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Old 02-27-2013, 01:41 PM
 
599 posts, read 782,027 times
Reputation: 579

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PLEASE read this. Does Colorado deserve to continue to be known as the place where no one marries out of fear of the outrageous divorce laws? The marriage rate in Colorado, when "destination" weddings are subtracted, is the lowest in the US.

The Colorado House has passed HB 13-1058, a bill to make the highest amount and longest duration alimony on the face of the earth an absolute *entitlement* in any marriage over 3 years in length.

This bill was written by the Colorado Bar Association in response to their ever dwindling divorce business in Colorado. Lawyers do not make money when people divorce, they make money when people fight over divorce. The sheer number of divorces is dwindling in proportion to population, because the percentage of married couples is at an all time low. In order to preserve their billable hours, the Colorado Bar Association enlisted Rep. Beth McCann as their water carrier, wrote a bill, and handed it to her. Now, in the Senate, the bill is being carried by Sen. Andy Kerr.

HB13-1058 passed the house 37-28, so at least 28 of of representatives know this is bad for Colorado.

1) The bill makes permanent alimony amounts of 40%(higher earner's gross) - 50%(lower earner's gross), resulting in the highest alimony awards in the entire United States of America. There is *NO* other state that will award this amount. California uses the 40%-50% formula, but it is calculated on *net* income, not *gross*. Most state's awards are in the ballpark of 30%-20% of gross income as a maximum, and some states, such as Texas, which rarely even awards alimony, caps alimony at 20% of payor's gross. *no* other court awards this much alimony. Not any other state, or even any other country.

2) The durations in the bill are the *longest* durations of any state. ALL other states which even award alimony, use either 1/3 the length of the marriage or 1/2 for medium term marriages. Many states, like Texas and Kansas, also have absolute limits regardless of length of marriage, (Texas is 10 years, Kansas is 10 years, one month). This bill orders lifetime alimony, without termination for retirement, for any marriage over 20 years. This is counter to *every* other state that has enacted divorce reform in the past five years. For marriages under 20 years, it orders escalating durations from 30% to 50% of the length of marriage. Thus, alimony for a 18 year marriage, for example, lasts for 9 years, but alimony for a 20 year marriage lasts for LIFE.

3) There is a cohabitation clause in the bill that has no purpose other than to drive business to private investigators and lawyers. It is identical to the cohabitation clause currently in force in Florida, which has shown itself to be completely unworkable, and which is massively overhauled in their new alimony statutes. It allows someone paying alimony to object to paying if the recipient has cohabited for six months, but the "penalty" is to simply suspend the alimony at the time of the ruling, with no retroactive clause and no termination. What happens in Florida is that on the day of the cohabitation hearing, the alimony recipient simply shows up with a lease for a bedroom in someone's house. The judge finds in favor of the recipient, then the recipient cancels the lease, and goes on living with someone for another six months until the payor can file another complaint. Lather, rinse, repeat. The fact that OUR legislators would allow the Colorado Bar Association to insert such a clause which has already proven to be completely useless, shows that they really don't care out their constituents, they care about Colorado's multi-billion dollar divorce industry.

There should be a date of *absolute* termination of alimony in every case. No one should ever be saddled with an alimony amount that is indefinite, as this bill allows. Fairness would be either the alimony terminates after x amount of time, or when the payor reaches "full retirement age", but the language in this bill does neither in marriages of over 20 years.The bill sentences men *AND* women to lifetime alimony payments, when this concept is absolutely on its way out in the US, and it was never something that existed in Europe or any other part of the world. Who on earth believes in lifetime alimony in 2013?

Furthermore, if we believe the purpose of alimony to be to get someone on their feet and to become self sustaining, why on earth would we ever award more than 7-10 years of alimony?

Remember, the terms in this bill are *automatic*, and have nothing to do with fault, minor children, disability, or lack of education. Someone with a master's degree and making $90,000 per year can be awarded $50,000 per year in alimony for life, with no negotiation, under this bill. All divorces in Colorado are no fault, so the person receiving the alimony could have cheated on the marriage, and even moved in with someone else prior to the divorce!

