Attorney Spotlight: Heather Rubin

Attorney Heather Rubin always knew she would be an attorney. She grew up in a family of attorneys and by the time she graduated from college, she knew that law school was calling her. Her love of research, writing, and education made being an attorney the obvious next step! Her incredible attention to detail and ability to listen to and understand her clients sets her apart from the rest. Her life experience allows her an understanding that family law is often a last resort for people navigating incredibly stressful and emotional life situations. This unique point of view allows her to sympathize with her clients in a way that a lot of other attorneys cannot. Heather likes to say that she “carries the legal burden” so her clients can “carry the emotional burden.” She knows how difficult even just an initial consultation can be and she does her best to provide an environment of trust and communication right off the bat.

Heather has over 17 years of experience in various areas of law, including family law, trust and estate law, and litigation. In addition, Heather works closely with families going through dependency and neglect cases. She relishes the opportunity to be a voice to children who wouldn’t otherwise be heard through through the legal system. Before joining Divorce Matters, Heather even ran her own law firm as a solo practitioner! Her love of law has allowed her to continue her legal education throughout her career, as well as volunteer with Metro Volunteer Lawyers.

While Heather is an expert in all areas of family law, she is particularly adept at handling high conflict cases. Her expertise allows her to remain calm and fight for the very best for her clients, especially if there are children involved. This is especially true in allocation of parental responsibility and post-decree cases.

In her free time, Heather is a competitive marathon runner and has participated in both the Boston and New York City Marathons! 

 

Is Alimony Taxable?

Alimony is a payment, typically paid from the higher earning spouse (the paying partner) to the lower earning spouse (the receiving partner). This payment is meant to help the lower earning spouse be independent and self-supporting.

When you’re going through a divorce, the tax implications probably aren’t what you’re focused on. However, the taxes you pay on alimony can be important to your own personal finances and budgeting. Because the rules on alimony being taxed have recently changed, it is important to know the ins and outs of the IRS’s rules for alimony, also known as spousal maintenance in Colorado.

Is Alimony Taxable?

Whether or not you pay taxes on alimony depends on if you are the paying partner or the receiving partner. If you are the paying partner, your payments are NOT tax deductible. Your taxes will be calculated with your entire income, pre-alimony payments. If you are the receiving partner, your alimony payments will NOT be taxed as income. You will be able to retain the entirety of your alimony payment, even after taxes. It is important to note that the policy on taxed alimony is separate from the policy on taxed child support. Child support is never taxed in the state of Colorado.

The Exception to the Rule

While alimony is taxed currently, it wasn’t always that way. Prior to 2019, alimony was tax deductible for the paying partner and taxed as income for the receiving partner. If your alimony agreement was entered prior to the change in legislation, you will be grandfathered in. This means that if your alimony agreement was entered before January 1st of 2019, you will be subject to the previous legislation. In this case, if you are the paying partner, your alimony payments will continue to be tax deductible. If you are the receiving partner, your alimony payments will continue to be taxed. If you’d like more information, you can read it straight from the IRS here!

How We Can Help

Divorce Matters attorneys are well-versed in every aspect of divorce, including alimony. We can help you understand your options, whether you’re just starting out in the divorce process or if you need to change your current alimony arrangement. If you have any questions regarding your current alimony

arrangement, give us a call at (720) 386-9176 or click here!

Congratulations to the 2022 Divorce Matters Scholarship Winner, Amanda Nguyen!

Divorce Matters is proud to announce Amanda Nguyen as the winner of the 2022 Divorce Matters Academic Scholarship! Although we received many qualified applicants, as always, Amanda stood out from amongst her peers. The Divorce Matters Scholarship Committee was impressed with Amanda’s academic record, dedication to her community, and her excellent and emotional essay. Throughout high school and college, Amanda has taken the most difficult courses and earned the best grades, even making the Dean’s List in her first two semesters as a college student. In addition to her academic prowess, Amanda has focused her efforts on the community by working with the Colorado Homeless Assistance with Medicine Program and Sammies and Smile.

