Spousal Maintenance in Denver, Colorado
Spousal maintenance, or alimony, is financial support paid by one spouse to the other. It is requested as part of a divorce proceeding or action for a legal separation. The question to answer is; what is a person’s income versus their reasonable monthly expenses? If there is negative cash flow, then that is when the need for spousal maintenance comes into play.
Spousal maintenance can be either short-term or long-term. Short-term spousal maintenance is paid while the divorce is pending. Long-term spousal maintenance is paid after the divorce is final.
Factors Determining Spousal Maintenance in Colorado
Whether spousal maintenance is granted depends on a number of factors, including:
- The financial resources of the spouse seeking maintenance, including any award of marital property or child support;
- The future earning capacity of the spouse seeking maintenance, and any time necessary for education and training;
- The standard of living established during the marriage;
- The length of the marriage;
- The age, physical, and emotional condition of the spouse seeking maintenance;
- The ability of the paying spouse to meet the financial needs of both spouses.
There is a statutory guideline table used by judges to determine spousal maintenance in Colorado. The statutory guidelines determine the duration of a spousal maintenance award for marriages lasting at least three years but not more than 20. It is important to note that these are “advisory” and the court has the discretion to order a different number, especially in marriages less than three years or longer than 20 years or for income of more than $240,000.
Lifetime alimony awards are rare and reserved for spouses with very few employment options due to their age or health. Typically, spousal maintenance is used for a limited time to help one spouse become self-supporting.
Spousal Maintenance Calculations in Colorado
Spousal maintenance use to be deductible to the payor and included as income to the payee. But, since the passing of the Tax Cut and Jobs Act of 2017, beginning January 1, 2019, maintenance payments are no longer tax-deductible or treated as income. A new Colorado maintenance formula has been created for the tax consequences.
There are exceptions and some flexibility built into these rules; therefore, it is best to get the advice of a Colorado family law attorney when reviewing these guidelines. As an important note, an attorney or tax accountant should also be consulted regarding the tax consequences or advantages of spousal maintenance, and how it is structured.
Experienced Denver, Colorado, Spousal Maintenance Attorneys Can Help
Spousal maintenance issues have always been among the most complicated to resolve in divorce cases. Each family has their own unique financial history. You want a Colorado family law attorney who knows the case law surrounding spousal maintenance and can present the details necessary to prove your case for or against it.
Perusse Nixon, PLLC, understands how important and complex spousal maintenance calculations are in determining our clients’ personal and financial futures. To learn more about what our firm offers and to schedule a consultation, contact us today.