How Can I Get Alimony
There are two parts of the divorce process in which alimony may be ordered. First is during the pending phase of the divorce, which is known as temporary alimony. The second phase is when the divorce is made final, or permanent alimony. Permanent is somewhat inaccurate, as you will not be paying alimony for the rest of your life rather, it means the need to pay the sums are part of your Permanent Final Orders or divorce decree.
The temporary alimony award can be calculated in two methods: First is known as presumptive alimony, which is used when parties combined incomes total $75K or less. In these cases, there is a presumption that favors a temporary alimony amount calculated by taking 40% of the higher income partys income minus 50% of the lower income partys income.
If the result is zero, or less than zero, the determination is that no alimony amount is appropriate. If the remainder is a positive number, the positive amount is what the presumptive alimony award would be.
Presumptive alimony can be overcome by evidence that would make its awarding unjust or inequal. Temporary alimony in a situation where combined income of both parties is above $75K is determined based upon the same factors as permanent alimony.
How Alimony Is Determined
Maintenance is based on many factors. Income of each party is one of the most influential determinants. But, income is not the be-all end-all to assured alimony.
Interesting fact: The U.S. Census reports a slight increase in men getting alimony. About three percent of alimony recipients are men.
The court examines both parties ability to make money and meet their own needs.
Judges also consider:
- the paying spouses ability to meet their own needs while paying spousal support
- the lifestyle enjoyed during the marriage
- if the recipient spouse stays home with minor children
- whether the recipient spouse receives any marital property
- past earning history of both parties
- length of the marriage
What Are The Types Of Alimony
Primarily, there are two types of spousal maintenance, which include statutory maintenance and contractual and non-modifiable maintenance.
A family law judge can only award statutory maintenance, this includes temporary maintenance before the divorce is finalized.
Only divorcing parties can agree upon contractual and non-modifiable maintenance.
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We Fight Hard For Your Needs
One of the most difficult things about undergoing a divorce is thinking about what you want to achieve from the settlement. Our spousal maintenance attorney in Fort Collins will take the time to learn about you and your family. The more we can understand about your wants and needs post-divorce, the better we can represent you.
Sometimes, the spousal support attorney representing your spouse will introduce half-truths and outright lies into the negotiations. By getting to know you, we can be certain we catch these lies immediately. We will do everything we can to make sure the other side treats you with respect and doesnt use half-truths to try to negatively impact negotiations. With our team on your side, you can focus on how you plan to move your life forward. Let us handle the day-to-day work regarding the divorce proceedings.
If Youre Getting Divorced In Colorado And You Or Your Spouse Has Cheated Youll Need To Know How The Adultery Will Affect The Judges Decisions About Your Case Including Alimony And Child Custody
A spouse’s infidelity can add tension to any divorce, and can create a concern you wouldn’t otherwise have to deal with: How will the adultery affect the outcome of your divorce? Every state has different laws about how adultery affects divorce this article breaks down the effects of adultery on divorces in Colorado.
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Divorce Lawyer In Colorado Springs
If you want the best divorce lawyer in Colorado Springs, you dont need to search any longer. Thomas Ramunda has the years of experience you require, and he has worked with countless military families in the area. He can work with both parties to create an amicable solution to your Colorado Springs divorce.
Best Tips To Avoiding Alimony
There are a number of ways that an individual can avoid having to pay alimony, either by pre-planning, doing so during the divorce, or even after the divorce. Here are some of those tactics
- Prenuptial Agreement: This is something that couples do before they are married to help eliminate the possibility of alimony payments if they divorce. A prenuptial agreement is a legal agreement between the couple outlining what will take place as far as the division of property is concerned should they divorce. Individuals will usually seek a prenuptial agreement when one spouse makes or has significantly more money than the other as a means to protect their assets during divorce. Other reasons for having a prenuptial agreement entered is to avoid having to pay alimony to the other spouse.
- Proof of Infidelity: Depending on which state you reside in, infidelity may be a reason for the denial of alimony. In these states, if infidelity on the behalf of one of the partners is proven, it can help to take alimony for that spouse off the table. Keep in mind, however, you will need to prove the infidelity happened to the courts satisfaction through different types of evidence. Proving infidelity is no easy task, as you will need actual proof, such as multiple witnesses, photographs, video, or other incriminating evidence.
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Standard For Alimony In Colorado
The standard for an award of alimony in Colorado is that it shall be in an amount and for a term that is fair and equitable to both parties.C.R.S. 14-10-114. As we discuss in our Alimony in Colorado article in the Colorado Family Law Guide, there are a variety of factors family law judges must apply when determining an appropriate amount of spousal maintenance.
