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New Colorado bill attempts to make alimony rulings uniform

During a divorce, money often becomes one of the central issues. If a judge is making a ruling, he or she has to look at this in three different parts. The first is in dividing up the property that the two owned while they were married. The second is in making a ruling on child support from one side or the other, based on the custody situation. The third is in spousal maintenance, which is also known as alimony.

Efforts have been underway for years in Colorado to make these rulings more predictable. The most recent effort to do this is House Bill 13-1058. It starts out by addressing the problem, which, as the bill states, is simply that people in similar situations and circumstances have often been given very different terms when it comes to alimony.

The solution that the bill seeks to implement is a more standard procedure so that all judges, regardless of which county they are in, would have an established set of rules and regulations. This would hopefully mean that people in all parts of Colorado would get similar rulings based on their circumstances, taking some of the decision out of the judge's hands. If anyone is involved in a divorce case right now, this is something that is important to watch since it would impact cases that began after the first of the year.

The bill addresses a number of different topics, such as the amount of money to be provided and the duration. For the amount, it specifies that the total will be 40 percent of the income of the person who earns more, minus 50 percent of the income of the person with the smaller salary. For the duration, it simply looks at how long the marriage lasted and multiplies it by a set percentage. That percentage is different for all durations, increasing for a longer marriage.

Source: The Gazette, "MONEY & THE LAW: Bill aims for uniform rules on spousal maintenance" JIM FLYNN, May. 28, 2014

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