While a Colorado couple is married, they often fall into a routine that they are comfortable in, including the lifestyle they maintain. When their marriage comes to an end, one of the decisions a court makes is how to help spouses maintain this standard of living. To do so, the court may award one party to pay alimony. Alimony is simply a pre-determined, periodic payment a higher-earning spouse pays to the lower-earning spouse.
The purpose of alimony is to help the lower-earning spouse transition from their previous role to their new life after a divorce. There are various types of alimony awards a court might grant in order to achieve this.
Rehabilitative alimony is short term, and it is aimed at helping a dependent spouse get back on his or her feet financially. Rehabilitative alimony lasts for a fixed period, for example from one to five years, and its purpose is to help the spouse become self-sufficient, by either earning a degree or gaining a new job.
Modifiable alimony can be changed, either increased or decreased, when there is a material change in either of the spouse's circumstances. Either spouse can ask for this modification by going to court. Non-modifiable alimony is a fixed amount of money that cannot be changed, even if the receiving spouse gets married. There is no changing a non-modifiable alimony award, even if it becomes a hardship on the paying spouse.
When the marriage has lasted a long time, permanent alimony may be awarded to the dependent spouse. The name can be misleading, because it is not intended to last forever. There is generally some terminating factor, such as remarriage or death, that puts an end to this form of alimony.
Every divorcing couple's situation is unique, which is why there are different types of alimony that can be sought. An experienced attorney can help individuals going through the process find the alimony form that works for them.