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Adjusting to the loss of alimony

Even after the end of a marriage, couples in Colorado could still need to talk and resolve issues related to finances. One example is in the case of permanent spousal support, when one partner pays maintenance to the other person, especially someone who stayed home during the marriage. Some states are reviewing lifetime alimony and are talking about ending it. A partner who will need to depend on alimony after a divorce should plan accordingly.

Alimony isn't always stable, especially if the person who makes the payments experiences a change in their financial situation. In any case, budgeting will help people transition through adjustments to their finances. One lawyer observed that the court is ordering spousal support for shorter terms and ordering it less often. Pensions and retirement accounts can also affect alimony as well. The courts consider several factors when determining spousal support, such as income, how long the marriage lasted, the marital property and the stipulations of any divorce agreement.

A financial advisor observed that couples can cooperate out of court to determine alimony, or they could let a judge make the final decision. In order to prepare for the time when the person will not receive alimony, the person should plan for a new career so they can receive income from another source if and when those payments stop. He advised people to talk with a career counselor, take an aptitude test and possibly attend school or update training. The person should also consider downsizing their home so they can save as much money as possible. In addition to reducing house payments, they will reduce utility bill and other general maintenance expenses.

In addition to the emotional drain of divorce, the financial adjustment can also be challenging. A family attorney might be able to help clients negotiate appropriate spousal support.

Source: Fox Business, "How to Financially Readjust for Post-Divorce Life", Andrea Murad, August 02, 2013

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