Maintenance, also known as spousal support or alimony, is an allowance awarded by the court in many circumstances to be paid (usually monthly) to a spouse or former spouse for maintenance following a divorce or legal separation or while such action is pending. Maintenance is only awarded when the court finds that a spouse lacks sufficient property or income to support himself/herself.
As of January 1, 2014, Colorado law provides courts with discretionary guidelines for determining the amount and term of maintenance payments based on the incomes of the spouses and the length of the marriage. The guidelines are only applied in cases where the parties’ combined annual income is less than $300,000 per year and the length of the marriage is greater than three years, but less than 20 years.
Under the guidelines, the amount of maintenance is equal to 40% of the higher income party’s adjusted monthly gross income and less than 50% of the lower income party’s adjusted gross income. After this calculation, the recipient’s total monthly income, including maintenance, cannot exceed 40% of the total combined monthly adjusted gross income of both parties.
Please note, that the court uses the same formula in calculating temporary maintenance in cases where the parties’ combined annual income is less than $75,000.
In determining maintenance, the court will also consider other factors such as the property awarded to each party, the standard of living during the marriage, and the financial resources of each party.
Unlike child support, maintenance is tax deductible by the paying spouse and is taxable income to the receiving spouse.
Attorney’s Fees/Rose Motions
Clients are often concerned about how they are going to afford an attorney throughout the maintenance/spousal support process. If your spouse has enough money to pay for an attorney throughout the divorce process, the court can request an amount be paid for in your support. In Colorado, under the Colorado Revised Statutes § 14-10-119, the court may order a party to pay for the cost of the other party’s attorney fees after evaluating the financial situation and resources of both parties. If you have questions regarding attorney’s fees or would like to file a Rose Motion, contact our office for a free initial consultation.
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