In a Colorado divorce, there are many elements involved. One of them is alimony. In the past, alimony in Colorado was primarily given to women since they were the ones who often stayed at home to care for children.
Nowadays, alimony can be awarded to either spouse based on their financial situation. It can be awarded in one of two ways: temporarily during a divorce or after divorce on a more long-term basis.
What You Need to Know About Alimony in Colorado
Colo. Rev. Stat. § 14-10-114(4) outlines how alimony in Colorado is determined. These requirements include:
- The amount of each party’s gross income
- How marital property is distributed to each party
- Each party’s financial resources
- The age and health of both parties
- Reasonable financial need
- The lifestyle both parties enjoyed while married
The court will also look at whether a party may not be able to financially support themselves. The judge can award alimony if they find that the spouse seeking alimony:
- Lacks enough property to provide for their reasonable needs and are unable to support themselves through employment
- Is the caregiver of a child whose circumstances make it inappropriate or impossible for the spouse to seek employment outside the home.
How is Alimony Determined?
In Colorado, the courts will use a calculator to determine alimony if both of the following situations apply:
- The spouse’s combined income is not greater than $240,000 per year ($20,000 per month), and
- The marriage lasted at least 36 months.
For income, the court will use each spouse’s gross monthly income, then deduct child support or alimony paid to others. To calculate duration, count the whole months of marriage between the first of the month after marriage and the date of the divorce decree.
There is no formula in place for couples with a combined income of more than $240,000. This means the sky’s the limit when it comes to alimony. In addition, the alimony calculator only works for marriages that lasted between three and 20 years.
For marriages that lasted under three years, the judge can award maintenance when distributing marital property is not enough to provide an equitable result to the parties. The judge can use the same guidelines and factors used for longer marriages. For marriages that lasted more than 20 years, the judge has the discretion to award maintenance indefinitely or for a specified term of years. If your marriage length or combined income is a special circumstance, work with a lawyer to get the compensation you need.
Types of Alimony
There are five possible types of alimony in Colorado:
- Temporary alimony: This type of alimony is paid during the divorce proceedings but stops once the divorce has been finalized.
- Separation alimony: This type of alimony is available when the couple has separated but not divorced. It can last up to three years, but once you reconcile with your spouse, the payments will stop.
- Rehabilitative alimony: This type of alimony is paid to help a spouse become self-sufficient after a divorce. It allows them to get education and training so they can get steady employment and provide for themselves financially. It can last for as long as five years.
- Reimbursement alimony: This type of alimony is paid to one spouse to reimburse them for financial contributions they made during the marriage, such as paying for the other spouse’s education. It can last up to five years.
- Permanent alimony: This type of alimony can last indefinitely. The court considers many factors when awarding this type of alimony, such as employability, physical health, age, and length of the marriage. This alimony often lasts until one spouse dies or the recipient spouse remarries.
Contact Us Today
In a Colorado divorce, alimony is not a requirement. It is awarded based on various factors. Sometimes it is awarded during a divorce, while in other cases, it is awarded after the divorce has been finalized.
The team at Tanis McGonegal can help you come up with a creative approach to alimony. We can help make sure your financial needs are met. To schedule a consultation with our Colorado divorce lawyers, fill out the online form or call (303) 465-4605.