Mediating Spousal Support
Spousal maintenance, AKA alimony, guidelines are advisory in Colorado so support is an important area that can be mediated between parties. Spousal maintenance can have a substantial impact on financial security. If left to a Court, it is difficult to predict what the outcome of a spousal support determination will be. Reaching an agreement that is in the best interest of both parties is important. Contested proceedings are often prolonged and expensive. Mediation allows both parties the opportunity to negotiate an agreement that they both consider fair, and the mediator can provide information on spousal support guidelines and prepare a calculation.Income
In the course of mediation, you will make full disclosure to each other of income, assets and expenses. Your mediator can assist you in preparing financial statements to summarize these important financial details. When determining income, don’t forget to consider the value of benefits such as health insurance, a company car or accrued vacation time.Expenses
The financial statements that your mediator prepares based on information that you provide will also include expenses. If you have not yet separated households, your mediator can assist in preparing projected budgets as well. You want to have an idea of how much money you need for living expenses and how much money you would like to have based on your marital standard of living.Post-Divorce Cash Flow
In order to realistically fashion a maintenance award, it is important to project post-divorce cash flow for each party. That will allow you to determine how much available cash each party will have to meet his or her needs. Only then can parties engage in an informed discussion of what cash flow is fair for both, given their individual household circumstances and requirements.Waiver
You may choose to waive maintenance and set it off with the receipt of another asset. If so, you will need to state specifically in your agreement that you are aware of the presumptive maintenance guideline and choose to waive maintenance. If maintenance is waived, the waiver is permanent, so this is a substantial decision to make.Guideline Considerations
When negotiating maintenance, it is helpful to such factors as:
- Financial resources of each party;
- Lifestyle during the marriage;
- Distribution of marital property,
- Both parties’ employment and employability;
- Each party’s earnings history;
- The duration of the marriage;
- The age & health of the parties
If you are interested in coming to an agreement that will work for both of you, consult with an attorney mediator who understands Colorado spousal support. At Janko Family Law, we understand how to work with parties to reach a fair agreement. Janko Family Law offers a constructive and affordable alternative to couples facing child custody, child support or other family law decisions.
With expertise in divorce, family, and Colorado legal issues, we help you create your own solutions and assist you in understanding Colorado divorce as well. To learn more, contact our office and schedule a confidential consultation and review of your case. We will be happy to address your concerns and answer your questions. We can also discuss child support, property division, allocation of parental responsibilities and any other topics related to your family law mediation.