Broomfield Alimony Attorney
Spousal maintenance can be a conflict-ridden and emotional issue in a divorce. Whether you are a potential payee or payor, spousal maintenance can greatly impact your future finances and standard of living.
At Danielsen Westhoff, PC, our Broomfield spousal maintenance attorneys work with divorcing spouses to ensure requests for spousal support are carefully reviewed by the court and any orders accurately reflect your financial circumstances. Contact Danielsen Westhoff, PC, in Broomfield today for a confidential spousal support consultation.
Basic Eligibility for Spousal Maintenance in Colorado
Certain requirements must be met for spousal maintenance to be ordered in Colorado. First, spousal maintenance must be requested from the court by the receiving spouse. The court will not order spousal maintenance on its own.
Second, the receiving spouse must have a financial need for spousal maintenance. Third, the paying spouse must have the ability to pay spousal support.
Determining Spousal Maintenance in Colorado
Upon a spouse’s request, the court must make initial findings as to a spousal maintenance award. The court will not take marital misconduct into account when determining whether to award spousal maintenance.
The court will review the following when making initial findings as to a spousal maintenance order:
- The amount of each party’s gross income
- The marital property distributed to each party
- Each party’s financial resources, including the actual or potential income from separate or marital property
- Reasonable financial need
- Any tax consequences to the payor or the recipient
If the court decides to move ahead, Colorado has suggested statutory guidelines for setting maintenance amounts and terms in the interests of fairness to both spouses.
Factors Affecting Spousal Maintenance Awards in Colorado
Colorado’s spousal maintenance guidelines only address marriages lasting from 3 to twenty years. However, the court can award maintenance for marriages under 3 years when not doing so would be inequitable.
For marriages over twenty years, the court may award maintenance for a specified term of years or indefinitely. The statutory guidelines for spousal maintenance amounts and terms are suggestions.
The court will take these factors into account along with case circumstances such as:
- Each spouse’s financial resources
- Each spouse’s ability to meet their own needs independently
- The marital standard of living
- The distribution of marital property
- Each spouse’s income, employment, and employability
- Each spouse’s historical earnings
- The duration of the marriage
- Whether temporary maintenance was awarded and at what amount
- The age and health of the spouses
- Whether one spouse left a career to rear the children
- Any tax consequences of spousal maintenance to the spouses
- Any other relevant factors
Spousal maintenance requests that meet the court’s approval become enforceable court orders. Non-compliance with spousal support orders carries civil fines and penalties.
The Length of Spousal Maintenance Orders in Colorado
The court may order temporary or permanent spousal maintenance. Temporary spousal maintenance is only for the pendency of the divorce proceeding.
Permanent spousal maintenance usually has a set term. A lifelong maintenance order is rare in Colorado.
Legally permanent spousal maintenance orders end upon:
- The death of either party
- The end date as noted in the maintenance order
- The remarriage or entry into a civil union of the receiving party
- The entry of a court order terminating maintenance
Spouses can agree to their own spousal maintenance arrangement and set their own term limit. However, these arrangements must be approved by the court and can be non-modifiable once ordered.
Modifying Spousal Maintenance in Colorado
The court can modify a spousal maintenance order upon a party’s showing of a substantial and continuing change of circumstances making the terms of the original order unfair. Any modification becomes effective on the date the motion was filed unless doing so would cause undue hardship or substantial injustice.
Some spousal maintenance orders are non-modifiable. Discuss your order with an experienced Broomfield family law attorney before filing any court action.
Contact an Experienced Broomfield Spousal Support Attorney Today
If you are concerned about your spousal maintenance order or need a modification, reach out to Danielsen Westhoff, PC, today. Our experienced attorneys can review your situation and advise you of your next best legal steps.
Please call (720) 739-1770, or send us an online message to get started.