AFFLUENT MEN DIVORCE FAQ
Divorce can be a difficult process to endure for many reasons. It doesn’t help that on top of everything else, you have to go through the challenge of separating assets. If you’re an affluent man, divorce can be especially challenging. You’ve worked hard for years to get to where you are today, and now you worry it will all get taken from you. You need someone who is going to work as hard as you have to protect your property and your rights.
Litvak Litvak Mehrtens and Carlton, P.C. have been providing Denver with solutions for high-asset divorce cases for over 65 years. As Colorado’s most respected family law firm, we have the experience and knowledge it takes to achieve the best possible outcome. Here are some of the most frequently asked questions regarding an affluent man’s divorce.
Denver Alimony Laws
Alimony is awarded under the impression that one partner cannot survive comfortably without support from the other. Alimony, or spousal support, gets determined by two things. One is your ability to provide. The other is your spouse’s own lack of assets. To receive alimony, your attorney must prove both of these things. You also must have had at least 3 years of marriage to be eligible.
A judge will determine if receiving alimony is a necessary measure for your spouse. He or she will also determine how much and for how long. There are several factors that go into the way a judge determines if alimony is appropriate. These include:
- Gross income of each party
- Age and physical health of each party
- Distribution of marital property
- Financial resources of each party and their contributions to the marriage
- Financial need and lifestyle established by the marriage
- The employment status/ability for employment of each party
Once the court has determined if alimony is appropriate, they determine the amount. In Colorado, this is done using a specific formula:
40% of higher income earner’s monthly gross income-50% of lower income earner’s monthly gross income=Alimony amount
The spouse receiving alimony does have a limit to what they can receive. It cannot be over 40% of the combined gross income of both parties.
Though these are the general factors in determining alimony, every court is different. In the end, it comes down to the representation and how well the attorney is able to speak for their client.
Will I have to provide spousal maintenance?
If you’re in the midst of a divorce, you may have to provide alimony. In Colorado, the courts refer to this as spousal maintenance or support. Whoever is the sole breadwinner of the family is the one asked to pay spousal support to the other. This is only if your spouse doesn't have the means to meet their own reasonable needs.
If you were not the one with the majority income in your household, you’re eligible for these payments. Our lawyers will fight for your benefit in either case.
Will I lose half of my business in a divorce?
Colorado is not a community property state, but rather a marital property state. This means that anything acquired within the marriage should be equitably divided. This includes any assets or debts obtained before the dissolution of marriage.
So, with a divorce, there is always the possibility that your business may be subject to division. But it is not a guarantee. This is where having the proper representation comes in.
Even if the court determines that your business is marital property, our attorneys will work to leave the asset with you. We’ll work to get a structured settlement that allows you to pay over time.
Will my property be divided equally between me and my ex?
Not always. Since Colorado is an equitable distribution state, the property acquired in a marriage is to be divided equitably. But this does not always mean the split is equal. It means that the property will be distributed fairly, not straight down the middle. Except for inheritance and gifts, anything obtained between the two parties in the marriage is up for division.
To determine what goes where, several factors get taken into account. Some of these factors include income, age, and contributions to the marital estate from each individual spouse.
Is property division taxable?
No. Property division is not taxable unless the transfer gets handled incorrectly. In that case, a taxable situation could arise.
If you must sell a shared asset as a result of the divorce and the money from the sale is split between spouses, you may need to pay taxes. But in general, property division isn’t taxable.
Separate Property vs Marital Property
Sometimes what you may think is separate property turns out to be marital property. It’s not always easy to distinguish between the two upon first glance. Even if you acquired the property before your marriage, it’s not set in stone to be yours following a divorce. If the property rose in value during your marriage, it may have aspects of marital property.
Because something was purchased in your name also doesn’t make it 100% yours. If you purchased the property during your marriage, even if it’s in your name, it is subject for division.
A common misconception with retirement accounts is that they are yours to keep in case of a divorce. Again, this is not always the case. If you created the retirement account together or if it arose in value over time, it is subject to division as well.
The exception for this rule is Social Security benefits. These are not eligible for division. That is unless they are 62 years or older and the marriage lasted for 10 or more years. Then they may still receive benefits on your account.
Contact Litvak Litvak Mehrtens & Carlson, P.C.
If you’re an affluent man going through a divorce, you need a skilled team of attorneys on your side. We will protect your assets and fight for your rights. Contact Litvak Litvak Mehrtens and Carlton, P.C., to discuss your case today. Schedule a consultation by calling our Denver office at 303-951-4506 or complete our online form.