In Colorado, spousal support (i.e. alimony) is known as “maintenance.” Maintenance, ordinarily speaking, is a payment by one spouse to the other after (or during) a divorce. Maintenance is not automatically awarded, nor is it gender-based. It is often awarded as a source of financial assistance while the spouse with the lesser income transitions to self-support, post-divorce.
While spouses may come to a maintenance agreement on their own, if the court is asked to make the determination, one of two methods usually applies.
For couples who have been married less than three years, those who have been married longer than 20 years, or those couples with a combined gross income of in excess of $240,000, then the court decides the amount, based on equitable distribution–basically, what is a fair division.
For those couples who have been married at least three years, and have a combined income of less than $360,000, then Colorado uses a formula to help determine spousal support. This calculation begins by, as an American Bar Association analysis explains, “subtracting a percentage of the recipient’s gross income from a percentage of the payor’s gross income, but the percentages vary.”
Other important determining factors include (but are not limited to):
- The length of your marriage;
- Your age, and or ability to work;
- If you have children;
- Your standard of living during your marriage; and
- The ability of the payer to support both spouses.
The Colorado court websites offer worksheets and a calculator to help calculate maintenance using the Colorado formula.
In most cases, maintenance is not permanent, and it is structured in a way to help the recipient spouse to become self-supportive, if possible. Maintenance frequently terminates following remarriage of the recipient spouse, if this occurs before the agreed upon termination of support.
Contact a Boulder Spousal Support Lawyer
A qualified Boulder spousal support attorney can help you identify the best way to pursue maintenance in your divorce, structure any agreement regarding the temporary or permanent nature of the maintenance agreement; and more. To request a confidential consultation with one of Colorado’s leading family law firms, contact Stahly LLC today.