The Rocky Mountain Family Lawyers are Denver’s award-winning family law trial advocates. We’re experts in RESOLVING MAINTENANCE ARREARS cases in Denver and other cities throughout Colorado. Call us today to talk personally with a lawyer about with your Denver MAINTENANCE ARREARS issues. (303) 502-9600.
Always consider the possibility of entering into a settlement agreement with your spouse or former spouse prior to asking the judge to decide a maintenance claim. An experience family lawyer can often help you negotiate settlements on terms acceptable to both you and your spouse or former spouse. If necessary, the parties can mediate their maintenance dispute through a neutral third party.
Common settlement strategies for resolving maintenance disputes include the following. Many of these strategies are effective even after a maintenance order has been issued:
(1) Stipulate to Non-Modifiable Maintenance. If a judge issues a maintenance order it must be modifiable whenever there is a “substantial and continuing” change in circumstances. This creates risk and uncertainty for both parties. However, the parties can make maintenance non-modifiable, no matter what happens. This often helps them reach a fair middle ground.
(2) Step-wise Reduction in Maintenance. Parties often agree to set the original maintenance payment at a relatively high level than allow it to gradually decrease each year or every several years in step-wise increments. This is essentially a negotiated form of “rehabilitation maintenance” because it allows the lower-earning spouse to prepare to support herself in the future after re-engaging in the work force for a period of time or obtaining additional education.
(3) Allocate Personal or Marital Property to Reduce or Eliminate Maintenance. Sometimes disputes about maintenance terms can be resolved by re-allocating other valuable assets to the party seeking maintenance. The parties are free to divide marital or even personal property as they see fit. Examples include allowing one spouse to keep all of her retirement or investment accounts, awarding her the marital home, giving her income-producing property or assigning all or some of the income for a period of years in return for a waiver or reduction in maintenance.
(4) Lump Sum Settlement: the spouse seeking maintenance may prefer a lump sum payment rather than a stream of payments over many years. Of course, the lump sum will involve a discount because the funds are paid immediately.
The Rocky Mountain Family Lawyers are Colorado Maintenance arrears experts. Call us now to discuss your legal options and rights concerning maintenance arrears in Denver, Colorado and surrounding cities (303) 502-9600.