Colorado Springs Spousal Support Attorney
About Spousal Maintenance in Colorado
Spousal support, which was formerly referred to as alimony and is now referred to in Colorado as spousal maintenance, has the purpose of enabling a spouse who has become economically dependent during a marriage to support himself or herself in the wake of a divorce. It is normally awarded on a temporary basis with respect to the amount of time expected to be necessary to acquire education or training to seek suitable employment. The amount of maintenance is typically set to be great enough to allow the recipient to continue to enjoy an acceptable standard of living while not placing undue strain on the spouse who is ordered to pay. Under state law, spousal support depends on the combined annual gross income of the spouses.
Combined Income of $75,000 or Less
If you and your spouse earn $75,000 or less in gross income on a yearly basis, then the court is directed by default to use an established formula to calculate the amount of maintenance that is to be paid. The amount is calculated by subtracting 50% of the income of the spouse who earns less from 40% of the income of the spouse who earns the larger paycheck. For example, if you earn $1,800 per month and your spouse earns $4,000, the calculation would be $1,600 minus $900, which equals a monthly payment of $700 — nearly half of the lower earning spouse's income. If the calculation results in zero or a figure less than zero, support will not be awarded.
Combined Income Greater than $75,000
In the event that your combined annual gross income is in excess of the $75,000 threshold, the court may award a temporary order of spousal support. This is done in cases in which the recipient lacks sufficient property and assets to provide for his or her reasonable needs and cannot immediately achieve self-sufficiency through employment or is required to stay home to care for a child. Factors that are considered when deciding the amount of maintenance include:
- The duration of the marriage
- The amount of time required before the recipient can acquire training or education necessary to find suitable employment
- The standard of living established during the course of the marriage
- The age and physical condition of the party requesting maintenance
- The ability of the paying spouse to support himself or herself while meeting the payment obligation
Retain a Colorado Springs Divorce Lawyer
While these are the general guidelines for establishing payment of alimony, it is possible to introduce evidence that can influence the outcome of the decision based on extenuating circumstances. Learn more about the subject and find out what is likely to happen in your own divorce by contacting a Colorado Springs divorce attorney at Clawson & Clawson, LLP for a free consultation.