Does Colorado Have Palimony Laws
So, how do you get alimony if not married? This would be done through a palimony agreement. In Colorado, its possible to get either palimony or alimony. Due to Colorado case law being silent on the issue of palimony, you can make a claim for palimony, but there is no guarantee that you will prevail. Alimony is reserved for married couples, with a higher case success rate than palimony cases. However, several cases have been won in favor of palimony agreements for unmarried partners. However, these cases are not frequently won and require the help of a qualified attorney.
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Calculation Of Income Basics
When it comes to the matter of how to calculate income for child support and alimony in Colorado, the following factors all play a part:
- The basis of the calculation process is both parties gross incomes.
- If a parent is in the military, his or her Basic Allowance for Housing and Basic Allowance for Subsistence are both included in his or her income.
- While Veterans Affairs benefits are not taxed, they are included when it comes time to calculate income in divorce.
- If a parents income varies throughout the year, the court is likely to average the earnings based on the previous years taxes or on the year-to-date earnings.
- Regular bonuses and other in-kind revenue, such as a work vehicle or other employee benefits, may be included in the total income.
Further, if a divorcing spouse is not working, it does not necessarily mean that his or her gross income will automatically be set at zero. The court has the discretion to take the individuals potential income into consideration . Finally, a parents new spouses income does not affect child support payments, but it can affect monthly alimony payments.
What Are The Complexities Of Alimony
Many people were, or still are, under the impression that the alimony statute of Colorado provided minimal guidance and there was too much leeway for judicial determination, which led to inconsistency. Amounts and duration varied from district to district, so Colorado law changed.
Today, alimony laws are different and are now enforced with amendments with advisory guidelines, which are considered the first step in determining alimony. One should note that alimony is not the same as child support, which is handled in a different way.
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Eligibility For Alimony In Colorado
It is the courts responsibility to ensure that the spousal support terms are fair to both parties. One party should prove they need support, and the other should present evidence that they can or cant provide it.
The couple needs to be married for at least three years so that one spouse can be eligible for alimony in Colorado. The following factors will determine whether one spouse can get alimony:
- Financial statements of the higher-earning spouse
- Financial dependency of the lower-earning spouse
- The lifestyle adopted by the couple
- Property distribution in the divorce
- Income and assets of both spouses
- Employment or employability
- Age, health, and medical history of both spouses
- Duration of the marriage
Items Our Spousal Maintenance Attorney In Fort Collins Will Address With The Court
The court looks at a series of questions and topics when trying to determine whether one party or the other should receive spousal maintenance payments. Count on our Colorado alimony lawyer to address all these items during negotiations and during a potential court hearing.
- Does the spouse who is requesting alimony lack the financial resources necessary to meet his or her reasonable needs?
- Does the requester lack the ability to get a job and support himself or herself?
- Does the requester support a disabled child and/or parent, limiting the ability to seek employment?
In basic terms, if the court determines that one spouse will suffer a financial setback because of the divorce, that spouse probably will receive alimony.
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Going Beyond The Math To Argue For Alimony
Spousal maintenance isnt just about math, though. The spousal maintenance formula is a guideline, not a rule. Your judge can award alimony in whatever amount and duration is fair and appropriate. In deciding whether to award spousal maintenance, the court will consider a number of factors:
- The actual or potential income of each party, including bonuses, overtime, or seasonal layoffs.
- Your financial resources .
- Your ability to earn income in the future.
- How long it will take you to complete your education or receive training to find new employment.
- If your childs care and support prevent you from working more.
- Whether awarding specific property as part of the divorce could eliminate the need for support.
- The standard of living established during your marriage.
- The length of the marriage.
- Each partys contribution to the family.
- Your age, physical condition, and emotional condition.
- Whether your spouse will have the ability to support both households.
- Whether your spouse will be allowed to deduct the alimony payments for tax purposes.
Do You Need An Alimony Lawyer In Colorado Springs
The family law attorneys at Graham.Law have years of experience helping clients through the Colorado legal system. We know Colorado family laws, inside and out, from divorce to legal separation, from annulment to military divorce issues. And we understand alimony and family support. For more information about our El Paso County family law firm, click on:
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Who Is Eligible For Spousal Maintenance
Eligibility for spousal maintenance is determined based on the earnings of the respective spouses, as well as their future prospects and the length of the marriage. Generally speaking, a spouse who earns less than the other may be eligible for a maintenance award when the marriage is longer than 36 months. Spousal maintenance is viewed mostly as a way to provide support until a spouse gains the training, education, or experience they need to have sufficient earning power. For this reason, most awards only last for a specific period of time or until a paying spouse shows that a termination is appropriate.
Generally, the longer the marriage, the more likely the court is to award alimony in your case. However, it is important to remember that there are always exceptions, every case is different, and there are a number of factors to consider this is not necessarily a given. Your case may involve unique circumstances.
A court can award maintenance if it finds the following are true:
- The spouse requesting payments does not have sufficient income or property to cover their reasonable needs
- The spouse does not have the ability to quickly obtain employment that will help them become self-supporting. This includes caring for a child which makes it unsuitable for the spouse to seek additional employment
What if my spouse requests the Judge to order alimony while the divorce case is still pending?
