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Ask a Colorado Springs Family Lawyer – Are You Entitled to Alimony?

Wednesday, 28 April 2010

blog-logoAs any family attorney will tell you, alimony is not something one should expect from a divorce, but it is wise to learn as much about it as possible before entering a Colorado family courtroom.  If you are unsure about whether your situation qualifies you for alimony or spousal support, it makes sense to work with a Colorado Springs family lawyer

Alimony is a court-ordered amount of money that one spouse pays to the other, to keep them living in the style to which they’ve become accustomed.  Traditionally, alimony payments were made to the wife by the husband, but depending on circumstances it can also be awarded to the husband by the wife. 

If you hear the phrase “alimony pendent lite”, it refers to payments made by one spouse to the other prior to the final divorce decree.  Unlike child support, it is taxable income for the recipient and tax deductible for the payer. 

Who is entitled to alimony?

While it would be nice if everyone was entitled to alimony payments, it is only awarded in certain situations.

Each state has different criteria for determining the amount and duration of alimony payments, but the most common factors in a Colorado divorce include:

• How long the couple was married
• The earning capacity of each spouse
• The age and health of each party
• Other available income sources, such as interest and dividends
• Any contribution made by one spouse to the other towards education that has resulted in his or her current earning potential
• The contribution of one spouse as a homemaker
• How becoming a custodial parent will affect the earning capacity of a spouse

Remember, all alimony is not created equal. If you are able to get alimony, it may only last a few years. 

Permanent alimony is paid until either the payer or payee is deceased, or upon the remarriage of the recipient.  In many of today’s cases, a cohabitation clause can cause alimony to cease when the recipient lives with another person, but this clause does not currently apply in Colorado.

Lump sum alimony is a one-time payment that is made by one spouse to the other, as opposed to weekly or monthly payments.

Temporary alimony is designed to last for one or two years, or until the recipient is able to secure adequate income from employment.

Rehabilitative alimony is also temporary, and is often given in situations where the recipient is in need of education and training in order to become self-sufficient. 

The more one learns about alimony, the more questions one has, so if you are considering a petition for alimony in a divorce settlement, consult with a Colorado Springs family lawyer.

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MPatMarrisonFor over a quarter century, we have helped people during what is often the darkest time in their lives. Divorce is not easy even under the best of circumstances. For most people, family is central. Having something go wrong in the family can have a ripple effect that extends beyond the home and into other areas.

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