Amanda is currently attending the University of Colorado Boulder and will be graduating in 2025. She is majoring in Integrative Physiology and plans to continue her education after her graduation by attending PA School to become a Pediatric Physician Assistant.

When asked what this scholarship meat to her, Amanda told Divorce Matters that the scholarship has lightened her financial burden. In her own words, the Divorce Matters Scholarship “allows me to focus more on the most important aspect of school: learning. With my burning passion to help others, this scholarship is an opportunity for me to succeed financially and academically as I continue my ongoing educational journey in healthcare. This scholarship means so much as it isn’t just benefiting me, but it is also alleviating some of the financial burden it has on my mom. My mom has always been my number one supporter and I am extremely grateful that she is helping me financially in order for me to chase after my academic dreams.”

It is our honor to award Amanda with this scholarship. We wish her the very best in her undergraduate education, and in achieving her goal of becoming a Pediatric Physician Assistant. Based on her record of excellence, we are confident that she will achieve anything she sets her mind to.

We want to thank everyone that applied and wish you all the very best in your academic endeavors!

Colorado Springs Hidden Gems

While Denver may be the first city that comes to mind when most people think of Colorado, there are plenty of other cities in Colorado to explore. Colorado Springs is the second largest city in Colorado and perfect for exploring! It has plenty to offer, from nature to great restaurants to arcades. Check out some of our favorite Colorado Springs hidden gems below:

Space Foundation Discovery Center 

The Space Foundation Discovery Center is the only dedicated science and technology center in the region! The Discovery center is interactive and educational, making it a perfect destination for young kids and their parents alike. See where and when you can visit them at their website, here! 

Crystal Creek Reservoir 

The Crystal Creek Reservoir is a huge expanse of water near the Pike National Forest. Crystal Reservoir is the perfect place for a variety fo outdoor activities, including birding and wildlife viewing, kayaking, and fishing! There is also a foot trail around Crystal Creek Reservoir, perfect for a short hike! Check out their website to learn more about how you can visit.

Battlefield Colorado 

Battlefield Colorado is a HUGE outdoor laser tag arena with the opportunity for two teams to compete in “combat-style adventures”.  No prior experience is necessary and because it’s laser tag, there is no pain, paint, goggles, or gear required! Learn how to book time for yourself here! 

Colorado Wolf and Wildlife Center 

The Colorado Wolf and Wildlife Center is a wildlife sanctuary certified by the Association of Zoos and Aquariums (AZA). They spend their time educating the public about wolves, coyotes, and foxes and their natural ecosystems. A variety of tour are available to check out their residents, including options to feed the animals! Learn more about their tours and how you can visit on their website. 

Miramont Castle 

Miramount Castle is a gorgeous building maintained by the Manitou Springs Historical Society. The castle was built in 1895 and had indoor plumbing and electricity, a rarity for its time. Today, you can visit the castle garden, check out gorgeous architecture, and even enjoy high tea! Learn more about the building and how you can visit here.

Paint Mines Interpretive Park 

The Paint Mines are a gorgeous and unique open space named for the colorful clays. Historically, Native Americans used these colorful clays to make paint! You can see the gorgeous views via hiking or interpretive displays. Learn more here. 

Cheyenne Mountain Zoo

The Cheyenne Mountain Zoo is an AZA accredited zoo that has been voted the 3rd Best Zoo in North America by USA Today! The Cheyenne Mountain Zoo offers all kinds of family fun, from up-close animal experience to animal demos. Just remember that advance tickets are required! Buy your tickets here.

Bonus: Garden of the Gods

While this attraction certainly isn’t hidden, it’s the definition of a gem. Not only that, but admission is free! Get more information here. 

Lakewood Hidden Gems

The Divorce Matters offices spread across the Front range and give the perfect opportunity for our employees to explore our beautiful state! While Lakewood isn’t one of Colorado’s major cities, it offers plenty to explore! Thanks to some help from the Crazy Tourist, we’ve listed some of our favorites for you below:

Bear Creek Lake Park

Bear Creek Lake Park is a gorgeous 2,000+ acre park perfect for hiking, picnics, camping, fishing, boating, windsurfing, biking, swimming, and even archery! The swimming beach is open from the end of May through Labor Day and hours for the park depend on the month. Check out their website for the specifics!

