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Can any of you answer a divorce question for Jefferson

Can any of you...

Can any of you answer a divorce question for Jefferson County, Colorado?

Lawyer's Assistant: Because family law varies from place to place, can you tell me what state this is in?

Jefferson County, Colorado

Lawyer's Assistant: Has anything been filed or reported?

No

Lawyer's Assistant: Anything else you want the lawyer to know before I connect you?

No...thank you

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Customer reply replied 1 month ago
I have heard that the alimony timeframe is based on the number of years I've been married. That the courts by rule will use half the number of years for alimony payments. I understand when I hit 20yrs of marriage, the time is indefinite. My 20yr anniversary is Oct 2020. My question is this. Does the court calculate using the date the divorce decree is complete and recorded or the date I file for divorce? I ask because I've heard a divorce can take a year.
Answered in 18 minutes by:
3/13/2018
Sean K
Sean K, Family Law Attorney
Category: Family Law
Satisfied Customers: 434
Experience: Family Law Attorney in Private Law Firm
Verified

Hi, I’m Sean and I will be assisting you as an expert today. I’m an attorney with more than 20 years of experience. It is my goal to provide a solid overview of your situation. Whether the analysis is good or bad as to your matter, I want to make sure you understand any points you need and that you have options to better address the questions you have. If I am able, I will also provide you with some resources. Please note that the system, independent from me, may offer a phone call. You are not obligated to engage in a phone call, but I am happy to speak if you desire. This is completely up to you.

Given that your issue is related directly to Colorado law, on the issue of alimony, there is a statute, a fairly specific statute that covers awards of divorce.

You question relates to the "Duration of the Marriage." The Colorado statute gives guidance on this. The duration of the marriage under statute is defined as the number of whole months, beginning from the first day of the month following the date of the marriage until the date of the decree or the day of the hearing on disposition of property if such hearing precedes the date of divorce.

Otherwise, your approach is generally consistent with the statute. The statute is Colorado Revised Statue Title 14-10-114 Section 8(b).

Please note: This is general information for educational purposes only and is not legal advice. There is no specific course of action is proposed and no attorney-client relationship or privilege formed within this conversation.

If you have any follow up questions it would be my pleasure to answer them. As experts we only get credit for the time and effort we spend on our answers if you rate us positively - 5 stars is definitely appreciated but not required! There is no cost associated with you rating me and you can still ask follow up questions after rating me and I will respond.

One final point, there may be a delay between your question and my answer; this is because I'm either not at my computer or helping someone else but rest assured, if you ask, I will provide an answer. Thank you again.

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Customer reply replied 1 month ago
Hi Sean,
Sorry...for not understanding this sentence: "the marriage until the date of the decree or the day of the hearing on disposition of property if such hearing precedes the date of divorce."
Plainly put, decree means the "date" the divorce is finalized and recorded? Not the date I file for divorce?
and what if there is no "hearing" for the disposition of property? What if we through our attorneys work out the property division? Is there a formal document recorded to show what that date is. Again, my intent is to understand my timing as I get closer to my 20yr anniversary.

So sorry about that. I was quoting the statute. The start date will be noted as the first month after the marriage. So if you were married on August15, the first month would be September.

The end date would not be when the action was filed. The reason for this is that as you put it, divorces may take a long time. The Court's under the current statute, consider that. So you would get one of two dates as the end date.

First, if the date of the divorce is the same as the date where the alimony is decided, then that date would be used. If the Court decided the issue of alimony prior to the date of the divorce which regularly happens, the date of the alimony decision would be used, not a later date of divorce.

If you work out an agreement with your attorneys, then after that agreement is finalized, then you would still submit the agreement to the Court for approval and that date would be used. Generally when the Court approves an agreement or orders alimony, a Judge will sign the Order and it will be have a unique time stamp put on it by the Clerk's Office at the Courthouse.

Sean K
Sean K, Family Law Attorney
Category: Family Law
Satisfied Customers: 434
Experience: Family Law Attorney in Private Law Firm
Verified
Sean K and 87 other Family Law Specialists are ready to help you
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Customer reply replied 1 month ago
OK. That makes sense. Thanks.
Another question I've heard is that if I move out of my house during the divorce process...and I do this because staying could cause undo stress on my wife and daughter, am I in danger of getting my custody percentage reduced. I am currently very involved with my daughter's school and after school activities so I'm concerned that ability to see her will be harmed if I choose to move out. I ask because I've read a book about mistakes men make when going through a divorce and moving out is #1 on the list. I just don't see a comfortable way for me to stay in the home.
Customer reply replied 1 month ago
Sean, I sent you another question at 12:50pm but no reply. Did you get it?

My apologizes. Let me address that now.

So frequently it is a factor in custody for Court's to consider the benefit of a child remaining in the marital home for continuity and consistency purposes. However, it is not a deciding factor. You are not the only one who is in a bad situation that needs to be separated from the current arrangement.

The ideal situation for you would be for you to reach out to your spouse and attempt to initiate mediation or another form or alternative dispute resolution to avoid the uncertainty and expense of divorce.

Also, keep in mind and do understand that the mere fact of moving out of the home will not in and of itself finalize and end custody. Courts have to look at every case in total and the best interest of the child controls, not the address.

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Customer reply replied 1 month ago
Hi Sean,
Thanks for info on the custody. I'm learning that I should keep my daughter in the marital home with my wife having 100% physical custody with us sharing 50/50 legal custody, and then working out ways for me to maintain my relationship with my daughter like continue picking her up from school or taking and bringing back from dance class 4 nights a week, and then arrange for sleepovers. But it helps to know that just because I move out to make it more comfortable in the home, any court will see that as a choice to not be involved anymore.

i always believe the more information you have the better!

