In Colorado, spousal support (called maintenance, also known as alimony) is not an automatic right in divorce. It is a decision made by the courts, typically when one party does not have sufficient assets to meet their needs following divorce and is unable to support themselves through gainful employment or has childcare responsibilities they cannot ignore. So, should you ask for maintenance in your divorce?
The answer comes down to the particulars of each divorce case.
Health and Age
Spousal support may be granted to you if you have a medical condition that affects your ability to work or requires expensive treatment, especially if you have an ongoing condition. Additionally, if you are near retirement age, the courts will consider how your retirement will affect your finances and quality of life to determine if you should be eligible for maintenance.
Education and Employment
If your spouse has a significantly higher education than you and earns much more as a result, the courts will consider spousal support. This is especially true in cases with unemployed stay-at-home parents or spouses who will need time to increase their education and experience to find gainful employment.
How Long Have You Been Married?
Depending on the length of your marriage, you may be able to receive spousal support. The duration of spousal support will be determined by the length of marriage, with longer marriages receiving longer term spousal support.
Some people decide to trade potential spousal support for a greater share of the divorce settlement, while others prefer to receive monthly payments. The only way to know which is best for you is to discuss your case with your divorce attorney.
Our Denver divorce lawyers can assist you in determining is spousal support is right for you.