Belmar Downtown District

The Belmar Downtown District is a vibrant area based around a central plaza. In the summer months, you can check out concerts and performances and in the winter months, the plaza turns into an ice skating rink! Learn more about the downtown area on their website!

Denver Federal Center Farmer’s Market

You can check out the Denver Federal Farmer’s Market at Bicentennial Park in Lakewood, CO. The Market features easy public access, free parking, and amazing local vendors!

Great Frontier Brewing Company

The owner of Great Frontier Brewing Company has been brewing beer for years, starting with a home brewing kit he got for Father’s Day! Great Frontier specializes in gluten-free and gluten-reduced beers for celiac and gluten free customers! Check out their hours in their website!

Kendrick Lake Park

Kendrick Lake Park is home to one of the most gorgeous xeric gardens in the state! A xeric garden is a garden specifically adapted to dry conditions, perfect for the Colorado weather. In addition to checking out the gorgeous garden, you can walk the measured mile path, fish, or take your kids to play on the playground. Learn more on their website!

Bear Creek Greenbelt Park

The Bear Creek Greenbelt Park is an almost 400 acre preserve parallel to Bear Creek. The paths provide gorgeous views of the creek and are dog friendly! Check out more on their website.

Dinosaur Hotel

While a Best Western may not be what comes to mind when you think of “hidden gems”, the Best Western Southwest is just that. Denver’s “Dino Hotel” features dino skeletons, dino statues, a jurassic dig pit, and more! To book, visit their website!

 

 

 

Fort Collins Hidden Gems

Fort Collins, Colorado is an underrated city full of hidden gems. From hikes with a view to pigeons taking pictures, you’ll find it all in FoCo.

Swetsville Zoo

Despite its name, the Swetsville Zoo is not the destination to view exotic animals. It is however the perfect destination to view over 170 sculptures ranging from plants to animals to space ships. The sculptures have been fashioned from recycled metal. They do not have a website, but you can check out this roadside spectacle from 10 am to 4 pm every day of the week!

Pigeon Express

The Pigeon Express is one of the most unique photography programs this side of the Mississippi! Pigeon Express uses specially designed backpacks strapped to homing pigeons to capture film of your rafting trip on the Cache la Poudre River. To learn more about how to participate in this amazing, one-of-a-kind experience, visit https://www.shoprma.com/pigeon-express/

The Lyric 

The Lyric is a locally owned independent cinema, event space, music venue, art gallery, and retail space! Check out their website to learn more about their Outdoor Movies, family-friendly events, and Deconstructed Dinner series!

Horsetooth Reservoir

Horsetooth Reservoir is a six and a half mile body of water for visitors to use for fishing, boating, camping, picknicking, swimming, scuba diving, rock climbing, and water skiing! This gorgeous area is open all year round, though hours may change depending on the season! Check out their website for more information!

Gardens on Spring Creek

These beautiful botanical gardens offer 12 acres of gorgeous plants and butterflies! You can also check out summer concerts, homesteads, catered dinners, art exhibits, and more! You can learn everything about the Gardens here!

Arthur’s Rock

This gorgeous trail in Lory State Park is a must see view of Fort Collins! The hike is 3.4 miles out and back with 1,100 feet in elevation gain. Dogs are allowed, so this is a perfect hike for you and your best friend!

Farm at Lee Martinez Park

The Farm at Lee Martinez Park offers hands-on family fun with both educational and interactive experiences. Check out their hours and more about what you can do there here! 

Holiday Twin Drive In 

The drive in is perfect for a date night or some family fun! Holiday Twin is one of the few drive ins in the state and is perfect for the summer. Check out the movie schedule and dates at their website! 