The rest of the bill is similarly flawed. If passed as written, Colorado will retain its title as the WORST place on earth to divorce. This reputation has made it onto the internet in articles, blogs and forums, and there are people avoiding Colorado because of this. Ask yourself this question: If you were a decision maker at a company looking to expand to another state, and you heard that Colorado abuses its taxpaying citizens with the most onerous alimony awards in the country, would this be a positive or negative factor in your decision to locate here? In every case it would be seen as a negative.


PLEASE, contact your State Senator and express your dismay over our statutes being handed to a special interest group to be written in their favor, with no oversight or objection whatsoever by the representatives who are supposed to represent the PEOPLE, not the Colorado Bar Association.


 
Old 02-27-2013, 02:53 PM
 
Location: OKLAHOMA
1,771 posts, read 3,393,170 times
Reputation: 903
[quote=TaoistDude;14948654]She gets half your assets and 401k? That's fair - a marriage is a partnership where each contributes what they can or agree, so equal division is fair. As for share of future income, that's where I have problems with alimony. The court should require her to do her best to increase her income, but her engineering skills are way out of date. You did agree to have her stay home to raise the kids and later accept a lower-paying job.

In the Federal Government your wife is entitled to half your retirement with the Federal Government even if she was to remarry. Doesn't matter what State you are in. We have seen that happen to a lot of our friends in the cases I have seen thoughthe guy was the bad one in the relationship so I didn't feel too sorry for them. In your case she is the bad one and it amazes me that we have no room in divorce court for that kind of stuff.
 
Old 02-28-2013, 05:13 PM
 
Location: Manchester, NH
251 posts, read 495,467 times
Reputation: 239
My husband got divorced in Oregon. He had been married for 19 years and had one child. His ex-wife was awarded $1800 a month for alimony and child support. The alimony was for life. So Colorado isn't the only state that does this.

About three years later, she remarried. Her husband made a good amount of money, and she didn't work. But we still had to pay her the alimony. We paid it for a total of six years, and it only ended because his daughter decided she wanted to live with us, at age 14 and that changed everything. My husband told her husband that he would fight the alimony with his last breath just because of the principle of the thing. She had two men supporting her, lived in a nice house, and didn't even have a child to care for. Didn't work. They agreed because they didn't want to have to hire a lawyer. We went from paying out $1800 a month to receiving $126 in child support. It was awesome.

The other thing that really made me angry was that while we were paying $900 a month for child support, she would tell her daughter they they couldn't afford things like piano lessons. This was after she was remarried and had income from two men. We couldn't do a thing about it because you can't force an ex-mate to actually spend the child support money on the child.

I, on the other hand, got divorced back in 1985. I left with nothing, and I got $300 for child support for two children. No alimony, no share of the house or the business we owned. But it didn't matter to me. I just wanted out, and I was able to rebuild my life by working my way through college while supporting two kids. My husband also recovered financially from losing 70% of the marital property. Things have a way of working out. The worst thing people can do in these circumstances is let anger destroy them.
 
Old 03-01-2013, 06:20 AM
 
1,163 posts, read 1,122,843 times
Reputation: 919
This has only passed the house, right? How likely is it to become law?
 
Old 03-01-2013, 07:18 PM
 
Location: OC, CA
9,727 posts, read 12,677,322 times
Reputation: 8618
Damn every time I see you thread, I wonder if I should divorce my wife or not, your thread is pushing me to rip the band aid now.

I love my wife, but after 15 years, 9 married, no kids, no pets, not much passion huh? But you educated me, if I get divorced I will never remarry again.
 
Old 03-04-2013, 01:42 PM
 
599 posts, read 782,027 times
Reputation: 579
Quote:
Originally Posted by Seeker5in1 View Post
This has only passed the house, right? How likely is it to become law?
HB 13-1058 has been assigned to the Senate Judiciary, which is certainly bribed by the same people who bribe the House Judiciary, so it will pass on to the wider Senate with no problems.

SEND YOUR SENATOR an email, and CALL THEM letting them know you don't agree with making Colorado the alimony destination state. It only takes 90 days to gain residency here for purposes of filing for divorce. If this crazy law passes, Colorado will become what Nevada used to be: the divorce destination of the US.

The Colorado Bar Association is licking their chops. Since no one in their right mind marries in Colorado any more due to the divorce laws, the lawyers will have to rely on people moving here to divorce in order to keep making their payments on their Aspen condo and the M-B.
 
