute is if the couple cannot get on the same page regarding visitation rights, also referred to as parenting time. When a parent is not adhering to the order, it is important to understand how state law addresses these situations.

After 35 days of a motion being filed, or if the court files a motion on its own if a parent refuses to comply to the parenting time order or a visitation schedule, the court will say what sanctions it might impose. It will then assess the motion and its response if the failure to comply continues. Once it has done that, it will: issue a denial to the motion if the allegation is inadequate; schedule a hearing with the parents being informed of where and when it will be held; order the parties to go for mediation and then inform the court of the results within 63 days. If the parents can come to an agreement, the court can approve it. If they cannot, then there will be a hearing scheduled.

Colorado mother faces criminal charges after fleeing with child

When there is a child custody dispute, the situation can sometimes get out of hand with the noncustodial parent taking matters into their own hands and deciding to flee with the child. This can lead to criminal charges and a whole host of problems for the parent who committed this act. In some instances, it can even go beyond failing to return the child at the designated time or leaving the state and turn into an international abduction case. For noncustodial parents who are unhappy with the child custody agreement or custodial parents and non-parents who have legal custody who have concerns about an abduction, it is important to have legal assistance.

A 19-year-old mother fled Colorado with her 1-year-old son. The woman does not have custody of the child. She was found in Arizona. She and the child were safe. According to law enforcement, she is alleged to have taken the child from the home where the court had ordered him to live and fled.

Understanding child support guidelines and factors considered

Child support is known to be one of the key issues when a Colorado couple ends a relationship. It is rare that a parent does not want what is best for his or her child and ensuring that the child's needs are fulfilled with child support is part of that. However, there are often questions about child support guidelines, the reason for the amount that is ordered, and what factors are considered when the decision is made. Having a grasp of these issues is imperative whether it is an amicable case in which the parents are deciding on child support or there is a child support dispute.

The basic child support obligations and the guidelines that are in place to have a state policy on how children should be supported based on the parents' financial circumstances; to award an equitable amount with consistent treatment for parents based on their situations; and to make certain of efficiency by encouraging couples to settle and allow courts to have a baseline in what will be awarded. The adjusted gross incomes of the parents will be used to calculate the child support. It will be adjusted based on the child's needs with such issues as medical expenses, child care costs and other matters factored in. An amount will be allocated for each parent to pay for the child's physical care.