Colorado Alimony Attorneys

Understanding Spousal Support & Maintenance

If you are going through a divorce proceeding, you may be concerned about your financial security and stability. In many marriages, one spouse makes a much higher income than the other spouse. The less financially secure spouse may be concerned about making ends meet after a divorce, while the more financially secure spouse may want to pay as little as possible. However, in most cases spousal support is paid by one spouse to the less financially secure spouse, usually for half the length of the marriage, to help them establish financial security after a divorce.

What is Spousal Support?

When a couple files for a divorce, the court may decide to award spousal support, or maintenance, to either the husband or wife. Generally, maintenance awards money to non-wage-earning spouses after a divorce. If one spouse did not earn wages, he or she may be entitled to maintenance after the couple separates. If you are a stay-at-home parent filing for a divorce, it may take time for you to re-enter the work force. In this situation, you may be entitled to spousal support from your ex-spouse.

In 2014, Colorado put in place statutory guidelines for the calculation of maintenance based on the gross monthly income of each party. The courts generally follow these guidelines but still have discretion to determine whether alimony should be awarded, how much will be awarded, and for how long. Some of the factors the court may take into consideration when deciding to deviate from the established guidelines include the age, physical condition, and financial well-being of each party. The court might also consider how long the recipient would need money to pay for education or training before he or she is able to live independently, the couple’s standard of living while they were married, and whether the wage-earning spouse is able to support both parties as they live separately post-divorce.

How Long Will I Receive Spousal Support?

Maintenance is usually awarded for approximately half the length of the marriage, or if the marriage lasted over 20 years, until the receiving party’s remarriage or potentially for the remainder of his or her life.

The amount of maintenance that will be paid can be negotiated during mediation or obtained through courtroom litigation. If you and your spouse are on amicable terms, mediation will save you time and money, as litigation is very expensive and time consuming.

Determining spousal support or maintenance can be a very tricky situation, especially in the middle of divorce proceedings, and it is in your best interest to hire an attorney from our firm to represent you in your divorce case and make sure you receive the best deal possible. Contact an attorney today to discuss your property and assets and determine if you may be eligible to seek maintenance or alimony from your spouse.