In the face of
divorce, stay-at-home moms and dads face unique challenges. Usually, they have
been financially dependent on their breadwinner spouse and they may not
have any income sources of their own. So, an impending divorce can cause
them to wonder, “Will my spouse get the kids because I’m unemployed?
Is alimony (spousal maintenance) guaranteed since I’ve been out
Whether you’ve been a stay-at-home parent or if you’re unemployed
at the moment, you have a lot to think about, especially as it pertains
to financially supporting yourself during and after the divorce. Here’s
what you need to know about child custody, child support, and spousal
1. Child Custody
Suppose you want the children to live with you primarily. Your goal is
to have more “parenting time” with the children and to have
your spouse pay you child support. If your spouse readily agrees to this
arrangement, you should not have any issues, but if he or she wants to
have more parenting time, or if they want to have almost equal parenting
time, the judge will have to step in and decide based on the best interests
of the children.
Some stay-a-home parents assume they’ll get
custody of the kids, but that is not necessarily the case. If the other parent
is fighting for equal parenting time and he or she is a stable, loving
parent, the court may lean towards an arrangement where the both parents
spend a lot of time with the children. So, even if you’ve been raising
the kids all these years, you still may have to share them with your spouse
more than you thought.
2. Child Support
Child support is more black and white than child custody and spousal maintenance. Basically,
whoever gets the kids for more overnights throughout the year is the parent
who receives child support.
3. Spousal Maintenance
Spousal maintenance is not guaranteed in a divorce. It is strictly awarded
on a case-by-case basis and when it is, it’s usually on a temporary
basis until the lower-earning spouse can become self-sufficient. If you
have a college degree and voluntarily stepped away from the workforce
to raise you children, your chances of receiving spousal maintenance are
lower than if you only had a high school education.
As a general rule, the Colorado courts award spousal support on a temporary
basis until the dependent spouse finds a job, or gains the education,
training, or job skills necessary to support themselves. The court may
award you temporary maintenance if:
- Your combined annual income does not exceed $75,000.
- Your combined annual income exceeds $75,000 but: 1) you have insufficient
property to provide for yourself, 2) you are caring for a young child,
3) you are caring for a disabled child, or 4) it would not be easy for
you to support yourself through regular employment.
When Does Alimony End In Colorado?
“What about marital misconduct? If I cheated on my spouse, would
it automatically disqualify me from receiving spousal maintenance?”
Colorado is a no-fault divorce state; therefore, marital misconduct or
not bar a dependent spouse from receiving spousal maintenance.
To speak with a Denver divorce attorney for free, contact us today.