Carol Ann's Newsletter
July 2017
Table of Contents
1.     Remarriage and Maintenance Termination   
2.   13 Movies to Rent, Watch, and Learn From
3.   From the desk of Carol Ann
4.   Humor

1.   Remarriage and Maintenance Termination  
By Gregg A. Greenstein, Esq. of Frascona, Joiner, Goodman and Greenstein, PC.

Parties in a divorce case should pay close attention to resolving issues concerning whether maintenance will continue after remarriage. The economic lives of spouses are frequently closely intertwined in marriage. It is often impossible to later segregate the respective decisions and contributions of the spouses. This legislative declaration is the basis for "maintenance" (also referred to as "spousal support" or "alimony") awards in Colorado.
Maintenance has its roots in the concept that spouses have a duty to support each other during the marriage and after the marriage, when a spouse has not remarried. Historically before the 20th century, divorce was rare. When a husband and wife did divorce, they often stayed together in the same physical location, and the husband was required to continue to support the wife. This was a part of the basis for the historical development of maintenance.
Because maintenance is based on the concept of continuing support arising out of a marriage, it could seem counter-intuitive to have an ex-husband paying maintenance to an ex-wife, after she remarries another man (maintenance can of course also be paid by an ex-wife to an ex-husband). Colorado law generally requires that maintenance will terminate when a spouse marries again, following a divorce. According to C.R.S. Section 14-10-122(1), "[u]nless otherwise agreed in writing or expressly provided in the decree, the obligation to pay future maintenance is terminated upon the death of either party or the remarriage of the party receiving maintenance."
In contested divorce cases, the court has the power to decide whether maintenance should survive the remarriage of the spouse who is receiving maintenance. Usually, the court's decision will clearly state whether maintenance will terminate upon the remarriage of the party receiving maintenance. However, when the parties are negotiating their own maintenance terms in a Separation Agreement, careful drafting is required to address this issue.
Ideally, husbands and wives who want maintenance to continue after the remarriage of the spouse receiving maintenance should include Separation Agreement terms such as "this maintenance award shall not terminate upon the remarriage of the [husband] [wife] who is receiving the maintenance payments." However, many Separation Agreement terms are drafted by the parties without the help of lawyers, or with the help of lawyers who did not clearly articulate the parties' wishes. Even where the Separation Agreement does not specifically say that maintenance terminates on remarriage, Colorado courts have ruled that the maintenance does not terminate on remarriage if the Separation Agreement terms concerning maintenance indicate that the maintenance terms are non-modifiable.
Significant sums of money may be at stake for the parties surrounding maintenance termination issues. Careful drafting and attorney review can help save thousands of dollars in the future, by minimizing disputes concerning maintenance termination and remarriage. Before signing a Separation Agreement, pay attention to the details concerning maintenance termination after remarriage of the spouse receiving maintenance.
2.    13 Movies to Rent, Watch, and Learn From
1.   The War of the Roses: Michael Douglas, Kathleen turner, Danny DeVito
The granddaddy of divorce movies-the underlying theme is that success breeds contempt and that whatever looks like "ours" is really "mine."  The spouses don't communicate, don't value each other, and are out for revenge.  Dark humor brings out the ugliness of shattered relationships.  If you are considering revenge, see this flick, and then think again.
2.  Kramer vs. Kramer: Dustin Hoffman, Meryl Streep
Mom decides that there is another life to be led and leaves the kids with an awkward dad, who learns how to become a terrific parent.  The movie features communication issues, value of self, and the impact of divorce on kids. It's sure to stir up your emotions in a divorce where kids are involved.
3. Liar, Liar: Jim Carey
At his fifth birthday party, a boy wishes his divorced dad would just show up for visits and stop lying to him, to his mom, to everyone .  His wish comes true, forcing his lawyer dad to tell the truth for a whole day.  The movie tackles issues of old, new, and unfinished relationships.  A funny and thoughtful movie.
4. Mrs. Doubtfire: Robin Williams, Sally Field, Pierce Brosnan
Estranged from his kids, goofy dad finally gets his parenting act together (there's more to parenting than being a buddy to the kids) through a series of events around child care, new relationships, self-evaluation, and redirecting misdirected talents.  Robin Williams' schtick will leave you laughing out loud.
5. The First Wives' Club: Goldie Hawn, Diane Keaton, Bette Midler
The underlying theme of FWC is, don't get mad-get even.  Laced with humor, this movie starts with the three women's drive to turn a former schoolmate's suicide into a statement of value, and along the way tackles trophy wives, hidden assets, kids, and getting back on track for self.  Women howl at and many men shrink from this movie.
6. Scenes From a Mall: Woody Allen, Bette Midler
Couple spends the day at the mall on their anniversary and look back at what should have been and wasn't; and what is, and they don't like.  Relationships look in the mirror and reveal aspects that aren't so nice.
7. Three Men and a Baby:  Tom Selleck, Ted Danson, Steve Guttenberg
Three bachelors end up with a baby at their doorstep.  One of them is the father.  They attempt to care for the baby (and fall into some stereotypical problems with infant care and responsibility and all comes our well.
8. The Truth about Cats and Dogs: Janeane Garofalo, Uma Thurman, Ben Chaplin
On-air radio veterinarian talks listeners through problems and relationships with their pets.  From pets, they move on to people and their miscommunications and misconceptions about themselves and others.  Dialogue is sharp, fun, and realistic.
9.  Dead Poet's Society: Robin Williams
Ideal for parents who think their kids should be or have a specific occupation as an adult.  Focuses on two themes: "To your own self be true" and "Seize the day"-strong messages for adults to heed, and share with their kids and themselves.
10.  The Doctor: William Hurt, Elizabeth Perkins
Regarding Henry: Harrison Ford, Annette Bening
You may wonder why these two movies are included in a book about divorce.  Both Hurt and Ford have marriages that aren't so hot; both treat other people like they are paper boxes-kept around just in case you might need them, then discarded when falling apart or no longer needed.  Only a personal crisis delivers a wake-up call.
11.  Not Without My Daughter:  Sally Field
Based on a true story, Sally Field's character goes through a divorce.  The catch is that she has moved to her physician husband's homeland in the Middle East.  The culture is not female-friendly.  Field fights for her life, and for her daughter's, as they try to escape.
12.  Starting Over:  Burt Reynolds, Jill Clayburgh, Candace Bergen
Not letting go before diving into another emotional relationship is the theme delivered in this fun probe of  a divorced man's confusion over falling in love.
13. The Full Monty: Robert Carlyle, Tom Wilkinson, Mark Addy, Steve Hulson
The Full Monty is one of the wackiest English movies of 1997.  Out of work, down and out, and trying to raise back child support funds, six men decide to overcome their obstacles and become England's answer to the Chippendale dancers.  This fun flick is full of belly laughs-the perfect antidote for just about anything.


