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Family Law Lawyer Colorado Springs: Equitable Distribution of Property

Equitable distribution is the distribution of property and debt obligations used by courts in most states when dividing marital property during divorce proceedings. Equitable distribution does not mean “equal” division – it means “fair” division. Instead of a strict fifty-fifty split in which each spouse receives exactly one-half of the property acquired during the marriage, the doctrine of equitable distribution is used to look at the future financial situation of each spouse after the termination of the marriage says Family Law Lawyer Colorado Springs. While equitable distribution is a flexible system, it is difficult to predict the actual outcome of distribution, because some of the factors that courts take into consideration when dividing property during equitable distribution are subjective.

Law

Under the laws of equitable distribution, all real or personal property owned by either spouse separately or by both spouses jointly, may be distributed or divided in divorce, dissolution and legal separation says Family Law Lawyer Colorado Springs. The equitable division of property is not based on a specific formula, such as the fifty-fifty rule of community property, but is instead based on the premise of fairness.

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Family Law Lawyer Colorado Springs: Equitable Distribution of Property

Division of Assets

All property acquired before or during marriage by either or both spouses is subject to division. Any assets including income, dividends, rents, savings, real estate, bank, investment and brokerage accounts, boats, cars, art, and other property, real or personal, may be divided in dissolution, divorce or legal separation. The equitable or fair distribution of property can require the actual division of every asset acquired before or during marriage, or the division of all assets acquired during, but not before marriage, and the unequal distribution of any or all assets. Family Law Lawyer Colorado Springs says generally speaking, judges and commissioners focus only on the division of property acquired during marriage except in special circumstances.

Last Resort

It is important to remember that equitable distribution laws only apply in court. Before a judge determines the allocation of marital assets, the spouses have a chance to work this distribution out either on their own or through attorney negotiations. While equitable distribution laws should be kept in mind during negotiation, during negotiation the spouses are free to divide their property in the manner in which they see fit. If the spouses cannot agree on how to divide the property, a decision by a judge may result in a distribution which leaves both parties unhappy. In some cases, spouses may be able to divide a portion of their marital estate, and bring the remainder to the court to decide how to distribute the rest. In equitable distribution states it is difficult to predict the outcome of property division in divorce, dissolution or legal separation. All assets are subject to the court’s discretion however if you have separate property assets that you want the court to confirm as your own, gather all of the necessary evidence that proves you acquired the property before marriage and there are no special circumstances in your case that justify a judge or commissioner awarding any of the property to your husband. Alternatively Family Law Lawyer Colorado Springs reminds us that, consider negotiating your divorce settlement and the distribution of property so you can avoid the sometimes unpredictable and subjective decisions of family court judges and commissioners.

Family Law Lawyer Colorado Springs: Equitable Distribution of Property

Family Law Lawyer Colorado Springs on Alimony

Alimony (also called maintenance or spousal support) is an obligation to provide financial support to one’s spouse after separation or divorce. It is established by divorce law or family law in many countries and is based on the premise that both spouses have an absolute obligation to support each other during their marriage (or civil union known as common-law marriages). Alimony is the continuation of this obligation to support after separation or divorce has occurred says Family Law Lawyer Colorado Springs. Alimony Law is defined as a court order which determines the financial obligations one spouse has towards the other following a divorce. Spousal support laws are administered and enforced by state legislation and vary from one state to another.

Types

There are many different types of alimony as listed out in alimony law;  Temporary, Rehabilitation, Permanent, Reimbursement, and Lump-sum Alimony. Alimony is also known as spousal support. Alimony law refers to the payments one spouse gives to the other. Some states refer to this as alimony whereas other states consider it maintenance. Though each may have different names, they are considered the same. As child support guidelines may vary from state to state, so do the guidelines for spousal support.  Family Law Lawyer Colorado Springs will inform you of the spousal support guidelines in your state. Spousal support guidelines will then decide the amount and type of alimony to be received. All states are regulated to allow alimony, yet some courts are reluctant to do so.

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Family Law Lawyer Colorado Springs on Alimony

Circumstances

Alimony can be modified or eliminated as the former spouses’ needs change, if those needs are the result of decisions they made as a married unit. Awards and increases in alimony are meant to address only needs that are caused by the divorce itself, not unrelated needs. If the wife’s elderly mother becomes ill and dependent on her after the divorce, for example, the wife’s need increases, but the increase is unrelated to the divorce and will not increase her eligibility for alimony. However, a significant change in circumstances—such as a rise in the recipient’s income or a drop in the payer’s income—can cause the court to reduce or end alimony says Family Law Lawyer Colorado Springs. Occasionally, courts increase alimony to keep up with inflation. Many courts have indicated that situations such as maltreatment are not valid triggers for alimony. Courts have clarified that allegations of physical or other harm done by one spouse must be brought in a civil lawsuit, to be heard and decided by a jury.

Punitive Damages

In successful cases, compensatory and Punitive Damages would be awarded, not alimony explains Family Law Lawyer Colorado Springs. Even in less egregious cases, alimony is not awarded as a punishment, especially in states that have adopted no-fault divorce laws—that is, laws providing that neither spouse has to prove wrongdoing on the part of the other. Gaps in earning power that tend in general to favor men over women create another situation that many courts believe they cannot resolve using alimony. Such gaps are often the reason married couples decide that if it is appropriate for only one spouse to be the wage earner, it should be the husband. But courts do not base individual alimony awards on this trend alone, in part because an individual spouse cannot be held responsible for social injustices.

Family Law Lawyer Colorado Springs on Alimony