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Customer reply replied 1 month ago
I have another touchy question. I am an S-Corp sole practitioner Realtor. I created the S-Corp for ease of tax and business expensing. I understand in a divorce, my company will be appraised and have some value they call "Good Will". Even though I'm the company with no other employees, and it's not like I'm selling the company which is me, I understand there is a value that I then have to come up with to share equitably with my wife as an asset. True? Here's my question. If that is the case and I want to protect myself, is there anything or anyone stopping me from closing down my brokerage and simply getting "hired" by a Re/Max to be a 1099 Realtor right before I file for divorce? I'm thinking this would eliminate the need to value a company and me come up with some outrageous amount along with alimony. Is this tactic a no no?

Two fold on that answer.

Goodwill is a tough one to prove. I would say that tactic would be one to approach with caution because it could open you up to a variety of possibilities - a Court saying there was a goodwill value, expecting more income, etc....

The best approach is to take the position that good will is not something that can be calculated as the business is you and the measure of your performance in the business is your income which is not a business valuation measure.

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Customer reply replied 1 month ago
I kind of understand what you're saying. However, when I spoke to an attorney in an initial personal consultation, she explained my business will be valued just as her's would as an attorney who the business is her performance. I'd love it for my business income to be used for just alimony and not as an asset that also gets shared with her like a 2nd home lump sum. Am I asking the right question? Am I following how my business is factored in to the splitting of assets? This is the most confusing piece of my decision.

You are and it relates back to the issue of good will and it will go into the mix and equation for division. I have always looked at good will as a market drive factor - if a person is working in their business the market will determine how successful they are in the business by driving business to the individual. The individual will operate their business, provide their service and pay their overhead, etc. At the end of the day what remains is the product of the goodwill, or their income. The more successful the person, the higher the goodwill, but higher goodwill just results in a higher income.

I believe the Courts look at goodwill this way and balance against parties who may attempt to diminish their business and take a job elsewhere and minimize the goodwill and their business income.

That is the way I have always tied it together. It also underscores why this is very confusing to understand and is not as direct as placing a value of X on a business and it saves the high cost of a hit or miss business goodwill evaluation based on a derived formula.

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Customer reply replied 29 days ago
This sounds like smart stuff Sean but I'm even more confused.
Let me ask it this way.
My brokerage is a one man shop. No assets or employees other than me paying myself and my wife as pass throughs.
There is no value in my opinion on the sales market because I am the generator of income.
So is it mandatory for the courts to say I need to find a value for my company based on my income which then gets split between us like the sale of an RV? And then based on that same income, alimony is calculated for her? If the previous is true, it just seems like double dipping. And if it is true, can we decide if that is an asset that gets divided or do the courts automatically include it?See totally confused. Thanks for your help.
Chris

So the best way to describe this is to start with the premise that the business has value, the question is what is that value. You are spot on correct in the double dipping argument and this is where care must be taken.

This dynamic lead to the rise of the concept of "good will" which is an artificial concept that is used to help bridge the value of a business such as yours where there are no assets and really you are the business. In my opinion, it is impossible to put a value on the business as any value would be impossible to quantify and, in my opinion, any value has to be reduced by income generated to avoid the double dipping.

Despite all of this, there are "experts" out there who will derive what I believe an imagined number that sometimes Courts will go with.

The way I avoid this is to keep the decisions from judges and reach agreements.

Look at how bills need to be paid, contemplate some sharing in the profits for a period of time, look at a slightly different percentage on the division of other assets, even contemplate a waiver of the interest in the business by your spouse if everything else balances out. I've done these or a combination of these approaches to avoid a court making a decision on these points and had good success in avoiding litigation on good will.

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Customer reply replied 28 days ago
Hey Sean.
Not sure where you're located but here in Colorado it's 4am. My mind is racing so I didn't get much sleep.
What kept me up is the unknown. I'm trying to figure out what ducks I should put in order before telling my wife I want a divorce.
After several hours trying to figure out what I don't know, I realized I have an expert available.
Sean, can you help me? Is there some master list of "stuff" I should gather, adjust, etc?
When interviewing attorneys, I'll be looking for them to have your approach to good will valuations.Thanks
Chris

So I am on the East coast so we are on different time zones.

I can certainly help with a list.

If there are children, give some thought to the issues of communications regarding the children, time sharing, how expenses will be paid for the children, what measures can be given to avoid disruption in their lives, how will the two of you work to get them to school and activities, make sure there is a plan in place for health insurance coverage and think about overall, what will be best for them.

Next make a determination as to how the two of you will start to split up things.

Where will each of you live? Who will move out? How will the move out happen, particularly what items will be taken and what will be left. Once there is a move out, it can be a bit of a challenge to get items left behind and some have a way of "disappearing."

Take information related to bank accounts, investment accounts, stocks, retirement accounts, credit card account and other financial statements.

Have figures for the day to day expenses of the marital residence so budget issues can be looked at. This will be critical on an alimony evaluation.

Have information related to the house - how and when it was acquired, the mortgage payoff and monthly payment information. Try to find the fair market value.

If there are other properties, have that information.

Have solid information on your business.

Essentially if there is something that has a statement attached to it, bring information on it. If you can have the current statement the better.

Finally, have a list of questions you want answered. Also realize that you don't have to hire the first attorney you speak to, interview several to find someone you are most comfortable with.

And let me know anytime you have questions.

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Customer reply replied 28 days ago
I'm working on my taxes right now Sean but I'll read through this info soon. Wanted to reply quick with a thank you.

You are certainly welcome and if you are working on taxes you have already started to address one on the list.

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Sean K
Sean K, Family Law Attorney
Category: Family Law
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