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Is paying spousal maintenance mandatory in Colorado divorces?

Sorting out the financial complexities of divorce can be frustrating. In Colorado, neither spouse is automatically entitled to spousal maintenance, also known as “alimony” or “spousal support.” Depending on your income, this could make matters easier or more difficult as you prepare to manage your finances after divorce.

Longer marriages are generally more likely to be granted a spousal maintenance arrangement, however there aren’t standards for the amount of time a marriage must last in order to qualify for spousal support. There also aren’t standards for how long it should be paid. The divorce judge could even choose to award a spouse alimony for life.

So, how does the court reach a decision on whether spousal maintenance will be allowed and for how much and how long it will be paid?

Colorado divorce court considers a variety of factors, such as:

  • Both spouses’ income, employment and employability
  • The standard of living during the marriage
  • The duration of the marriage
  • The age and physical condition of each spouse, including consideration to significant health care concerns
  • The marital property apportioned to each spouse
  • The financial resources of each spouse
  • Whether one spouse has historically earned higher or lower income
  • Whether the spouses had life insurance during the marriage
  • Prevailing interest rates at the time of the order
  • Other obligations of the would-be payor spouse

These are just a few of the considerations the court will make to decide whether spousal maintenance will be awarded as well as the conditions it would entail. If you have concerns about receiving or paying spousal support, contact an attorney for advice. A lawyer can help you present your case to the court so that there aren’t any factors overlooked.

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