Denver Alimony (Maintenance) Lawyer
In Colorado, courts refer to alimony or spousal support as “spousal maintenance” (or just simply “maintenance”). Courts may award maintenance on either 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 on a temporary basis 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. If one spouse paid for the other spouse’s education, the court might order reimbursement support. 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 determined in Colorado?
Typically, the court considers a number of factors when determining whether a spouse should receive maintenance as well as 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 contributions to the economic or educational development of the other
- Distribution of property in the divorce
The state provides a formula to be used in 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 the division of property 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 –up to 50 percent of length of the marriage. Someone married for 20 years could end up paying or receiving alimony for ten years. By contrast, if a couple is married for no more than three years, alimony could be ordered for 11 months or little more than 30 percent of the marriage.
Is alimony mandatory in Colorado?
No. Spousal maintenance payments are not ordered automatically and they are not awarded in every case. The spouse seeking alimony must make a specific request, and then the court will review the evidence to determine whether support is appropriate.
What qualifies someone for spousal support in Colorado?
Generally, to qualify for spousal maintenance, the party seeking support must demonstrate that the marriage lasted at least three years and that the circumstances warrant payment of support. A spousal maintenance attorney could assist in showing why support payments may or may not be justified in a particular situation.
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 are seeking maintenance payments or need to show that maintenance is not appropriate 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. For a confidential consultation, contact us online today or call.
The information on this website is for general information purposes only. Nothing on this site should be taken as legal advice for any individual case or situation. This information is not intended to create, and receipt or viewing does not constitute, an attorney-client relationship.
Our team includes attorneys licensed to practice in multiple states including April D. Jones in California, Patrick G. Barkman in Texas, the Cherokee Nation, the Northern District of Texas, and the District of Colorado (United States Court of Appeals 10th and 5th Circuit).