If your spouse cheated on you, you may be wondering if adultery will have any impact on your ability to seek alimony, or “spousal maintenance” as it is referred to in Colorado. Spousal maintenance is money that one spouse pays to the other spouse during and after a divorce.
Alimony is meant to ensure that both spouses are able to maintain a similar standard of living as they enjoyed during the marriage. Colorado lawmakers are well-aware that married couple’s finances are heavily comingled. In fact, the Colorado General Assembly went so far as to say that “the economic lives of spouses are frequently closely intertwined in marriage.”
In regards to alimony, Colorado has a presumption that when the couple’s combined gross annual income is less than $75,000, the court must order temporary alimony during the divorce proceedings. On the other hand, when the gross annual income is over $75,000, awarding temporary alimony is “optional” for the judge.
Essentially, the purpose of these laws is to ensure that a spouse with less income or assets doesn’t become impoverished while the divorce is being processed by the courts.
How does adultery affect Colorado divorce?
In the eyes of the law, adultery occurs when a married person engages in a voluntary sexual encounter or a relationship with someone who is not the person’s legal spouse. In such cases, the adulterous spouse committed marital misconduct, and the other spouse is the “innocent spouse.”
In some states such as Texas, adultery can affect divorce proceedings and even alimony awards, however, Colorado is a “no-fault” state. This means that the courts are not concerned with adultery, or any other reason why the marriage has failed.
Unfortunately, even if you hired a private detective and have plenty of photos, or other proof of the affair such as credit card statements, emails, Facebook messages, or text messages, the court will not consider any such evidence.
Colorado judges are not allowed to consider adultery, or any other misconduct when making decisions regarding temporary or permanent alimony, nor can adultery be considered when a judge is deciding on the amount or duration of an alimony award. A court’s decision regarding alimony must be impartial and made in a fair and reasonable manner.
We hope this answers your questions regarding adultery and alimony. If you have further questions, do not hesitate to contact Jones Law Firm, PC to arrange a free consultation with our Denver divorce attorney!