In most Colorado divorce cases, courts will determine whether to award “maintenance” (commonly referred to as “alimony”) to assist a spouse financially. Generally, maintenance is intended to help a spouse who — as a result of divorce — is now unable to financially support him or herself.
When will courts award maintenance? What factors will courts consider relevant?
Colorado Rev. Stat. (CRS) § 14-10-114 governs spousal maintenance. Importantly, there is no “right” to maintenance in Colorado. Rather, courts considering maintenance weigh the factors set forth in CRS § 14-10-114. Relevant factors include:
- The financial resources of the recipient spouse (including actual income, potential income, “and the ability of the recipient spouse to meet his or her needs independently”)
- The financial resources of the non-recipient spouse (including actual income, potential income, “and the ability of the [non-recipient] spouse to meet his or her reasonable needs while paying maintenance”)
- The financial lifestyle of each spouse during their marriage
- The overall distribution of marital property
- Both parties’ income, current employment, and “employability, obtainable through reasonable diligence and additional training or education”
- The employment and earnings history of both parties
- The duration of the marriage
- Any amounts of temporary maintenance already paid
- The age and health of both parties
- The education and occupational advancement of both parties; and
- All other factors the court deems relevant
While there is no set threshold, maintenance is usually not considered for marriages lasting less than three years and is more likely to be awarded for longer marriages. Maintenance can range from very short in duration (a number of months) to a decade.
If you are currently involved in a divorce or legal separation in Colorado, you need a family law lawyer on your side.
To see if you are entitled to maintenance payments, schedule your consultation today.
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Lauren Lester is an affordable family law, estate planning, and probate lawyer licensed in Colorado.