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Alimony in Colorado: Everything You Need to Know

Alimony in Colorado: Everything You Need to Know

In Colorado, alimony can be awarded based upon your circumstances. If you meet the requirements you could be eligible to receive spousal maintenance.

When a couple decides to get a divorce in Colorado, alimony (also known as maintenance or spousal support) is one of the issues that will need to be addressed. Alimony can be awarded to either spouse depending on a variety of factors. We will discuss the different types of alimony that are available, as well as the requirements for spousal maintenance in Colorado. First, you need to understand the different types of alimony available to you in Colorado and what the alimony laws are. 

Types of Alimony

The alimony laws in Colorado are governed by the Colorado Revised Statutes. The statutes lay out the different types of alimony that can be awarded, as well as the requirements for each type of alimony. Here are the main types of alimony you should know about:

  • Temporary Alimony: This type of alimony provides financial support during the divorce proceedings, ensuring both spouses maintain a stable standard of living.
  • Permanent Alimony: In cases where one spouse cannot achieve self-sufficiency due to factors like age or health, the court might award permanent alimony. The word “permanent” may sometimes be misleading though as alimony is typically modifiable and also has a set term. 

Requirements for Spousal Support in Colorado

Spousal support, or alimony, is not automatically granted in every divorce case. Colorado law considers several factors to determine whether spousal support should be awarded. Here are some essential requirements you need to know:

  • Financial Disparity: To establish the need for alimony, there should be a significant difference in the financial situations of both spouses. This could be due to differences in income, earning potential, or other financial resources.
  • Duration of the Marriage: The length of the marriage plays a role in determining alimony. Longer marriages tend to have a higher likelihood of alimony being awarded, as the financial interdependence between spouses might be more pronounced.
  • Contribution to the Marriage: The contributions of each spouse to the marriage, both financial and non-financial, are considered. This could include factors like taking care of the home, raising children, and supporting the other spouse’s career.
  • Ability to Self-Support: The court evaluates whether the spouse seeking alimony has the ability to become self-supporting through employment, education, or training. If one spouse needs time to acquire necessary skills for self-sufficiency, it might impact the alimony decision.
  • Age and Health: The age and health of each spouse are taken into account. If one spouse has health issues that hinder their ability to work and support themselves, alimony might be more likely.
  • Marital Misconduct: In Colorado, alimony decisions aren’t influenced by marital misconduct such as infidelity. The focus is on the financial needs and abilities of both spouses.
  • Agreements: Spouses can also reach their own alimony agreements outside of court. If both parties agree on the terms of alimony, the court will often respect and enforce the agreement.

How to Modify Alimony in Colorado

Life is unpredictable, and changes can happen even after divorce. Navigating alimony modifications requires understanding the process, starting with understanding whether or not your maintenance is modifiable or contractual. In Colorado, to modify alimony you need to show a significant change in circumstances, such as a job loss, health issues, or substantial changes in income. Consulting with a legal professional can help you navigate this process smoothly.

Duration of Alimony

The duration of alimony payments in Colorado varies based on factors such as the length of the marriage, upcoming retirement of parties, etc. Longer marriages might lead to longer-lasting alimony obligations. Permanent alimony might be awarded if the recipient spouse is unable to achieve financial independence due to age or health constraints. On the other hand, shorter marriages could result in shorter alimony durations. If you’re curious as to what maintenance payments could potentially look like, use this calculator.

Alimony in Colorado can be a confusing and complicated topic, but it is important to understand if you are going through a divorce. Be sure to speak with an attorney to ensure that you understand the alimony laws in Colorado and how they may apply to your situation. You should also consider speaking with a financial advisor to ensure that you are able to support yourself financially after the divorce and an attorney that regularly handles alimony cases so they can help you get through the process. With this information and a highly skilled lawyer advocating for you, you can better prepare yourself for your upcoming alimony case. 

At Colorado Legal Group, our attorneys’ focus is to make sure you are well informed with everything about your alimony case and take some of the stress off of you. If you have any questions or would like more information about alimony in Colorado, contact us today.