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Maintenance for Divorce in Colorado


Summary:  Maintenance (used to be called alimony) in Colorado can be the most difficult issue in a divorce mediation. There are several factors which should be analyzed in order to come to an agreement.


Maintenance (Alimony) in a Colorado Divorce Mediation

An agreement as to whether maintenance will be paid and how much and for how long can be the most difficult issue in a divorce mediation.

This is the most difficult issue for a judge, too.

Maintenance can be ordered by a Colorado court if one spouse lacks sufficient property to provide for his or her "reasonable needs" or cannot obtain "appropriate employment" to provide sufficient income for self-support. Another consideration is the care of a child with a disability such that employment outside of the home is not practical.

"Reasonable needs" takes into account the economic circumstances and the standard of living during the marriage. It is generally more than a bare bones living.

A typical application is where one of the spouses has been staying at home to care for young children and cannot enter the job market with sufficient skills to earn a livable income.

As a practical matter, maintenance is usually NOT awarded where both spouses have been working and able to provide their own support or where the non-working spouse is able to find suitable employment.

There are a couple of rules of thumb.  However, this is a difficult issue because court rulings are not consistent.

Permanent (or for a Specific Time Period) Maintenance

Permanent (as opposed to temporary maintenance) maintenance usually begins at the time that the divorce Decree is signed by the Court.

Generally the maintenance order will remain in effect for a specific time period or until the remarriage of the obligee or death of either spouse.  Unless the court orders that maintenance remain in effect beyond death or orders that life insurance be carried on the life of the obligor.

Except that the court may modify a maintenance order whenever there is a change of circumstances which are substantial and continuing such that the existing order is unfair.

GIF The material on this web site is for informational purposes only. This law firm practices only in Colorado. An attorney-client relationship is established only when an agreement as to the scope of representation and fees has been signed and a retainer paid. Colorado law may consider these web site materials to be attorney advertising. GIF
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