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.
Readers of our Boulder County Divorce Law Blog are familiar with questions surrounding one spouse's legal obligation to continue to support the other after a divorce. How much spousal support must one pay, and for how long, are important to be aware of during the divorce process. However, even after the separation has been finalized and payments begin, it may be possible to request changes to alimony payments, under certain circumstances.
Couples seeking to end their marriage and go their separate ways often have to settle bitter disputes before they can move on. A common one is the amount of spousal support one will have to pay to the other after the divorce. This amount, however, is not set in stone: either spouse can request a modification, or a change in the amount that is paid. Let's take a closer look at what's required in order to request a modification, as it may not be as difficult as some would expect.
Sometimes the emotional turbulence of divorce coupled with the uncertainty of the future can distract from effective legal negotiation and proper financial planning. One area where this is evident is alimony, also known as spousal support. Most people assume there is no alternative to the traditional monthly-payment alimony structure. A couple getting divorced, however, may request to pay a lump sum rather than make monthly payments. There are advantages to a lump sum approach for both sides.
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.
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.
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.
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.
A flood of questions and concerns can dominate a Boulder County resident's mind when they decide to file for divorce. For example, they may wonder how their kids will take the news of their ending marriage or if they will be able to manage on their own. They may have concerns about their soon-to-be ex-spouse causing problems for them during the divorce process.
When two people divorce, they can begin their lives as single individuals in different financial circumstances. Particularly when one of the partners to the ended marriage worked outside of the home and the other elected not to earn an income to support the family at home can the differences in their incoming wealth be exacerbated. In Colorado, a disparity in income between two formerly married people may result in an award of alimony to the lesser-earning person.