Whether you are requesting spousal support or being asked to pay it in a divorce case, having our spousal support lawyer in Fort Collins on your side is a smart idea. We know how difficult it can be to go through a divorce. It can feel like your life has flipped upside down. But you still must deal with the actual parameters of the divorce process, which can ramp up the emotions even further.
Colorado law determines how and when alimony or spousal support payments will occur as part of a divorce case. As with other issues in a divorce, the parties in the case can go through negotiations to come to an agreement on spousal support. They may agree to waive strict adherence to the Colorado alimony laws. Sometimes, though, the two parties in the divorce cannot agree. When they don’t, the court will intervene to make a decision on the matter.
The Cossitt Law Firm is ready to help. We would appreciate the chance to represent you and your interests. To schedule a consultation, contact us today at 970-488-1887.
The issue of alimony can be important leverage in divorce settlement negotiations. In some cases, the amount of payment of spousal support can be a bargaining chip for either side. Our spousal support attorney in Fort Collins may use the idea of our client’s agreeing to receive a lower alimony payment, or no alimony, in order to gain leverage in another area of contention. This strategy can be helpful in making compromises in areas like the division of property. Thinking about alimony as a part of the bigger picture in a divorce case is usually a smart idea.
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 doesn’t 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.
Our alimony attorney in Fort Collins knows that some divorce negotiations become contentious almost immediately. When the subject of spousal maintenance payments comes up, bringing money into the discussion can increase the number of disagreements. Feelings from past conflicts during the marriage may come to the forefront. Having all parties on edge during negotiations over alimony can be detrimental to reaching a settlement.
You can count on our team to treat everyone involved with professionalism. We will demand the same type of treatment for you from the opposing attorney. Do not assume, however, that our desire for professional behavior will cause us to back down in negotiations. We fight zealously for our clients’ wants and needs in divorce cases and in alimony hearings. We take pride in telling your side of the story with confidence and courtesy.
Beyond the emotional ups and downs of going through divorce negotiations, it can be difficult to understand all the terminology. Colorado statutes use a relatively uncommon term – spousal maintenance – to describe what other states frequently call alimony or spousal support. Colorado statute § 14-10-114, pg. 86 lays out the state’s laws regarding spousal maintenance. Count on our spousal support lawyer in Fort Collins to answer any questions you may have about the process.
There are no guarantees regarding alimony. In other words, no one is automatically entitled to receive it, and no one is automatically obligated to pay spousal support just because a divorce is occurring. Instead, case-specific factors will dictate whether and when alimony payments are an element of a divorce case. Here are some of the more important items to understand.
Multiple types of spousal maintenance are possible. For starters, alimony can be temporary or permanent. Temporary spousal support typically occurs while a divorce case is underway. It fills the gap until permanent alimony orders move into place. In this context, “permanent” means over the long term, though not necessarily irreversible or forever.
Awards may occur for rehabilitative or reimbursement purposes as well. Rehabilitative alimony can help one party acquire job skills or training. Reimbursement spousal support may occur when one party has expended financial resources to advance the career of the other.
If a couple signed a prenuptial or post-nuptial agreement, the terms of spousal support in that agreement commonly go into effect when the couple divorces. Of course, the prenuptial or post-nuptial agreement must have been crafted so that it was legally binding. If either party contests the legality of such an agreement, additional court hearings may be necessary to determine its validity.
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.
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.
The court will first determine whether to order spousal support to either party. It then will determine the amount and duration of any spousal support payments. Specific factors that the court considers when making these determinations may include:
Despite the mandates that Colorado law has regarding spousal support, judges still have plenty of discretion in these cases. In other words, family court judges can go beyond the bounds of alimony formulas and typical spousal support factors when making a decision. The court can use non-standard factors both when deciding whether to award payments and in calculating the amount of any payments.
This ability of the court to use non-standard factors to determine alimony could greatly affect the outcome in your case. When you are attempting to represent yourself in an alimony hearing with uncommon circumstances, you may be unable to present your side of the case in a way that is persuasive to the court. Hiring the team at The Cossitt Law Firm to represent you helps significantly in this type of situation. We have seen multiple cases in which the court considered special circumstances when making alimony decisions. We know how to apply what we’ve learned in the past to all our clients’ cases.
For a consultation, contact our alimony lawyer in Fort Collins as soon as possible at 970-488-1887. We will be ready to begin representing your interests as soon as you choose to hire us.
After you hire us to represent you in your alimony hearing, we will begin by collecting the required financial documents. The courts require that both parties produce documents regarding their projected gross income after the divorce, financial resources available to them, and their access to property, among other information.
With the documents in hand, we can begin negotiating with your spouse’s representatives regarding alimony. We will start by negotiating about whether either party should receive alimony. It’s possible that both sides will agree to leave alimony out of the divorce settlement. Understand, though, that even if you want to leave spousal maintenance payments out of the divorce, your spouse’s desire to receive alimony may override your desires. If the financial documents clearly show that the court is likely to require you to make payments, and if your spouse wants to receive these payments, we can try to negotiate a different outcome, but it will be difficult to win. We can, however, work to make the terms easier for you to bear.
Next, we’ll begin negotiating on the amount of any support payment. Although Colorado has a formula for determining alimony, we can attempt to negotiate a different amount. We can use any special circumstances in the case to try to win a settlement as much in your favor as possible.
