The issue of alimony (also referred to as "spousal support") is often one of the most contentious in any divorce. Considering the resentments that have built up over the years, many people are decidedly unhappy about the prospect of paying to support their soon-to-be ex-spouse.
At Split Simple, we approach alimony law the same way we do any other issue that arises during our mediation sessions -- as a straight-forward legal and financial issue that can be worked through by a calm, deliberative uncontested divorce process.
Our attorney-mediators understand the Colorado laws governing spousal support and the psychology associated with this sensitive issue. We can make sure everyone involved is treated fairly and equitably.
If you live in the Denver metropolitan area and you're concerned about what a divorce might bring, please call Split Simple today at (855) 665-9920.
- What to Know
- Non-Alimony Financial Issues
- How We Help with All Financial Matters Associated with Your Divorce
- Our Financial Planning Process
- Tax Implications of Divorce
What to Know About Alimony
First, it's important to remember that alimony laws vary from state to state. The general principles of alimony are broadly shared across the country, but specific formulas and guidelines vary dramatically.
Second, most states (including Colorado) have alimony laws that provide guidelines to family law judges. "Guidelines" is the key word here -- judges are not obligated to completely adhere to these guidelines, though most use them as the baseline for decisions and don't like varying from them too dramatically.
Alimony Law in Colorado
In general, alimony (called "spousal maintenance" in Colorado) is designed to provide financial support for one spouse. This is almost always the spouse who has the lower income.
The factors that determine the precise amount of spousal support usually include:
- The lifestyle to which both spouses have become accustomed
- The earning potential of the supported spouse
- The length of the marriage
- The income of the spouse who will be paying alimony
- Whether or not there are children to consider
For example, in the Colorado formula for calculating spousal maintenance, the judge, lawyer or mediator will start with 40 percent of the higher earner's income, and then subtract 50 percent over the lower earner's income. However, the sum of the lower earner's income plus maintenance may not exceed 40 percent of the total combined income of both parties.
Again, this recommended amount is only a guideline. At Split Simple, our attorney-mediators will use this number to begin the conversation between you and your spouse, but we will be guided by the principles of fairness and equitable treatment. And we will ensure that any alimony program we devise will earn a judge's approval.
Non-Alimony Financial Issues
Alimony is a significant financial issue in most divorces, but it's just one of many. At Split Simple, we consider it our job to handle all of those financial issues during mediation.
The entire point of marrying someone is to intertwine your life with their life. That emotional connection is what makes divorce so stressful. But you have also intertwined your finances with your spouse's, and untangling them is exceptionally tricky.
Split Simple's attorney-mediators understand all relevant laws governing divorce, especially those related to financial matters. We will be able to forge an agreement on the economic issues that address both parties' concerns.
During mediation, we deal with financial issues that include:
- Child support
- Tax implications of divorce
- Retirement accounts
- Pre-marital property vs. post-marital property
- Marital vs. separate property
All of these issues are complicated, which is one of the reasons do-it-yourself divorce is rarely a good idea. Our attorney-mediators will guide you through the weeds of the property division process and ensure a fair solution for everyone involved.
Of course, whether a married or a divorced return is right for you will depend on the unique nature of your estate. Split Simple's attorney-mediators will carefully review all relevant financial documents and make a recommendation that serves the best interests of all parties in the divorce.
If you're looking for a smarter, simpler and more cost effective divorce process, please contact Split Simple using the form on this page or call (855) 665-9920 today to schedule your free consultation. We serve clients in Denver, Boulder, Aurora and throughout the Front Range of Colorado.