Wish to Petition for Alimony?

Colorado Family Law Lawyers Explain Maintenance

Alimony, called "maintenance" in Colorado, is financial support that one spouse in a divorce case may be required to pay for support of the other. Unlike child support, which is for the financial support of the children, alimony is specifically geared towards assisting one party in the case with his or her financial needs. At Plog & Stein, P.C., our attorneys recognize that alimony can be a complex part of any divorce case. If you need help petitioning for alimony, let us put our more than 50 years of combined experience to work for you!

Ready to bring us on board with your alimony matter? Request a FREE phone consultation by calling (303) 502-9422!

How Alimony Matters Are Addressed

Unlike child support, which can be somewhat black and white, alimony can be gray. By this, we mean that there is generally no set formula for what an appropriate award of alimony would be for our clients.

As family law attorneys, we try to take the "gray" out of the equation by formulating general rules of thumb to go by. We also try to obtain an educated feel for each judge in terms of how he or she may view alimony. With multiple counties in the Denver area, alimony rulings can vary. A judge in Arapahoe County may rule entirely differently from a judge in Adams County. Each case is truly individual, though general assumptions can help you gain a better idea what to expect.

Alimony is determined based on an array of factors, such as:

  • Income of the parties
  • Length of marriage
  • Standard of living attained during the marriage
  • Whether one party is caring for small children
  • Property awarded to each party
  • The earning potential of each party

Though alimony can be gray in terms of ascertaining an appropriate amount, C.R.S. 14-10-115 does set forth a temporary formula for cases in which the parties have a combined adjusted gross income of less than $75,000 per year. In these instances, the formula is 40% of the higher earner's monthly pay minus 50% of the lower earner's monthly pay. This formula only applies at the "temporary" orders stage of your divorce case. Furthermore, the court can deviate from the formula if the application of such would be unfair to the payer in terms of his or her ability to meet his or her own financial needs. Temporary alimony should not affect alimony decided at your final hearing.

Types of Alimony: Contractual & Court-Ordered

In terms of alimony at the time of decree, there are generally two types of alimony: contractual / non-modifiable or court- ordered. If your divorce case ultimately ends up being resolved by a hearing in front of a judge, that judge will enter an order indicating a specific amount of alimony for usually a specific amount of time. If alimony is decided by the judge, the court retains jurisdiction to modify the alimony award should circumstances change significantly. With contractual / non-modifiable alimony, the parties generally agree to a specific amount and duration, and usually agree that the court is divested of jurisdiction to modify. Our legal team will help you determine if your case is an alimony case, what is fair to you, and whether contractual or court ordered alimony best suits your financial situation.

You should also be aware of the following:

  • In Colorado, once alimony is waived, that waiver is forever. Thus, one should be certain before waiving the right to receive maintenance, as he or she will be precluded from returning to court to seek it at a later date.
  • Alimony generally ceases with the death of either party or remarriage of the recipient.
  • In most instances, alimony is tax deductible to the payer and counts as income to the recipient for tax purposes.

A Denver Divorce Lawyer Can Help You with Your Alimony Case!

Our attorneys can assist you with assessing and litigating the alimony aspects of your divorce case. This will include a thorough analysis of your financial situation, mapped up with the statutory factors indicated above. We can also determine whether an occupational evaluator or other expert is needed regarding the issues of alimony. We can readily help with securing the support you need or defending against an unreasonable alimony request. In these troubled economic times, support and the ability to meet one's financial obligations matter. As such, alimony is a significant and serious issue.

Have questions about obtaining alimony? Contact our office as soon as possible to obtain the answers you need.