Ideally, you will not have to go to court to settle the issue of alimony payments in your case. Courts in Colorado prefer that the two parties negotiate their own settlement amount. The courts then can approve the plan that both sides want. However, if negotiations fail, the court will need to make the determination. Count on our team to present all the facts in the case to the judge. We will argue in court to try to win the spousal support settlement that you deserve in your divorce.
As we represent you during the divorce, we will provide advice on how to proceed. We may recommend that you accept the negotiated amount of alimony. We may recommend that you take the case before a judge because your spouse’s representatives refuse to negotiate in good faith. Or we may recommend something in between. However, the ultimate decision in how we proceed is up to you. We will explain your options, but we will only move forward in the way that you want to proceed.
Find out how our team can help you. Call (970) 488-1887 to speak with our spousal support lawyer in Fort Collins today.
Through our years of practice, we have heard many questions from our clients about alimony and spousal support. The following are some of the most common questions.
An award of nominal maintenance may occur when the bread-winning spouse is not earning what he or she typically does. This can happen when someone paying alimony becomes unemployed or suddenly has reduced income. Like other forms of spousal support, nominal alimony may be modifiable in the future, as life and financial circumstances evolve.
Spousal support in Colorado can be modified when a material change in circumstances occurs. Specifically, if the payor is unable to pay spousal support for certain reasons, the court will consider requests to modify these payments. For example, if the payor becomes laid off or fired, the courts may modify alimony. However, if the payor intentionally walked away from a job and is not making any effort to secure new employment, alimony orders may stand. On both sides of the alimony issue, things can be complex and sensitive, not only during the initial hearings but also into the future. Hiring our spousal support lawyer in Fort Collins before, during, or after divorce proceedings can help.
Adultery and other forms of misconduct do not play a role in determining alimony in the state of Colorado. Divorces in Colorado are no-fault divorces. This means the court doesn’t take misconduct into consideration when determining any aspect of a divorce settlement.
If you do not respond to your spouse’s petition for divorce, the court will assume you agree with all your spouse’s requests, including for alimony payments. If you do not present your side of the story to the court and stand up for yourself, the court will have no reason to give your desires any consideration. Ignoring divorce proceedings rarely goes well. Colorado courts can award a divorce even if only one spouse wants it. Hiring our team to represent your interests, even when you don’t want a divorce, ensures your financial interests will receive as much protection as possible.
Not necessarily. When you hire our team to represent you, we may be able to appear on your behalf. It’s also possible that you can make an appeal to the courts, requesting that you or your representative not be required to appear in court. The Colorado Judicial Branch offers forms that allow you to understand how to make this request. Our team can walk you through the process as well.
Some people going through a divorce will try to file false information on their financial documents. They may believe they can steer the spousal maintenance settlement in their favor by failing to disclose some income. However, these documents are legally binding. Courts will not tolerate lying on these documents. Our team can work to investigate your allegations and force your spouse to deliver amended documents that show the truth.
You can enter your and your spouse’s financial information into a spousal alimony calculator to receive an idea of how alimony might be awarded in your situation. The calculator bases its numbers on the state of Colorado’s formula for spousal support. Remember, our team can argue in court that special circumstances exist in your case. These circumstances may give you a more favorable result than what the formula provides.
No matter what side of the issue you’re on, and regardless of whether alimony issues arise during or after divorce, you can rely on us. Our experienced alimony lawyer in Fort Collins at The Cossitt Law Firm, will provide exceptional representation and experienced counsel. We are ready to answer your questions about spousal support and advise you on your best options.
Call (970) 488-1887 for a 100% confidential consultation from an experienced attorney. Our spousal support lawyer in Fort Collins knows how to apply Colorado law to your case, working toward the best possible outcome for you.
This calculator is based on the new 2019 Colorado maintenance guideline. Many additional factors will be considered by the Court when determining if an award of maintenance is warranted.
"I am very appreciative of Toms services. English is a second language to me, and this process seemed difficult because of that barrier. He was very patient and thorough making sure I understood everything before he proceeded. I will recommend him to everyone! He truly cares about you, as does his wonderful, helpful team"
Review from AVVO
"I had a very challenging case, one that could have had indefinite financial consequences. Tom Cossitt evaluated my case and identified several strategies for moving forward. I chose one and Tom developed and implemented that strategy with speed and with the utmost in professionalism. The documents he drafted on my behalf, based on extensive research and case law / precedent were thorough and comprehensive. When the Court ruled, it used the arguments as developed by Tom Cossitt verbatim in its decision, and the case was decided in my favor. Needless to say, I was pleased beyond words. Based on my experience and the outcome of my case, I would highly recommend Tom Cossitt to anyone requiring the services of a family law attorney."
Review from Google
"I met with as many as 10 different attorneys before coming across Thomas. After our initial consultation, I was very pleased with his knowledge and realistic expectations. During the really tough time, Thomas kept me calm and helped tremendously to get custody of my daughter. He kept me informed on what was going on and would ask for my input; if it was something that was unrealistic or could be done a different way, Thomas would tell me right away. During the hearings, he was amazing. He kept a professional attitude and was great at cross examinations. He took in all of the facts and evidence, and was able to present them efficiently and effectively. Ultimately helping me gain custody of my child."
Review from AVVO