Sundance Trail Guest Ranch 

Sundance is a dude ranch perfect for your weekend getaway or even a day trip! You can horseback ride, river raft, shoot, rock climb, and more. To plan your visit, check out their website!

Colorado Shoe School

Learn to make your OWN SHOES at the Colorado Shoe School. They have classes for sandals and sneakers for a 1/2 day, a full day, or 2 days. You can schedule your class here.

Where to See Fireworks in Colorado this Weekend

With the Fourth of July rapidly approaching, you need the down-low on where to see the fireworks! With help from Denver7, we have collected a list of events and fireworks shows across the state of Colorado for you to enjoy!

Aspen

Aspen will be chock-full of Fourth of July celebrations this year, including a parade from 11 am to noon, a Bogie’s Run, Kids’ Parade Bicycle Decorating, community Village, a laser light show, and more! Check out aspenspecialevents.com to learn more!

Aurora

Aurora has FREE Fourth of July events on the Municipal Center Great Lawn! The event will include live music starting at 6 pm and the fireworks will begin at 9:30 pm!

Boulder

The fireworks at Folsom Field have been cancelled this year/ however, you cans till celebrate the occasion with a variety of events including live music and the farmer’s market!

Breckenridge

The Breckenridge festivities will begin with a 10k at 7 am and continue on with a parade, a reading of the Declaration of Independence, a Spray and Play, and live music. Fireworks are unfortunately prohibited within Breckenridge city limits.

Buena Vista

Buena Vista will be celebrating the Fourth in style with Freedom Fest! Freedom Fest will begin at 9 am at McPhelemy Park. Festivities also include a pancake breakfast at Columbine Park, a 5K, and a parade! Fireworks will begin at dusk at the Rodeo grounds.

If you need some July 3rd activities, be sure to check out live music at McPhelemy Park from 6-8 pm.

Castle Rock

Castle Rock has unfortunately cancelled their fireworks for this year. The fireworks will be rescheduled if or when the fire danger decreases!

Colorado Springs

Pikes Peak Center will be hosting a free concert and block party in Downtown COSP on July 4th! The block party will include food, a beer garden, and a concert broadcast. Festivities begin at 3:30 pm!

Denver

The City of Denver will have activities throughout the city, including fireworks, museum exhibitions, good food, and more! To learn more about what’s going on in Denver this weekend, visit www.denver.org

Durango

On July 4th weekend, downtown Durango will host a variety of 4th of July activities! On the 1st, you can catch “The Sandlot” in Buckley Park and enjoy live music. On July 2nd, the first annual BBQ, Bulls, and Beer competition will begin at the La Plata County Fairgrounds. On July 4th, there will be a breakfast at Rotary Park, a Freedom 5K, picnics, and live music! Don’t forget to check out the parade on Main Avenue from 5-6 pm.

Englewood

Unfortunately, fireworks have been cancelled in Englewood this year due to drought conditions. In lieu of fireworks, the city of Englewood, along with surrounding towns, will be hosting an Independence Day Celebration! At Cornerstone and Belleview Parks you’ll find food trucks, vendors, face painting, live music, and more on July 4th from 1 to 6 pm.

Estes Park

Estes Park Fairgrounds ill be hosting the Big Bang! Concert, which will include music, food, and local drinks! Fireworks will begin at 9 pm over Lake Estes.

Fort Collins

The City of Fort Collins will be hosting their Independence Day Community Celebration on July 2nd. The parade will start at 10 am on Mountain Avenue, followed by baseball games from 1-7 pm, live music from 3-9:35 pm, a food truck rally from 4:30-10 pm, and fireworks from 9:35 until finish. The fireworks show will be held ay Sheldon Lake City Park!

Golden

Unfortunately, Golden will not hold a fireworks display this year due to fire danger. Instead of a fireworks show, you can attend the annual 4th of July Festival in Lions Park, which will include live music!

Grand Junction

Grand Junction will begin their celebrations on July 1st with a concert from the United States Air Force Academy band at the Las Colonias Amphitheater at 7 pm. Grand Junction itself will not host any fireworks, however the Grand Junctions Rockies will set off fireworks at their July 4th game. You do not need to be inside the stadium to see the fireworks.

