Alimony Or Spousal Maintenance in Colorado

In 2014, a new law took effect that deals with spousal maintenance. In many states, spousal maintenance is also called alimony. Alimony is where one spouse is paying to the other spouse a continual monthly amount for a certain period of time. The new law that took effect has advisory guidelines for what spousal maintenance will be or should be in any given circumstance that takes into consideration the duration of the marriage, the education of the parties, the employment capabilities of the parties, the life style or standard of living during the course of the marriage, and several other factors that the court has to look at in deciding whether maintenance is appropriate. The advisory guidelines have a formula that would state what the amount of the monthly
maintenance would be if it’s awarded by the court and what the duration of the maintenance would be.

As an example, in a 20-year marriage, where one party has been a stay-at-home mom and the other party has been the primary bread winner, what the court can do is order spousal maintenance for 50% of the length of the marriage, or 10 years. The amount of the maintenance pursuant to the formula would be 40% of the higher wage-earner’s monthly gross less 50% of the lower wage-earner’s monthly gross income, which would either be actual or imputed income, and determine what that monthly maintenance amount would be. Maintenance always terminates in the event of death of either party or the remarriage of the party who is receiving spousal maintenance. It’s always good to check with a lawyer and get proper advice whenever you’re dealing with the issue of spousal maintenance.

Shayne Law Gets Child Safely Returned To Rightful Parent in Child Custody Matter

On Monday, a young parent hired Gordon Shayne to represent her in an emergency. The other parent had wrongfully kept the child and did not follow the court orders. Gordon Shayne prepared the necessary motions that were filed that same day, and which requested the assistance of the police to immediately return the child. The Court agreed with Attorney, Gordon Shayne, that when a parent does not follow court orders for the return of a child, it was both, an “emergency” and that the child was in “imminent danger.” When the judge entered the Court Order, the day after Attorney, Gordon Shayne, filed the motions, the child was returned to its rightful parent with the assistance of local police.

“The life of the law has not been logic; it has been experience.”
– Oliver Wendall Holmes 1881

Contact Shayne Law if you have any questions.

Employment Assessment

In many cases where parents or parties are going through a divorce, there’s been a history of one party being the primary bread winner or the one that has worked the majority of the time during the course of the marriage, while the other parent hasn’t. That’s typical where we see a stay-at-home mom who has dedicated her life to supporting the family, and to providing the children with their needs. That mom may have not pursued a career or a employment choice.

Now you’re in a situation where there’s a divorce, and at the end of the divorce, both parties are going to be expected to pay for their own living expenses, not withstanding the fact that there may be some issues regarding spousal support. Or, you can have a situation where one of the spouses has been disabled and has been unable to work. In a lot of those cases, we get an employment assessment or develop a plan or goals for education for the parent that needs it, so that we can create a system, a support system, and goals in the divorce case for how that parent can achieve financial in dependence once the divorce is concluded.

Income is always an important factor in any of these cases. The law specifically defines what income is, so it’s important to talk to a lawyer about what the law says regarding income when you’re involved in any of these kinds of family law cases.

Contact Shayne Law if you have any questions.

Why An Experienced Attorney Matters

I want to discuss with you some of the questions that have come up regarding the hiring of an attorney in a divorce or family law case, such as a child custody case. The differences between hiring an attorney who has a lot of experience and hiring an attorney who doesn’t have a great deal of experience. Maybe an attorney that’s come from a different area of the law or someone who’s left a law firm who has been practicing an area that’s unrelated to family law. Family law is a very specialized area. There are a lot of special qualities to family law that a lawyer needs to be aware of to properly advise a client.

If you don’t have that wealth of experience. Then you’re not going to be able to adequately represent a client. Experienced lawyers who practice in this area are dedicated. I take a lot of seminars. Attend a lot of classes all year long. Read a lot of material, books and articles. That’s all meant to stay on top of the latest trends. To stay on top of the latest case law that applies to family law cases. I think there’s an old saying that you get what you pay for. When you are considering hiring an attorney, keep in mind that the cost may be more, but what you’re getting is a dedicated experienced professional who’s going to do their best to fight for you in the most aggressive manner possible.

Contact Shayne Law if you have any questions.

College-Trade School Expenses

I want to talk to you about an issue that’s come up a lot, and that is that sometimes parties, parents, go through a divorce when the children are young, and then years later the issue of college or vocational school expenses comes up and parents want to know, well, this is going to be a huge expense and how do I get my former spouse to be financially responsible for college or vocational expenses? Typically, college expenses are called post-secondary education expenses, the typical four year college degree. Vocational kinds of expenses would be a trade school or an art school where children know that they’re going to be going through a program so that when they finish that program they’ll be well on their way to a career.

The law in Colorado, which was addressed in a Colorado Supreme Court case called Shallott, says that when parents go through a divorce and they have children, it is up to the parents to address how post-secondary college expenses are going to be paid. As an example, if you go through a divorce and you have small children … Let’s just say the children are eight and 10 years old. It’s up to the parents to discuss if they want to include college expenses as part of their divorce or legal separation case. The law says that at that time, when parents are going through their divorce, that is the time when they must reach an agreement as to how that expense is going to be paid.

As an example, if parents do not discuss in any way in their settlement college expenses, the courts in Colorado will not enter any orders requiring parents to pay for a college expense. We all know that college expenses have been on the rise in recent years. It’s very expensive, and what that means to parents is that if you do not have an agreement at the time that you finish your divorce case, then the total cost for college or post-secondary education, vocational expenses, things like that, is going to be on the parent who wants to pay. If neither parent wants to pay, it’s going to up up to the child. You can’t go back to court and ask the judge to order a parent to pay college expenses if it was never addressed.

This is another example of how important it is to have a knowledgeable family law attorney: someone that specializes in family law who would know what the law says, who can guide you through the process when the children are small to plan for that day when they are going to go to college.

Contact Shayne Law if you have any questions.