Spousal Support (Maintenance)

Spousal Support (Maintenance)

Not all cases involve support from one spouse to the other. The obligation of one spouse to support the other financially for a temporary or permanent basis is decided on a case-by-case basis as agreed to by the parties or at the court’s discretion.

Maintenance order by the court and entered at the time of permanent orders shall be in such amounts and for such periods of time as the court deems just, without regard to marital misconduct, and after considering all relevant factors including: (a) The financial resources of the party seeking maintenance, including marital property apportioned to such party, and the party’s ability to meet his or her needs independently, including the extent to which a provision for support of a child living with the party includes a sum for that party; (b) The time necessary to acquire sufficient education or training to enable the party seeking maintenance to find appropriate employment and that party’s future earning capacity; (c) The standard of living established during the marriage; (d) The duration of the marriage; (e) The age and the physical and emotional condition of the spouse seeking maintenance; and (f) The ability of the spouse from whom maintenance is sought to meet his or her needs while meeting those of the spouse seeking maintenance. (Colorado Statutes – Article 10 – Sections: 14-10-114, 14-10-117)

The Colorado Court orders alimony, also commonly referred to as spousal support, for either party when the party requesting it lacks sufficient property, including his or her share of any marital property, to provide for his or her needs, and is unable to support himself or herself through work, or has custody of a child and the circumstances are such that the spouse should not be required to seek employment outside the home.

In awarding alimony, the Colorado court does not consider marital misconduct.

There is no automatic right to spousal support, according to Colorado Divorce and Family Law Guide. Instead, the Court considers the divorced couple’s standard of living before and during the marriage, and the paying spouse’s ability to pay maintenance and provide for himself or herself at the same time.

The amount of alimony awarded in Colorado depends on the financial resources of the appellant, and his or her independent finances through work or family. The Court also considers the age, physical state and emotional state of the alimony petitioner. A final factor the Court will consider is the ability of the payor to meet his or her own needs while paying alimony.

In Colorado the support payments (if any) can certainly influence how the marital property distribution is awarded, which is why it can become a very intricate part of the final outcome of any divorce.

Types of Alimony

According to Colorado Divorce and Family Law Guide, maintenance ends when one former spouse dies or when the one recipient spouse remarries. Colorado Divorce Information notes that the Court may also dictate another ending point because maintenance may be payable for a fixed, temporary or indefinite period of time.

Factors Considered by the Court

In Colorado alimony is discretionary. The court decides the amount and duration according to Colorado Statutes – Article 10 – Sections: 14-10-114, 14-10-117. The court considers all relevant factors including, but not limited to:

  • the financial status of the party seeking maintenance;
  • the time necessary to gain employment or establish earning capacity
  • the standard of living enjoyed during the marriage;
  • the duration of the marriage;
  • the age and the health condition of the spouse seeking maintenance; and
  • the ability of the spouse from whom maintenance is sought to meet his or her needs while meeting those of the spouse seeking maintenance.


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