Old 03-04-2013, 01:56 PM
 
Location: Just south of Denver since 1989
10,563 posts, read 27,961,369 times
Reputation: 6692
What do you mean no one in there right mind marries in Colorado? That comment does not reflect the reality that it does not matter where you marry, it matters where you file for divorce.

I am looking forward to the reading on March 13th.
 
Old 03-04-2013, 02:06 PM
 
599 posts, read 782,027 times
Reputation: 579
Quote:
Originally Posted by 2bindenver View Post
What do you mean no one in there right mind marries in Colorado? That comment does not reflect the reality that it does not matter where you marry, it matters where you file for divorce.

I am looking forward to the reading on March 13th.
Colorado already awards ridiculous alimony. People receiving alimony just live with someone rather than marrying, because they would lose their alimony if they married. People paying alimony would have a hard time remarrying even if they wanted to, because who wants to marry someone paying a huge chunk of their income to an ex?

People who have never married have heard about the realities of divorce here, so they have sworn off of marriage. Consequently, if destination weddings are subtracted out, Colorado has the lowest rate of marriage in the USA.

The only people left for the lawyers to prey on are those people who unwittingly move here...no one expects this kind of a divorce situation in 2013...boy are they surprised when they are dragged through the divorce wringer here...

All for no reason. I honestly believe a ballot initiative to limit alimony to 20% of the higher earner's gross income for 20% of the length of the marriage would pass easily. If there are children involved, child support is the proper mechanism to address children's needs.

If there are no children, who on earth in 2013 thinks alimony of up to 40% of gross income for LIFE is reasonable, simply based on a formula, regardless of the recipient's health, education, or earning capacity? That is what HB 13-1058 does, folks.
 
Old 03-04-2013, 02:07 PM
 
Location: Just south of Denver since 1989
10,563 posts, read 27,961,369 times
Reputation: 6692
It does not. I have 3 kids, 1 is still a minor. I got imputed income I don't make and $1000 a month maintenance, that he does not pay. I did not get a hearing for my maintenance to be contractual. No one told me I could.

The Judge in my case did not help me raise these children in the manner that they were accustomed to. I fell below the poverty line, while his lifestyle was raised considerably with no children to support, with little visitation scheduled.

You cannot lump all of us in a bucket. HB 13-1058 does address cohabitation. There was no justice for me or my children.

It doesn't take effect until next year anyway.
 
Old 03-04-2013, 03:02 PM
 
599 posts, read 782,027 times
Reputation: 579
Quote:
Originally Posted by 2bindenver View Post
It does not. I have 3 kids, 1 is still a minor. I got imputed income I don't make and $1000 a month maintenance, that he does not pay. I did not get a hearing for my maintenance to be contractual. No one told me I could.

The Judge in my case did not help me raise these children in the manner that they were accustomed to. I fell below the poverty line, while his lifestyle was raised considerably with no children to support, with little visitation scheduled.

You cannot lump all of us in a bucket. HB 13-1058 does address cohabitation. There was no justice for me or my children.

It doesn't take effect until next year anyway.
You have a different story every time you post. One time you had contractual maintenance and regret it, the next time you didn't have it and wish you had.

Your husband paid child support, or he is in jail. He paid the court ordered alimony, or he is in jail, or you never filed a motion for contempt. You said earlier you went to court and judge told you you weren't entitled to any more alimony. I guess you weren't.

If you were imputed income, you had fresh job skills and you were expected to go to work. If you fell below the poverty line, you weren't working.

HB 13-1058 has a cohabitation clause with one purpose, and one purpose only: to drive business to private investigators and lawyers. It is completely unenforceable, as is proven by the fact that it was lifted directly from Florida's statutes which have proven to be useless, and the entire family law industry knows the cohabitation provision is a joke. In a nutshell, the alimony recipient can cohabit BEFORE the divorce is final with no penalty. Once the divorce is final, a six month clock starts. If the recipient cohabits for six continuous months, a motion can be filed by the payer to have the alimony reviewed. Of course, it takes months to get on the court calendar. Some months later, the alimony recipient shows up in court with "proof" that they have signed a lease on a place to live. The judge now has no recourse but to deny the motion to modify the alimony. As soon as the hearing is over, the alimony recipient cancels the lease and continues living with their GF/BF. Now it is another six months before another motion can be filed, and they same thing happens again, over and over. Call a lawyer in Florida and ask them how well that cohabitation statute has worked out.
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