Although you might prefer that a divorce completely dissolve your ties with your former spouse, many people are still tied together financially after a marriage ends. One significant way in which a couple may stay linked after their divorce is through the payment of alimony, also known as spousal support or spousal maintenance. Maintenance is generally paid monthly and can vary in duration depending on the length of the marriage. In some cases, one or both former spouses may wish to obtain an alimony modification after a divorce, whether as to amount, duration, or both. At Plog & Stein, our Denver alimony modification lawyers provide sound advice regarding whether maintenance can be modified and thorough representation both in and out of the courtroom.Seeking an Alimony Modification in Colorado
In some cases, a divorce decree restricts a Colorado court's authority to review maintenance orders. This is generally done via agreement with language identifying the maintenance as contractual and non-modifiable. However, in most instances, the court retains jurisdiction over the issue of maintenance, including jurisdiction to modify. Likewise, in some cases, the parties might agree to review alimony upon the occurrence of a specific event. For example, they may agree that once the party paying alimony retires, the issue of maintenance should be revisited in court.
However, assuming that the court retains jurisdiction of the issue of alimony, the statutory standard for modifying spousal maintenance in Colorado is whether there has been a substantial, continuing change in circumstances that makes the amount awarded in the original divorce decree unfair. When faced with a motion to modify alimony, the court generally looks not only at the current circumstances, primarily tied into income, but also other financial factors which may render the prior order unfair. An alimony modification attorney at our Denver firm can advise you on which factors may apply to your situation.
C.R.S. 14-10-122 sets forth the specific modification standard and simply having changes in income may not be enough to justify a change in alimony. Though alimony may be originally ordered based on a statutory formula, modification is not as formulaic as would be the case when parties seek to amend child support. Rather, when fairness is assess, the totality of current financial or other circumstances will also be assessed.
Reasons for modification might be job loss, gains in income for either party, or a life changing disability. Slight changes in income might not cut it when it comes to modification. Additionally, things like either spouse cohabitating with a new significant other will generally not matter. Remarriage of the recipient is a basis for termination all together. In some instance, a party might seek to modify the duration. Perhaps they are not quite done with college or the job training they needed to start a career. A disability or injury could necessitate extending the duration over which alimony is paid. Each case is different and having an attorney who understands the specifics tied into alimony modification is key.Explore Your Options with an Alimony Modification Lawyer in Denver
It may be stressful for ex-spouses to revisit aspects of their divorce, but the reality is that circumstances can change, necessitating a change to the current alimony orders. If you are struggling because your maintenance agreement is unfair, it may be appropriate to ask the court for an alimony modification. Conversely, you may find yourself defending against a modification filed by the other party. At Plog & Stein, our Denver alimony modification attorneys are cognizant of our clients' needs and provide aggressive advocacy to help them pursue their goals, both during divorce and afterward. Our retainer rates are competitive. Contact Plog & Stein at (303) 781-0322 or via our online form for an appointment with a divorce attorney. We also represent people in Aurora, Centennial, Highlands Ranch, and Castle Rock, as well as other areas of Denver, Douglas, and Arapahoe Counties.