In Colorado, courts refer to alimony or spousal support as “spousal maintenance” (or just simply “maintenance”). Courts may award maintenance on a permanent or temporary basis, depending on the circumstances. However, a spouse is not automatically entitled to maintenance, so the court must generally evaluate the situation before deciding whether to award alimony and the amount and duration of payments.
Support may be provided temporarily during the divorce process. A court may also award rehabilitative maintenance for a period to enable a spouse with lower earning potential the opportunity to acquire career training. The court might order reimbursement support if one spouse paid for the other spouse’s education. Permanent support is usually reserved for situations where one spouse is unable to become self-supporting due to a medical condition or other reasons.
How Is Spousal Support Determined In Colorado?
Typically, the court considers several factors when determining whether a spouse should receive maintenance and the appropriate amount and length of time the payments should continue. These factors can include:
- Financial resources of each spouse
- Standard of living during the marriage
- Length of the marriage
- Training and education of both parties
- Age and health of both parties
- One spouse’s significant contribution to the economic or educational development of the other
- Distribution of property in the divorce
The state provides a formula for calculating support, but parties can request a deviation from that formula. A divorce attorney with experience handling spousal maintenance issues could help ensure that spouses present the most persuasive evidence to support their position regarding support payments.
How Long Do You Have To Be Married To Get Spousal Support In Colorado?
In most cases, a couple must have been married for at least three years for the court to consider awarding spousal maintenance. If property division between spouses does not appear to be equitable, the court may be more likely to award spousal support in a marriage of shorter duration.
How Long Does Alimony Last?
Although many factors can affect the duration of alimony payments, Colorado law provides some guidelines based on the length of the marriage. Generally, the longer a couple has been married, the longer maintenance payments could last.
Can I Modify The Amount Of Alimony?
Yes. If one spouse experiences a change in financial circumstances, then the court may modify alimony arrangements accordingly. However, a party must affirmatively seek a modification unless the support award is set up to terminate or change when a specific circumstance occurs. For instance, alimony could cease automatically if the spouse receiving support remarries or moves in with a new partner.
For Help With Spousal Maintenance Issues, Work With An Experienced Denver Alimony Lawyer
Whether you seek maintenance payments or need to show that maintenance is inappropriate in your case, working with the right attorney can make all the difference. At Jones Law Firm, P.C., we understand the factors that go into an alimony determination and will fight to get you a fair outcome. Contact us online or call us at 720-903-3758 for a confidential consultation today.