When a couple decides to divorce, there are a lot of issues that need to be decided. One of them is alimony.
Alimony, or spousal support, refers to a legal obligation by one spouse to support the other spouse after a divorce financially. Colorado recognizes two types of alimony:
- Temporary maintenance. This is given to a spouse during the divorce process.
- Long-term maintenance. This is given to a spouse after the divorce is final.
When is Alimony Involved?
Not every divorce requires alimony. It will depend on each party’s financial situation. When a couple divorces, the courts will look at various factors such as:
- Each party’s gross income
- Each party’s financial resources (including income from separate or marital property)
- Reasonable financial need
- Marital property given to each party
How is Alimony Calculated?
For the most part, alimony is awarded in marriages that last at least three years (36 months). Colorado offers a maintenance formula for marriages where the spouses’ combined incomes are under $240,000. The Colorado spousal support maintenance chart addresses marriages that last from three to 20 years.
However, before the court can award alimony, the judge must determine that without alimony/maintenance, the other spouse will be unable to meet their financial needs. Once that determination is made, the judge will consider r various other factors, such as:
- Financial resources of both parties
- Distribution of marital property
- Reasonable lifestyle and financial needs established during the marriage
- Employment and employability of the parties
- Past earnings of the parties
- Duration of the marriage
- Age and health of each party
- Need for education for lower-earning party
There are also special considerations:
- For marriages that lasted under three years. The judge can award maintenance in certain cases, particularly when the distribution of marital property is not enough to provide an equitable result.
- For marriages that lasted more than 20 years. The judge can award maintenance for a specified term of years or indefinitely.
How the Colorado Spousal Maintenance Calculator Works
The Colorado Spousal Maintenance Calculator features three columns. Column 1 represents the number of months of Marriage. Column 2 is the percentage of months of marriage that is used to determine the term of alimony. Finally, Column 3 is a suggestion in regard to how long alimony should last (in months).
Based on the duration of the marriage, alimony can last anywhere from 11 to 120 months. For example, five years of marriage would result in 21 months of alimony, 10 years would result in 54 months of alimony, and 20 years would result in 120 months, or 10 years, of alimony. In marriages beyond 20 years, it is possible that a person could receive alimony for the rest of their lives.
Contact Us Today
Alimony is awarded based on various factors. Will you receive it? Will you have to pay it?
A formula often determines alimony, but you can opt to receive more or less based on various factors. We will come up with creative solutions at Tanis McGonegal Family Law, P.C.. Schedule a consultation with our Colorado divorce lawyers by filling out the online form or calling (303) 465-4605.