Alimony/Spousal Maintenance Attorneys in Denver, Colorado
Divorce often has financial ramifications for both spouses, particularly the unemployed or lower-earning spouse. As a result, the Colorado court may instruct one spouse to support their ex-partner financially for a period during or after the divorce. Through this financial provision, the supported spouse can maintain their living standard or eventually become self-supporting.
If you're considering divorce and want to understand your rights and available options regarding spousal maintenance or alimony, it’s critical to consult a reputable family law attorney. With almost 100 years of combined experience, our attorneys have the diligence, knowledge, and resources to advise and guide clients in the legal matters of divorce and alimony.
As your legal counsel, we will work to understand your specific situation and determine your eligibility to receive or pay spousal maintenance. Also, our dedicated legal team will advocate for your best interests and ensure that you come out in a financially stable position. Attorneys at Law Timlin & Rye, P.C. proudly serves clients in Denver, Colorado, and throughout Adams, Arapahoe, Jefferson, and Douglas counties.
Overview of Alimony (Spousal Maintenance) in Colorado
Colorado law uses the term ‘spousal maintenance’ when referring to alimony, which can be described as a court-ordered financial provision from the higher-earning spouse to the lower-earning or unemployed spouse. The purpose of it is to support the unemployed or lower-earning spouse financially and limit the unfair economic effect of the divorce on them.
Furthermore, there are four types of alimony/spousal maintenance that can be awarded in Colorado. These include:
Temporary Spousal Maintenance
Temporary alimony or "pendente lite support" is a financial provision that is often awarded to help the supported spouse with daily living expenses and attorney fees during the divorce proceedings. Temporary alimony will automatically end once the court finalizes the divorce.
Reimbursement Spousal Maintenance
If one spouse funded their partner's education or job training during their marriage, the Colorado court may award reimbursement support to them. The purpose of reimbursement support is to compensate the recipient through spousal maintenance payments since only their ex-spouse will now benefit from the education or job training after their marital dissolution.
Rehabilitative Spousal Maintenance
Furthermore, rehabilitative alimony is the most common form of spousal maintenance in Colorado. The court may award rehabilitative alimony if one of the spouses needs financial support and time to earn a college degree, complete their education, acquire additional job skills, or secure employment and become self-sufficient.
Permanent Spousal Maintenance
Permanent alimony requires one spouse to provide regular monthly payments to the other party and might last for an indefinite period. This type of support is often awarded in divorce cases where one spouse is disabled, severely ill, or otherwise unable to work due to old age.
Who’s Entitled to Support?
However, a spousal maintenance award isn't automatic in all divorce cases. The Colorado court will only award post-divorce spousal maintenance if the requesting spouse needs financial assistance and the other party has the ability and resources to pay.
Determination of Type, Amount, and Duration
Additionally, the Colorado court will consider the following factors to determine the amount, type, and duration of spousal maintenance:
The duration of the marriage.
The age, mental health, and physical condition of the spouses.
The asset distribution in the divorce.
The duration and amount of temporary support during the divorce proceedings.
The lifestyle that was established by the spouses during the marriage.
Each spouse's present employment status.
The couple's earning capacity, income, level of education, and employability
One spouse's significant contribution to the educational, occupational, or economic advancement of their partner.
The financial resources available to each spouse, including non-marital and marital assets and liability
The time needed for the requesting spouse to complete their education, acquire vocational skills, or additional job training to enable them to get a job and become self-sustaining.
Other factors that are considered relevant by the court.
An experienced Colorado spousal maintenance attorney can advocate for your alimony rights and work intelligently to address any ongoing support and marital issues amicably.
When Does Spousal Maintenance End?
Generally, Colorado courts only consider it appropriate to award spousal maintenance if the marriage lasted for at least three years. Thus, Colorado laws outline the term of maintenance for marriages that last between 3 and 20 years:
3 years – 31% for 11 months
5 years – 35% for 21 months
10 years – 45% for 54 months
15 years – 50% for 90 months
20 years – 50% for 120 months.
In addition, permanent alimony may be awarded if the marriage lasted for over 20 years. Spousal maintenance automatically ends once the supported spouse remarries or dies.
Modifying a Current Maintenance Arrangement
Unless there is a written agreement that prohibits it, either party can file a petition seeking the modification of an alimony agreement. However, the requesting spouse must show that there has been "a material change in circumstances" since the existing order was made.
Some examples of circumstances that can make you seek changes to an existing spousal maintenance agreement include:
a substantial decrease in the paying spouse's income
unexpected or involuntary loss of employment
adjustments in costs of living
new obligation for the paying spouse
remarriage or cohabitation
recipient no longer requires the financial support
receiving spouse failing to make any reasonable effort to become self-sustaining
Work With a Practiced Family Law Attorney
Establishing alimony agreements and negotiating a divorce settlement with your soon-to-be ex-partner can be complicated and overwhelming. If you ever need help enforcing or modifying an alimony agreement, you should speak with a practiced family law attorney for proper guidance. Our team can walk you through the legal procedures involved and help you navigate key decisions while protecting your legal rights and best interests.
Spousal Maintenance Attorneys in Denver, Colorado
If you are considering divorce and want to understand your spousal maintenance rights, call us at Attorneys at Law Timlin & Rye, P.C. today to schedule a simple consultation. Our trusted lawyers can offer you the reliable advocacy and personalized legal guidance you need in your alimony and divorce matters. We proudly serve clients throughout Denver, Adams County, Arapahoe County, Jefferson County, and Douglas County, Colorado.