14. As Good As It Gets:  Jack Nicholson, Helen Hunt, Greg Kinnear, Cuba Gooding, Jr.
Multiple awards were delivered for this sharp, poignant, and witty romp through an unlikely trio (plus a neat dog) that get thrown together.  From obsessive-compulsive disorders, to downward-spiraling self-worths, to distrust and disbelief, this movie is as good as it gets!
3.    From the Desk of Carol Ann
This month I would like to address the pro-se client.  Pro-se means "without legal representation."  It is the divorcing couple that wants to do their own divorce and save money by not hiring lawyers. 
It is imperative for you to suggest that they seek legal counsel.  Even if each only spends one hour with each of their lawyers, they will hear about their legal rights and if there is a possible legal problem , that will be pointed out to them.  You can give your client names of lawyers for them to choose from.
Actual case:  Robert and Anne felt they had a very simple situation and they did not want to spend money on a lawyer so they drafted their own agreement, filed it with the court and were divorced "pro-se."  After the divorce was final, Anne brought the agreement to me to look over.  They had decided that they wanted to divide all their assets in half (they did not own a house) so that is what they put into their agreement.  The wording was, "The savings account, mutual fund and 401k will be divided.  A QDRO will be prepared."  Well, what did that mean?  Anne told me she had never received any money from Robert's 401k.  I told her she probably never would.  Their agreement said nothing about whose 401k it was, who was going to prepare the QDRO, what the QDRO was going to divide or what the purpose of the QDRO was.  So she could not hold Robert in contempt because he hadn't really violated the terms of their agreement.
Even though Robert and Anne had come to an agreement about how to divide their property, a lawyer should have been consulted to draw up the legal document.  You can use this story to illustrate to clients the importance of consulting a lawyer.

4.    Humor
These are questions (taken from official U.S. court records) lawyers have put to people on the stand.
Q:  Were you present in court this morning when you were sworn in?
Q:  Now, Mrs. Johnson, how was your first marriage terminated?
A:  By death.
Q:  And by whose death was it terminated?
Q:  Do you know how far pregnant you are now?
A?  I'll be three monts on Nov.8.
Q:  Apparently, then the date of conception was Aug 8?
A:  Yes.
Q:  What were you doing at that time


Carol Ann Wilson
Carol Ann Wilson LLC