Colorado Divorce Laws & How To File – Forbes Advisor

Spousal support or maintenance can only be awarded in Colorado if the court finds that the spouse seeking maintenance does not have enough property (separate or marital) to provide for their needs.

Maintenance can be temporary (lasting only while the divorce case is ongoing) or durational, continuing for a specific period of time after the divorce. Permanent maintenance is unusual and occurs in situations in which one spouse is chronically ill, disabled or elderly.

Judges in Colorado will only usually consider support in marriages of more than three years and must evaluate the following factors:

  • Each spouse’s gross income
  • The marital property each receives in the divorce
  • The financial resources of each spouse, which includes income from separate and marital property
  • Financial need
  • The impact of taxes on the award of maintenance

Colorado uses a formula to set the amount of maintenance. The formula is to multiply the spouses’ total combined income by 40% and then subtract the lower earning spouse’s income.

For example, if one partner earns $10,000 per month and the other earns $3,000 per month, the total combined income is $13,000. Multiplied by 40% that is $5,200. The lower income of $3,000 is subtracted, leaving $2,200.

This is then reduced by a formula that takes taxes into account, resulting in the amount of monthly maintenance that would be due to the lower earning spouse. The state provides an online calculator you can use to determine the amount of maintenance that would likely be awarded in your case.

Either spouse can request that the court deviate from the formula, but the state has determined that this formula is a reasonable guideline.

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