Couples tend to grow dependant on a certain lifestyle. However, if a marriage ends in a divorce, the income that provided comfortable support is now often expected to serve two separate households while both parties attempt to maintain a certain standard of living. Frequently, if the wife did not have outside employment suitable to sustain her needs, a court will order spousal maintenance. There are likely many Colorado families who have come to rely on these vital monies to provide the support they are accustomed to living.

Recently, the high court in another state ruled that an executive at the Fidelity Investment firm will not be required to share a set portion of his future earnings with his former wife. Derek Young, who is a president of a division of the investment giant’s network, has seen his income rise to an estimated $7 million in the recent past. According to a ruling by a lower court during the couple’s 2013 divorce trial, Mr. Young was ordered to pay approximately 33 percent of his future earnings to his former wife for alimony. The new ruling has resulted in the case going back to the family and probate court for a new alimony determination.

A legal representative for the ex-wife stated his belief that she will be able to live comfortably on the amount that the state laws allow, which is 30 to 35 percent of the difference in their income. The only drawback is her income will not rise regardless of how much her former husband earns in the future. Several years prior — before the divorce — Young was earning an estimated $1. 5 million before his salary climbed to its current rate of $7.76 million.

Purportedly, the high court ruled that the lower court is bound to consider the lifestyle the couple maintained before the divorce settlement, regardless of the changes in economic circumstances afterwards. Colorado couples who are in the process of divorcing may have many concerns over the issue of spousal maintenance and how it can impact the finances of either party. An experienced family law attorney can review the case and offer sage advice in seeking the best options for a successful future.

Source: Reuters, “Fidelity executive gets favorable ruling in high-stakes alimony fight“, Tim McLaughlin, Sept. 25, 2017