If you are going through a divorce in Colorado, you may wonder whether you are eligible for alimony or spousal maintenance payments. This depends on a wide range of factors. However, the final decision is always up to the family judge who issues rulings concerning the termination of your marriage. The law does not require you to hire a lawyer but working with one can protect your interests more efficiently, including your finances and your eligibility for alimony.
Colorado is a no-fault divorce state, which means that even if one spouse’s behavior was the primary cause of the divorce, it is not a relevant factor to determine spousal maintenance.
What Types of Alimony Exist in Colorado?
- Temporary alimony can help the lower-earning spouse financially adjust during the divorce process. It typically ends on the date of the final divorce ruling.
- Rehabilitative alimony aims to cover educational and training costs to help one spouse increase their earning capabilities to become financially independent.
- Reimbursement alimony can happen if one spouse paid for training and certifications that allowed the other party to advance their career during the marriage.
- Permanent alimony is rare but typically lasts until either party dies. A judge may award it based on one spouse’s age or health for example.
Is There a Minimum Marriage Duration to Be Eligible for Alimony?
If your marriage has lasted less than three years, judges rarely award alimony. Colorado family courts can work with recommendations for how long to award alimony for marriages that have lasted more than three years but less than 20. If you get a divorce after having been married for over 20 years, the judge overseeing your case has the discretion to grant alimony for however long they believe is appropriate.
Gross Income and Advisory Calculation Formula
In Colorado, judges can use the following formula to calculate whether to award spousal maintenance. The calculation involves subtracting 50 percent of the lower income from 40 percent of the larger income. If the result is zero or below, maintenance is typically not granted. Although judges can use this formula, this is not a legal requirement.
What Other Factors Do Colorado Family Judges Assess to Determine Alimony?
In addition to the duration of the marriage and both parties’ gross income, a Colorado judge usually considers the following factors:
- Any additional financial resources the seeking party has available
- How long training would require if a spouse is requesting rehabilitative alimony
- The standard of living both spouses were used to while married
- The age and physical and emotional health of the spouse seeking alimony
- The division of marital property
Can Alimony Court Orders Be Modified?
The alimony payments typically end upon the date featured in the court order. If this is a permanent spousal maintenance agreement, it generally ends if one spouse passes away or when the receiving spouse remarries. If the alimony payer’s life circumstances significantly change, they may request a court order modification.
Trust Clawson & Clawson, LLP to Protect Your Right to Alimony in Colorado Springs
Whether you are going through an amicable divorce or a high-conflict one, consulting a reputable divorce lawyer can make a positive difference in the termination of your marriage. Our team at Clawson & Clawson, LLP can carefully review your situation and discuss your goals before walking you through what you may be able to secure in terms of alimony. We can protect your financial interests and stand up for your rights during out-of-court negotiations and mediation and we can accompany you to court hearings. We are committed to honest and open communication to support you during this important life transition.
If you need legal counsel to discuss your eligibility for alimony during your divorce in Colorado Springs or its surrounding areas, contact Clawson & Clawson, LLP, today at (719) 602-5888 to schedule a consultation!