After more than ten years of marriage, you and your husband have decided to part ways. You know the divorce will be complex. While your husband spent his time trying to fulfill his dreams of becoming an artist, you built your own interior design firm from the ground up. Many years of success have allowed you to purchase a second home, investment property, and build a strong stock portfolio. Theoretically, you could retire now and live very comfortably. However, you love the work too much to walk away from it. In addition, your divorce settlement may include handing over a significant portion of your assets to your husband.
You have mentally prepared yourself for the various outcomes of a divorced agreement. Fortunately, your design firm is protected due to its entity type and shareholder agreements, but the rest of your assets are exposed. Furthermore, you recently realized that you may have to pay your future ex-husband alimony. Colorado spousal support, or maintenance, can be very complex. A Denver area divorce attorney can examine your circumstances and help you reach a settlement that is fair to both you and your ex-spouse. Read further to learn more about alimony basics.
Purpose of alimony
Often, when couples divorce, one spouse is left at an economic disadvantage. Alimony exists in order to mitigate this disadvantage. It provides a boost to the lower-earning spouse while he develops skills to support himself at a reasonable level. In other words, you may have to subsidize your husband's living expenses while he attends college or a trade school to develop the skills he needs to provide for himself.
Colorado, like several other states, uses a fairly complex formula to determine the amount of alimony a spouse must pay and how long the payments must last. The court will examine many factors in order to determine an alimony award. For example, the judge will consider the length of the marriage, the contributions you each made to the marriage, and even your standard of living. In addition, the judge will look at the physical and mental state of each of you, your ability to pay alimony, and the length of time it will take your husband to become self-sufficient.
Rehabilitative, not usually permanent
The court typically considers alimony to be a rehabilitative tool. While payments must continue until the court orders otherwise, or until a date specified in the settlement or divorce decree, they tend to last only until the receiving spouse can provide his own support. Once he begins to earn a reasonable income, or if he remarries, the court may discontinue the alimony award.
High asset divorce can come with some very complicated circumstances. If you are considering divorce, it is important that you take steps to protect your interests. Contact a Denver area family law attorney for help with your complex divorce.