CO Divorce? Make Sure Your Spousal Maintenance Is Equitable
The decision to divorce is rarely an easy one, but when a couple decides it is the right path, there are a lot of questions that can arise. One of the biggest is how each party can handle the financial burdens that come with separation.
Each partner contributes to the marriage differently, so divorce will inevitably require serious adjustments for both, especially if one partner did not work outside the home or earned significantly less than the other.
In Colorado, you need an experienced and skilled lawyer to help you through the overall divorce process and guide you through the sometimes complex topic of spousal maintenance. At the Law Offices of Andrew Bryant, we understand the interconnectedness of finances in a marriage. That is why we believe the most effective way to fight for your rights regarding spousal maintenance is with the help of a knowledgeable legal professional.
Spousal Maintenance in Colorado Springs: What Is It?
Spousal maintenance is also commonly referred to as alimony. Spousal maintenance aims to provide the spouse earning less in the marriage time to adjust to losing the other spouse’s income due to the divorce.
In ideal circumstances, spousal maintenance is mutually agreed upon so that one spouse does not suffer financially unnecessarily during the divorce. The idea is simply to create two households, both of which are financially stable.
Spousal maintenance is not meant to be punitive, and with legal representation through the Law Offices of Andrew Bryant, you can rest assured that an equitable spousal maintenance agreement can be reached, bringing you closer to peace through the divorce process.
How Does Colorado Calculate Spousal Maintenance?
Our state has advisory guidelines that help determine the amount of the alimony and how long it must be paid. The guidelines will only apply under these conditions:
- The marriage lasted at least three years
- The combined income in the marriage did not exceed $240,000 per year
If the above guidelines are met, the court may consider other factors when it awards spousal maintenance. These can include:
- The lifestyle enjoyed during the marriage
- How marital property is distributed
- How employable both parties are
- Which party earned a higher income and which earned a lower income
- How long the marriage lasted
- The health and age of both parties
- Any significant noneconomic or economic contributions to the marriage by either party
Courts are also allowed to deviate from these guidelines. The amount of spousal support is negotiable between the two parties as long as it is not unreasonable. Additionally, spousal maintenance can be waived to help one party establish a better case for receiving a specific marital asset.
The Different Types of Spousal Maintenance
Spousal maintenance can vary in amount and duration. It can be provided to one party as a lump sum or distributed as monthly payments. It can also vary due to any limitations placed on it.
The different types of spousal maintenance that can be awarded in a divorce are:
Temporary Spousal Maintenance
Many couples share income up until the moment they separate. When that income goes away, it can be problematic for the spouse who is not employed or earning less. Temporary spousal maintenance is meant to help fill the gap in income for the lower-earning spouse while the divorce proceeds.
Rehabilitative Spousal Maintenance
If one spouse was the manager of the household or did not work outside the home so that they could care for children while the other party worked, rehabilitative spousal maintenance may be awarded. This is meant to help them pursue education or training to increase their earning potential. In Colorado, this is a common type of maintenance awarded.
Reimbursement Spousal Maintenance
This type of maintenance is awarded to spouses who have provided financial support for job training or education advancements for the other spouse throughout the marriage. At the end of the marriage, the spouse who provided that support is reimbursed for their contributions.
Permanent Spousal Maintenance
In Colorado, permanent spousal maintenance is rarely awarded. It typically will only be awarded by the court in cases where advanced age, disability, or illness keeps one spouse from becoming financially independent after a divorce.
The Law Offices of Andrew Bryant have been serving the Colorado community for many years, allowing our firm to gain insight into the spousal maintenance process and providing many opportunities to find a fair agreement for those going through a divorce. We are committed to helping your family find the best solutions in a divorce, including spousal maintenance.
What If You Were Not Married for at Least Three Years?
Spousal maintenance should not be counted out even if your marriage was shorter than three years. It is not unheard of for a judge to award it for a marriage that lasted only two years, for example. However, in these cases, it is even more important to ensure you have solid legal representation to plead your case in front of the judge.
Changing Spousal Maintenance Later
Sometimes the circumstances under which spousal maintenance is agreed upon can shift. Even though this is a part of a divorce decided on a case-by-case basis, if one spouse has a change in circumstances that impacts their income, it is possible to modify an existing agreement for spousal maintenance.
A skilled and experienced attorney from the Law Offices of Andrew Bryant can help you with this.