Spousal Support/Maintenance in Colorado
Denver Divorce Mediation Attorney for Spousal Support
EFFECTIVE for all cases filed on or after January 1, 2014, Colorado has adopted a new Spousal Support law. Click here for full text. There is much confusion about it’s application, but a number of significant changes have been made. The primary ones are:
New statute is presumptive only, not mandatory. However, many beleive the a majorit of judges will follow for most typical cases. The starting point in the analysis is whether one party has the financial need for support and the other party has the ability to pay support.
i. Maintenance may still be waived, but the waiver must be very specific including a statement from a possible receiving party they they understand that they may have a right to it, but are still choosing to waive it. If it is waive, the waiver is permanent.
ii. Court will make findings re: amount of each party’s gross income; marital property awarded to each party; financial resources; reasonable financial need as established during marriage.
iii. Factors considered are:
(a) Financial resources of recipient spouse, including income from any source, and ability to meet needs independently;
(b) Financial resources of payor spouse, including income from any source, and ability to meet reasonable needs while paying maintenance;
(c) Lifestyle during marriage;
(d) Distribution of marital property, including whether additional marital property may be awarded to reduce or alleviate need for maintenance;
(e) Both parties’ income, employment, and employability, obtainable through reasonable diligence and add’tl training or education, if necessary, and any necessary reduction in employment due to needs of unemancipated child of marriage or circumstances of parties;
(f) Whether one party has historically earned higher or lower income that income reflected at time of PO, and the duration and consistency of income from overtime or secondary employment;
(g) Duration of the marriage;
(h) Amount of temporary maintenance & number of months paid;
(i) Age & health of parties, including consideration of significant health care needs or uninsured or unreimbursed health care expenses;
(j) Significant economic or noneconomic contribution to marriage or to economic, education, or occupational advancement of a party, including but not ltd to completing education or job training, payment by one spouse of the other’s separate debts, or enhancement of the other spouses’ personal or real property;
(k) Whether circumstances at time of PO warrant award of nominal amount of maintenance to preserve future claim;
(l) Any other relevant factor.
iv. A guideline formula is also recommended in the analysis: 40% of the higher wage earners income minus 50% of the lower wage earners income. However, the recipient cannot receive more than 40% of the parties combined gross income including the maintenance.
v. A guideline duration formula is also recommended: Starting at 3 years or more of marriage, 31% – 49.83%. For marriages over 12 ½ years, term is equal to 50% of the number of months of the marriage with a maximum term of 10 years for marriage of 20+ years.
vi. The parties can agree to different amounts and durations.
vii. The agreements can be modified if the parties circumstances change, unless prohibited by their agreement.
viii. The court should also look at the the net monthly excess or shortfall on the parties sworn financial affidavits.
The determination of spousal support (also referred to as “alimony” or “spousal maintenance”) may have a dramatic impact on your financial situation now and well into the future. How you address this matter will therefore be an important issue to consider.
Divorce mediation may offer you an alternative method of resolving a dispute related to spousal support in your Denver divorce. By avoiding the family law courtroom, you will typically be able to save a great deal of time, money and headache and may also be able to reach a solution that is better for you and your spouse. Whether you are seeking spousal support in your divorce or believe that you may be held responsible for paying support to your ex-spouse, you will benefit from discussing the matter with an experienced Denver divorce mediation lawyer. To learn more, contact our offices and schedule a confidential consultation and review of your case. We will be happy to address your concerns and answer your questions regarding this key issue. We can also talk to you about child support, asset division, parental responsibilities and any other topics related to your divorce mediation.
Spousal Support / Maintenance
Informational Videos: Click on Link below to view.
Qualifying for Spousal Support
Determining Spousal Support
“Reasonable Needs” & “Appropriate Employment”
Considerations for Amount
Presumption of Temporary Support
Additional Factors and Considerations
When a married couple divorces, the court may award spousal support (also known as alimony or “maintenance”) to one of the parties. The spousal support is based on an agreement made by the spouses during the mediation process or it may be a decision of the court. If you need assistance with spousal support in your divorce, a Denver divorce mediation attorney at our law firm may be able to help you by mediating this very important issue as well as any other divorce issues you and your spouse may have.
The Granting of Spousal Support in a Denver Divorce
Several factors determine whether or not spousal support can be granted. Some of these factors are the age, physical, emotional, and financial health of the spouses, the standard of living they had during the marriage, the length of the marriage, the ability of the spouse who is paying to support the other and still provide for self, how long it might take for the spouse receiving the support to be retrained for future employment, tax issues, child responsibilities, and any other factor the court sees as pertinent to the issue.
In Colorado, it may be granted only if the spouse seeking support lacks sufficient property to provide for reasonable needs and is unable to support him or herself with an appropriate job. For example, if a mother must stay at home to care for an infant or a disabled child, she would be unable to seek employment outside the home and so might need spousal support.
Spousal Support – How Long Does it Last?
Spousal support is often granted for only so long as it takes the recipient spouse to be trained for appropriate employment. If no termination date is set in the divorce decree, then payments must continue until the court orders otherwise. Also, if the recipient spouse remarries, spousal support usually ends. All of these factors may be worked out between both parties with a divorce mediator and submitted to the court.
Find out how a Denver Divorce Mediation Attorney at our law firm can help you resolve your spousal support issues. Contact us at (720) 889-2808 or online today!