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How is spousal maintenance determined in Colorado?

When a Colorado couple decides to part ways and divorce, one of the most concerning issues for both parties is whether there will be spousal maintenance - also referred to as alimony - or not. Another factor that is a concern is how much it will be. If one party requests maintenance, the court will consider numerous issues when deciding if it should be awarded and, if so, how much it will be.

The court will weigh the following: the gross income of each party; the marital property that belongs to each; what the financial resources of the parties are, including income or possible income from separate or marital property; and a reasonable assessment of the finances that were established while the couple was married. Once these findings have been completed, the court will decide if there should be an amount. If there will be maintenance, it will be an amount that is considered fair and equitable to both sides.

The following will be factored when calculating the amount: the resources of the spouse who will receive maintenance; the resources of the spouse who will be paying; the lifestyle they had during the marriage; the distribution of marital property and if certain properties can be awarded to lower or end the need for maintenance; the income, employment and employability of both parties; if one spouse has earned more than the other in the past and if there was a second job or overtime; how long the couple was married; how much temporary maintenance would be and the duration for which it will last; if there were contributions - economically and non-economically - made to the educational, economic, or job-related advancement of either party; if the situation warrants nominal maintenance so there can be a future claim of maintenance; any other issue the court decides is important.

A couple that is divorcing should understand if maintenance will be ordered and how the duration, amount and other factors are decided upon by the court. For the paying spouse or the receiving spouse, it is crucial to have legal assistance from the time the decision to end the marriage is made and throughout the process. A lawyer who is experienced in all aspects of a divorce can help.

Source: lpdirect.net, "14-10-114. (3) (a) (I) Determination of maintenance.," accessed on March 1, 2018

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