Understanding Colorado spousal support

When a marriage ends, one spouse may pay the other spousal support or maintenance. The couple can agree on a fair maintenance arrangement together or ask the court to decide.

Review the factors that contribute to spousal support decisions before negotiating a divorce agreement.

Factors in spousal support

The judge will review these factors when either party in divorce requests spousal support:

  • How each spouse contributed to the upkeep of the household, childcare, and support for the other’s career
  • The couple’s property division agreement
  • Whether either spouse cannot reenter the workforce because of age or limited ability
  • Lost lifetime earning capacity if either spouse left the workforce to care for children
  • Current childcare arrangements, if applicable
  • Whether the requesting spouse can become financially self-supporting with time for career training and education
  • Each person’s current and projected future income
  • The age and health of each person
  • The length of the marriage

The court may also review any other pertinent factors specific to a case.

Length of spousal support

Colorado established a formula to determine the length of spousal support. The time span is based on the number of years married – from three to twenty – with specific percentages calculated for alimony paid anywhere from 11 to 120 months.

Spousal maintenance ends when either a spouse dies or the spouse receiving support enters another domestic partnership or marriage. Either person can also request a spousal support modification if financial circumstances change.

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