Littleton Alimony Lawyers
Colorado Divorce Attorney Serving Clients with Alimony Cases in Littleton
Are you currently in the process of filing for divorce? Do you have questions about how the court will handle matters of alimony and spousal maintenance? In Colorado, alimony is discussed as “spousal maintenance.”
There is no assumption that all spouses are entitled to alimony, but rather, the court typically makes decisions about spousal maintenance eligibility and awards on a case-by-case basis. As an article in the Denver Post explains, for the last several years, courts have had guidelines for determining the amount of duration of alimony in a majority of cases. It is important to discuss your questions and concerns with a Littleton alimony lawyer.
Colorado Law and Spousal Maintenance Guidelines
Under Colorado law (Colo. Rev. Stat. Section 14-10-114), there are spousal maintenance guidelines. Before determining the amount of a spousal maintenance award, one of the parties must request maintenance, and then the court first must determine whether alimony is appropriate. If it determines that a maintenance award is indeed appropriate, then it must determine the amount and duration of that award.
The statute clarifies that “an award of maintenance shall be in an amount and for a term that is fair and equitable to both parties and shall be made without regard to marital misconduct.” To be clear, alimony is based on need rather than on fault in a marriage.
Determining Whether Maintenance is Appropriate in Littleton
Once a spouse requests maintenance, the first step for the court is to determine whether a spousal maintenance award is appropriate. In making such a determination, the statute says that the court can look at numerous factors, including the following:
- Amount of each party’s gross income;
- Marital property apportioned to each party;
- Financial resources of each party, including but not limited to the actual or potential income from separate or marital property; and
- Reasonable financial need as established during the marriage.
Amount and Duration of Spousal Maintenance in Littleton, Colorado
If the court decides that spousal maintenance is appropriate in a particular case, then it needs to determine both the amount and duration of the maintenance award. In situations where the parties were married for at least three years and have a combined annual adjusted gross income of $240,000 or less, then the court has specific guidelines to use. Here is how the statute says the court should determine the amount of spousal maintenance:
- Calculate 40 percent of the higher earning party’s adjusted gross income;
- Subtract 50 percent of the lower income party’s adjusted gross income; and
- You have a spousal maintenance amount unless the amount would lead to the recipient receiving more than 40 percent of the parties’ combined annual adjusted gross income.
How does the court determine duration? The statute says the court should use these guidelines:
- For couples who have been married at least three years but less than 20 = court should look at the table of guidelines, which determines the maintenance duration based on the total number of months married (e.g., 36 months of marriage = 11 months of maintenance); and
- For couples who have been married 20 years or longer = court can award maintenance for a specified time period or indefinitely, but the duration cannot be less than the statutory guidelines for a marriage of less than 20 years unless there is evidence to support this “reduced term of maintenance.”
Discuss Your Case with a Littleton Alimony Attorney
If you need assistance with your divorce case and have questions about spousal maintenance, an alimony lawyer in Littleton can assist you. Contact Divorce Matters® to discuss your case.
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