Denver Spousal Support Lawyer
Spousal support, or “spousal maintenance” as it is called in Colorado, is decided on a case-by-case basis, often ordered to help support the non-earning spouse or lower-earning spouse in the event of a divorce. Spousal support provides much needed financial assistance during and after a divorce.
Types of Spousal Support in Colorado
The types of spousal support recognized in the state of Colorado and available during and after a divorce are as follows:
- This type of support, also known as pendente lite support, protects the non-earning spouse or lower-earning spouse. The court realizes that spouses often stop sharing their incomes during a divorce and that this might put one spouse in a difficult position financially. The spouse who needs financial assistance can make a request to the court in this scenario to receive financial help until the divorce is finalized.
- Rehabilitative support is the most common type of spousal support in Colorado. It is typical in a marital dynamic where one spouse had to leave his/her career to raise children. This support is granted to the non-earning or lower-earning spouse until he/she can return to the workforce and become financially independent.
- This support depends on the judge’s jurisdiction. It is granted after a divorce to reimburse one spouse for paying for his/her spouse’s education or some type of professional certification while they were married. The reasoning behind this is that, when married, both parties will benefit from this training, but after the divorce, only one spouse will receive these benefits.
- Permanent support is only applicable under certain circumstances where one spouse needs additional support due to an illness or disability.
Spousal Support Eligibility in Colorado
Courts in Colorado award spousal support only if they feel it is “fair and equitable for both parties.” Additionally, the requesting spouse must show a need for this type of support and prove that the other spouse can afford to offer this type of support.
Colorado has a formula that judges refer to when figuring out how much spousal support to award. This formula gives the lower earner 40% of the higher earner’s monthly adjusted gross income, minus 50% of the lower earner’s adjusted gross income.
In Colorado, the court will only consider spousal support if the couple has been married for over three years. Some of the other determining factors that influence spousal support in Colorado include:
- Each spouse’s actual and/or potential income
- Each spouse’s income, employment status, and employability
- Property distribution
- The length of the marriage
- The lifestyle the receiving spouse was accustomed to during the marriage
- The paying spouse’s ability to financially support the receiving spouse
- Each spouse’s age, health, and healthcare expenses
- If one spouse contributed to the other’s educational or professional advancement
- Whether either spouse makes or receives child support or spousal support from another marriage
For marriages that lasted less than three years, consult with an experienced lawyer to learn how the court will determine spousal support.
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