In Colorado, alimony is referred to as spousal maintenance and is common. Alimony can be temporary (during the course of the divorce proceedings) or ongoing (for a set number of months after the divorce). There are guidelines in Colorado Statutes as to what kinds how much, and for how long alimony should be awarded. Unlike child support, the courts may not necessarily adhere strictly to spousal maintenance guidelines. Temporary alimony can be awarded while a divorce is ongoing if one spouse has financial need and the other spouse has the ability to pay. Since Colorado is a no-fault state, awards of alimony are affected by financial factors; including need and ability to pay, relative incomes, relative expenses, and abilities to earn, but not affected by factors like infidelity or abuse.
How much alimony will I get? The amount of ongoing spousal maintenance under the guidelines is equal to 40% of the higher income party’s monthly adjusted gross income less 50% of the lower income party’s monthly adjusted gross income; except that, the person receiving alimony gets capped at 40% of the parties’ combined monthly adjusted gross income. If your combined annual adjusted gross income is $240,000 or higher, the calculation is conducted a bit differently.
For ongoing spousal maintenance, the marriage must have lasted for three years or more and the courts normally use statutory guidelines to determine the amount. Marriages of twenty years or more can result in awards in terms of years or an indefinite amount of time.