Understanding How Spousal Support Is Determined In Colorado

Colorado laws do not guarantee temporary or permanent spousal support to any party in a divorce. As with all aspects of a divorce, if the parties can reach an agreement regarding spousal support, they can present the agreement to the court for approval. If they are unable to reach an agreement, the court will review a wide range of factors to determine if support (also known as "maintenance") is warranted.

The court will consider the total gross income of both parties. If either party receives or pays spousal support or child support from a previous relationship, it will be factored into the equation.

Types Of Support

There are essentially two types of spousal maintenance: temporary and permanent. Temporary maintenance is paid during the divorce process and sometimes for a period of time after the divorce is complete until the recipient can become self-sufficient.

Permanent maintenance is paid for a longer period of time or an indefinite period. It is generally ordered in marriages that were longer in duration and/or in situations where one spouse is unable to become self-sufficient due to health, disability or other reasons.

In January 2014, a new state law went into effect that provides advisory guidelines designed to result in more uniform results regarding alimony. The nonbinding guidelines apply to parties with a certain combined income and are applicable only in marriages that lasted more than three years but less than 20 years.

As you can see, setting alimony is a complex process, and the courts have a lot of flexibility. The upside of that is that divorcing couples also have flexibility to reach an agreement on their own and avoid litigation.

Put Our Experience In Your Corner

The family law attorneys at the Law Offices of Brandon R. Ceglian P.C., in Highlands Ranch, are ready to protect your interests regarding spousal maintenance or any other aspect of divorce. Call 720-344-4828 or use our online contact form to schedule a low-cost consultation with one of our lawyers.