How is spousal maintenance determined in Colorado?

The results of a divorce depend on several factors, but the process itself is almost always stressful for all parties involved. It is not uncommon for one of the greatest sources of stress for people to come as a result of uncertainty regarding how they are going to provide for themselves once the marriage is dissolved.

This type of worry is a particularly large issue for people when their spouse was the primary source of income in the relationship. This kind of situation may lead a judge to decide that spousal maintenance, also known as alimony, is necessary.

What is spousal maintenance?

Sometimes a court will decide that it is reasonable for one party involved in a divorce to financially support the other party. When this happens, the legal obligation to provide financial support is known as spousal maintenance, spousal support or alimony.

How is the amount of spousal support determined?

There are a few ways a Colorado state court might go about determining spousal support. There are two primary methods and the choice of either of them is generally determined by the couple’s combined gross annual income (the amount they earn before taxes).

If the couple makes $75,000 or less

If the couple’s combined gross annual income is $75,000 or less, the state of Colorado uses a formula to determine the amount of spousal maintenance that will be paid per month. With this formula, the individual who earns the least will receive 40% of the higher earner’s adjusted gross income (AGI) minus 50% of the lower earner’s AGI.

If the couple makes more than $75,000

If the couple’s combined gross annual income is more than $75,000, there is no specific formula that is applied, but the lower earner must prove that they do not and will not have enough property after the divorce to reasonably provide for themselves, they do not have the means to support themselves with employment or that they will not be able to do so because they need to care for their child.

Aside from the aforementioned criteria, there is no set list of factors a court must consider. However, many other factors will influence their decision to aware spousal maintenance. Such a legal order could certainly impact other areas of a person’s life.

Because of the high potential for further impact, it is highly suggested that you seek out the services of a knowledgeable and experienced legal professional if you find yourself in a situation where you are facing potential alimony orders. Having the expertise of a trained and skilled professional could make all the difference.

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