How much am I going to have to pay and for how long after I am divorced?
Does Adultery Affect Alimony In Colorado
When deciding how much alimony is appropriate, Colorado judges consider a laundry list of several factors, including:
- the paying spouse’s financial resources
- the receiving spouse’s financial resources
- the couple’s lifestyle during the marriage
- each spouse’s education, earning capacity, and employability
- the length of the marriage
- each spouse’s age and health, including special healthcare needs
- each spouse’s non-monetary contributions to the marriage , and
- any other factor that the court believes is relevant.
Notably, none of these factors have anything to do with marital misconduct like adultery. That’s because judges in Colorado cannot consider adultery, or any other misconduct, when making alimony decisions. Rather, Colorado judges must use the guidelines in the state’s statute to craft fair, equitable, and consistent alimony awards. .)
There’s only one scenario where adultery might affect a Colorado alimony award: When a spouse commits marital misconduct that affects the couple’s financial situation, the judge might consider the misconduct when awarding alimony or divides property. For example, if an adulterous spouse empties the joint marital bank accounts by purchasing luxurious trips and lavish gifts for a lover, the court might account for the adulterous spouse’s actions when it comes to the alimony award.
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Divorce Lawyer In Denver
If you are looking for help with your Denver, Colorado divorce or child support, contact Thomas Ramunda at South Denver Law. He maintains two office locations for easy access. Visit at 19590 E. Mainstreet, Suite 103, Parker, CO 80138 or 4610 Ulster Street, Suite 150, Denver, Colorado 80237 . Dont attempt a Denver divorce or child support case without professional guidance.
Formula Duration Of Maintenance
The maintenance formula only applies to cases where the parties have been married for three years or more. A spouse who has been married for under three years is generally going to be a poor candidate for maintenance, absent compelling circumstances which typically involve financial sacrifice by the requesting party, such as quitting a job to raise a child, or to move across the country/world for the sake of the marriage.
Traditionally, in El Paso County, once someone qualified for maintenance, it was typically awarded for about the length of the marriage up . And after about 20 years of marriage, courts would consider maintenance for about half the duration, and as you got closer to 30 years, may consider permanent maintenance.
C.R.S. 14-10-114 sets forth the advisory term of maintenance for marriages from 3-20 years, with a the duration of marriage being applied against a multiplier which increases based upon the duration of the marriage.
At 36 months of marriage, the advisory multiplier is 31%. The multiplier increases gradually until 150 months of marriage when it caps out at 50%, or a term of maintenance one-half the duration of the marriage.
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How Complex Is Alimony
Prior to January 2014, many people argued that the alimony statute provided little guidance and believed there was too much room for judicial determination, thus leading to inconsistencies in its application and a perception of unfairness. For example, in cases with similar facts, the amounts and duration would vary widely from one judicial district to the next.
As such, Colorado Revised Statute § 14-10-114 was repealed and reenacted with amendments that include advisory guidelines, which are now considered the starting point when alimony is at issue. It is important to note that this is unlike child support, where the guidelines establish presumptions as the appropriate amount or duration of alimony.
The non-binding guidelines are only applicable to marriages more than 3 years but less than 20, and less than certain income requirements. To figure this out, you should sit down with a spreadsheet and the statute.
The formula is as follows: The court will take 40% of the higher income, less 50% of the lower income, make sure that amount doesnt exceed 40% of the combined income, and make an award. The duration of the award is 31% of the marriage beginning at 36 months and increases by 1.17% each month thereafter. For example, in a 60-month marriage, there would be 21 months of alimony awarded .
To learn more about alimony in Colorado, call us today at 933-4529 or fill out our online contact form to speak with a divorce lawyer.
Longer Marriage Often Means Higher Alimony Payments
The longer you remain married, the longer the alimony term will likely be. The court considers the marriage length when determining the term. For example, if youve been married for seven years, the state might recommend alimony for forty percent of that term. Lengthy marriages can also require lifetime alimony payments.
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The Colorado Child Support Percentage
Once you and your divorcing spouses gross incomes are combined, the court will proceed to calculate the child support percentage that each of you owes. The total of both percentages must be 100 percent, and all things being equal, both parents will owe 50 percent . The following factors are determinative in calculating each parents child support percentage:
- Each parents income
- The number of shared children involved
- The number of children supported by either parent
- The number of overnights with the children that each parent has
Each parents percentage is applied to the base child support amount , and the parent responsible for the higher percentage will pay the other parent the amount he or she owes that is in excess of the amount the non-paying parent is responsible for. For example, if the amount Parent A owes is $1,000 and the amount Parent B owes is $300, Parent A will make child support payments to Parent B in the amount of $700 per month .