Law Offices of Brandon R. Ceglian P.C.
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Modification of Maintenance

Are you eligible to have a maintenance award modified? The first question is whether or not you entered into contractual maintenance. Contractual maintenance occurs by agreement between the parties at the time of dissolution which specifies that the Court does not have jurisdiction to modify either the amount or duration of the maintenance award. 

Contractual maintenance can only be reached by agreement between the parties. If a Judge or Magistrate set the amount and duration of maintenance at a contested hearing, either party may move to modify maintenance. Assuming you are eligible to modify maintenance, the next question is what law applies to your case which depends upon when your case was filed. In 2013, the Colorado legislature overhauled the statute governing maintenance for cases filed after January 1, 2014. Maintenance orders entered before January 1, 2014 are governed by the previous version of the statute. For parties who filed prior to January 1, 2014, and for cases filed after January 1, 2014 the standard for modifying maintenance has not changed and still requires "a substantial and continuing change of circumstances" that would render the original award unfair. The new statute introduced sweeping changes to maintenance including guidelines for maintenance amounts and duration. Unfortunately, the changes contained in the new statute do not constitute a substantial and continuing change of circumstances for purposes of modifying maintenance orders that were entered before January 1, 2014. It is always helpful to have an attorney review the court orders in your divorce in order to determine whether or not you are eligible to pursue a modification of maintenance. It is also important to keep in mind modifications to maintenance can only be applied back to the date that you file with the court requesting a modification for maintenance. If your financial situation has drastically changed and you are under a court order to pay maintenance it is important to speak with an experienced family law attorney to understand what options are available.

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