Colorado has a new maintenance law that went into effect January 1, 2014.
The new law states that a term of maintenance will be based on percentage
calculations of the parties’ incomes. The resulting maintenance
calculation is based on 40 percent of the high income earner’s monthly
income and subtracting 50 percent of the lower earner’s monthly
income. The law also provides additional factors such as duration of the
marriage, child support orders, and marital property.
The law is part of a national movement to craft maintenance laws so that
orders are more predictable and consistent. Many states have converted
to a formula calculation to address issues of unfairness, unpredictability
and inconsistencies; however, these new laws remain guidelines for judges.
The ultimate decision will be determined by the judge, who is allowed
latitude in his or her decision making.
The recent high profile divorce of Patrick Dempsey is a great example for
a maintenance calculation example. A calculation where Patrick Dempsey
earns $3,000 a month and his wife earns $1000.00 a month, would equal
a maintenance order for Patrick to pay his wife $1700.00 a month. However,
the law includes a provision for parties who earn above $360,000 adjusted
annual gross income, as we know the Dempseys earn a lot more than that
per month! Moreover, Dempsey would pay that amount for 90 months or 7.5
years, half of the duration of the marriage. The duration is determined
by a table included in the law that outlines the term of maintenance based
of the duration of the marriage (in whole months).
Have further questions about maintenance in Colorado? Contact Jones Law
Firm, PC at (888) 850-9851 to schedule a free consultation with one of
our family law attorneys.