Greeley

Greeley will host their annual 4th of July Parade on July 4th. This year will mark the 100th anniversary of the event. The fireworks are scheduled for about 9:30 pm.

Lafayette

The Independence Day Celebration will be held from 4-10 pm at Waneka Lake. The event will include live music, face paint, trampolines, bounce houses, food, and a beer garden.

Lakewood

The city of Lakewood has unfortunately had to cancel its fireworks display and festivities.

Littleton

On July 3rd, Littleton will host the Stars and Stripes Forever: Concert and Fireworks at Farm House at Breckenridge Brewery in Littleton. The event runs from 8-10 pm and will end with a fireworks display.

Loveland

Loveland’s July 4th festival will take place at North Lake Park. The festival will feature face painting, balloons, food and drinks, a bike parade, and live music! Fireworks will go off along Lake Loveland around 9:15 pm.

Pueblo

The professional fireworks show will kick off at 9:30 pm on the Historic Arkansas Riverwalk on July 4th.

Telluride

The Telluride 4th of July Parade will take place on 11 am on Main Street.

Will My Child Support Increase with My Kids’ Age?

Understandably, child support is a much inquired about topic at Divorce Matters. How and why child support is determined is often a mystery, leaving parents with questions about how much they’ll have to pay, how it will be determined, who will pay who, and if child support will change throughout the years. With all these factors at play, it makes sense to wonder if your child support may change as your kids get older.

The answer to this question is a little more complicated than it might seem. Technically, child support does not automatically increase or decrease due to children getting older. However, child support orders are not permanent and can change over time. As kids get older there may be more or less cost associated with raising them, which can affect child support payments. Generally, the court will consider a change in child support if there is a significant and ongoing change. The term “significant” can be pretty vague, but the court generally views this as about a 10% change in the child support payments themselves. This change can be either an increase or a decrease.

If you believe there has been significant and ongoing change in child-rearing costs, it is best to get in contact with one of the expert attorneys at Divorce Matters! They can help you file the Child Support Modification paperwork necessary to get the ball rolling. If you would like to speak to an attorney, give us a call at (720) 386-9176 or fill out our Contact Form!

We also offer a free child support and maintenance calculator app if you need help determining potential changes, our app can be found in both the Google Play and iOS stores, click here to learn more.

How Do I Deal with a Vindictive Ex?

Going through a divorce is hard enough as it is, but when your spouse becomes vindictive, the process automatically becomes ten times harder. Vindictiveness can include all kinds of things, like removing your name from bank accounts, alienating the kids, making unfounded accusations, and even making unnecessary request of the court just to make your life a little harder. It can be hard to know the best way to deal with your vindictive ex, but in the end it’s pretty simple.

The Best Reaction is No Reaction

It can be hard not to react when it feels like your ex is trying to knock you down, but it truly is the best reaction in this scenario for a couple of reasons. You’ll save your own emotional energy if you aren’t arguing and fighting over everything your ex does and, if kids are involved, it will stop the kids from seeing the fighting.

Reduce Direct Interaction

Try to interact with your ex as little as possible. Once attorneys are involved, this should be pretty easy, as all communication can go through attorneys. If your ex continues to seek out direct interaction, you can always speak to your attorney about getting a protection order for your safety.

Record Interactions

With direct interaction limited, most communication will likely be digitally. Be sure to save those messages and emails, just in case they might prove useful in court.

Set Boundaries

This is the most important part! Your mental health can take a turn for the worse when dealing with a divorce, a vindictive ex, and every day life. Make sure to set boundaries on what you are and are not willing to do and deal with as you continue through the divorce process. Try not to compromise your own boundaries and don’t be afraid to speak to a therapist to help you out!

Dealing with a vindictive ex is incredibly time consuming and emotional! Don’t be afraid to reach out for help. Your attorney and the rest of your “divorce team” will be your saving grace!