THE REPRESENTATION YOU NEED IN ORDER TO PROTECT YOUR FAMILY
Fort Collins Spousal Support Attorney
The law on spousal maintenance significantly changed effective 2014. It is vital that you understand what these changes in the law are and how they effect you regardless if you are the party who is seeking maintenance or if you are the party who might have to pay maintenance.
Contact the Fort Collins divorce attorneys at The Law Office of Stephen Vertucci, LLC at 970-900-1800 so you can understand how to protect your interests and how to develop strategies that place you in the best position to reach your goals.
Spousal Support FAQ’s
- How does the court determine alimony in a high-income divorce?
- What if my spouse was unemployed?
- Can maintenance awards be modified?
- Should I hire a spousal support attorney?
Determining Alimony in Higher Income Divorces
When determining spousal maintenance in higher asset cases, the Court has to strike a balance between the financial circumstances a party will be in when they receive the marital property as a result in the divorce. However, the Court must also balance the fact that a party should not have to dip into the property they receive in the divorce in order to meet their monthly needs. This can have far reaching implications in your divorce case.
In determining the amount and duration of payments, a judge will take into consideration such factors as:
- The financial resources of the spouse requesting maintenance, including any marital property any child support payments received as part of the divorce settlement.
- The ability of the spouse who would be making the payments to make them without excessive financial hardship.
- The future earning capacity of the spouse requesting maintenance.
- The amount of time needed to complete education and training in order to reenter the workforce.
- The age and physical and mental health of the spouse requesting maintenance.
- The duration of the marriage.
- The standard of living of the couple during the marriage.
Imputing Income When One Spouse is Not Employed
What if one has taken time away from the workforce and is not employed at the time of the divorce? In the case of a stay-at-home mom or dad, or in situations where, for any reason, only one spouse is working outside the home, the court may impute some amount of income to the non-working spouse; or, depending on his or her work history, educational level, and the current job market in the area, the amount imputed for purposes of determining maintenance could be higher.
Other factors will be considered, including any compelling reasons for the non-working spouse to put off finding work outside the home, such as a nursing infant or a disabled child needing her care, or some physical or mental condition has that prevents the unemployed spouse from being becoming employable.
The Importance of Legal Representation
Because there are so many variables that go into the decision as to whether to award spousal maintenance, and if it is awarded, how much and for how long, both parties to the divorce will usually benefit from having an experienced divorce lawyer who understands the issues involved and has the negotiating skills to present arguments to protect their interests. Furthermore, because there are tax considerations to both the payer and recipient of spousal support, an attorney can help structure the agreement to your best advantage.
Depending on the type of maintenance that has been awarded, maintenance awards can be modified when life circumstances change, but any modifications must be made by the court. Job loss and health issues affecting either spouse, a change in custody of the children, or an increase in income or improvement in financial circumstances of the recipient may make a change or termination in support appropriate. In the event that the spouse receiving the payments remarries, the maintenance will likely be terminated.
A demand for alimony is often emotionally taxing on both spouses—the one needing help and the one being asked for it. Regardless of which position you are in, you want to have your needs and interests considered.
How to Calculate Spousal Support
The Courts will now consider a presumptive statutory calculation of how much maintenance might be and for long the duration of the maintenance award should be for.
This calculation will take into consideration each party’s gross annual income and the length of the marriage and the “calculator” will suggest what the presumptive amount of maintenance should be and for how long the award should continue. However, this is only a presumption. The Court can be persuaded to Order above the calculator amount and/or duration or it can be persuaded to Order below the amount and/or the duration. It is important you understand what the Court may take into consideration regarding maintenance calculations.
Additionally, maintenance can be set in an amount that can be modified in the future if circumstances change or it can be set in an amount that CANNOT be changed in the future regardless of certain circumstances.
Divorcing couples may agree between them on an amount and duration of maintenance payments, or they may be determined by a prenuptial agreement.
It is also important to remember that in most instances, maintenance will be taxable income to the party receiving it and tax deductible to the party who is paying it. Receipt of maintenance will also effect the amount of child support, if applicable.
Although the formula establishes guidelines, nothing is etched in stone, and the court will consider any circumstances that would create a hardship or unfair situation should the formula be applied precisely.
The divorcing spouses may agree to a waiver of spousal support, stating the reasons they have chosen to forgo the payments. A judge may reject a waiver of maintenance if it appears to be unfair to one of the parties.
Getting Legal Help in Determining Alimony
Having a Colorado divorce lawyer working to protect your interests can help ensure a fair outcome can relieve a lot of the stress involved in a contentious situation regarding alimony. If you live in or near Ft. Collins. Colorado, get the aggressive, knowledgeable, and compassionate legal advocacy that can produce a solution that works for you and meets your unique needs by contacting the Law Office of Stephen Vertucci, LLC. Stephen is fully experienced and tireless in the pursuit of legal solutions that work for each of his clients and their Colorado child support and spousal support needs. If circumstances are such that you require a modification at some later time, he can petition the court in your behalf. Call the Law Office of Stephen Vertucci, LLC at 970.900.1800 today for the peace of mind that comes with a skilled legal advocate who has your back.