Skip to content
Fort Collins Alimony & Divorce Lawyer

Alimony in Colorado: How it Works

Alimony in Colorado

Alimony in Colorado is a lot like alimony in other states. We call it maintenance, but it’s the same principle: It’s money that one spouse pays the other so the receiving spouse can get back on his or her feet.

But how does alimony in Colorado work, and will you pay it or receive it?

Related: Colorado Alimony Calculator

Alimony in Colorado: How it Works

Alimony in Colorado can be a little complicated. For most people, it makes sense to work with an attorney who understands all its specifics. The law that governs alimony in Colorado – 14 C.R.S. 14-10-114 – requires courts to look at the combined annual gross income of both parties. That’s the money that both spouses make, together, before taxes each year.

The Formula for Couples Making Less Than $75,000 per Year

Alimony in Colorado - Formula for Couples Making Less Than $75,000 per YearIf a couple’s annual gross income is under $75,000, the court will follow a specific alimony formula.

This is how the court determines how much alimony – if any – should change hands:

40 percent of the higher income – 50 percent of the lower income = the award

However, the court will only award alimony if the difference doesn’t exceed 40 percent of the couple’s combined income.

Here’s how it works in real life. Let’s say the higher-earning spouse makes $50,000 per year and the lower-earning spouse makes $15,000 per year:

40 percent of $50,000 is $20,000. That’s the higher amount.

50 percent of $15,000 is $7,500. That’s the lower amount.


Alimony in Colorado Calculations

The couple’s combined income is $65,000.

40 percent of the couple's combined income is $26,000.

That means the difference doesn’t exceed 40 percent of the couple’s combined income, and the court can make an alimony award. The court will also consider the monthly adjusted gross income of each party when it makes a determination.

What if a Couple Makes More than $75,000 per Year?

If a couple makes more than $75,000 per year, alimony is a little different. The court will only decide to award alimony if it finds that:

  • The spouse asking for alimony doesn’t have enough property (or money) to provide for his or her needs
  • The spouse asking for alimony is unable to support him- or herself, or he or she has custody of a child that requires the person to stay home and not work

In a case like that, the court will decide how much alimony is appropriate based on several factors. The factors the judge will consider for alimony include:

  • How long you were married
  • Your ages
  • Your physical and emotional conditions
  • What standard of living you established during your marriage
  • Your earning capacity
  • How long it would take the asking party to get enough education or training to get a job
  • How you divided your marital property

How Long Does Alimony Last in Colorado?

How Long Does Alimony Last in ColoradoWhen you’re talking about how long alimony in Colorado lasts, it’s called duration of the award.

The duration of the award, in many cases, is 31 percent of the length of the marriage plus 1.17 percent for each month after 3 years. (This is where things can get a little complicated, but your lawyer will figure it out for you.)

However, in other cases – like for marriages that lasted more than 20 years – the court will determine the duration of the award based on other factors.

What if Your Spouse Cheated? Will Alimony Be Higher?

Under the law, alimony isn’t attached to marital misconduct. That means when it comes to awarding alimony, the court won’t take cheating into account. However, in some cases, the court can – like when your spouse cheated on you and spent all your family’s money on his or her new flame.

Do You Need to Talk to a Lawyer About Alimony in Colorado?

If you’re filing for divorce, or if your spouse has already filed, we can help you. We’ll be happy to answer your questions about alimony in Colorado, child support, custody and any other issues related to your divorce – and we’ll fight hard to make sure you’re treated fairly every step of the way.

Call us at 970-488-1887 for a free divorce consultation with a Fort Collins divorce lawyer right now.

December 12, 2020
COVID-19 Vaccines and Children in Divorce

COVID-19 numbers are on the rise, and so is promising talk of an effective vaccine. If you’re a parent of a young child, you are concerned for the best interest of your child, and access to the vaccine is likely something that you are thinking about. If you are divorced or otherwise co-parenting, you are […]

September 14, 2020
High Conflict Custody Attorneys in Fort Collins and Greeley

A skilled high conflict child custody attorney can manage and reduce conflict and stress when establishing or modifying parenting time and decision making. High conflict custody can include claims of alienation and child endangerment, disputes over the regular parenting time, vacation and holiday parenting time, communications, and much more. When conflict is high the children […]

September 1, 2020
Parental Alienation Attorneys in Fort Collins and Greeley

Parental alienation harms children, in the short term and in the long run. Parental alienation can be a difficult issue to address with the courts. In parental alienation cases each parent may be classified as the Rejected or Disfavored parent while the other may be referred to as the Favored Parent. Understanding parental alienation requires […]

July 27, 2020
Domestic Violence and Divorce in Fort Collins

Divorce is a stressful event. The threat of violence not only increases this stress, but also puts at risk the people involved. If the threat of violence already exists in a marriage, there is a high likelihood that a divorce will trigger that violence; if the marriage has seen no violence, the additional stress of […]

Fort Collins Divorce & Child Support Attorneys

Tom Cossitt

Tom Cossitt, Esq.

Family Law
Suzanne Ewy

Suzanne Ewy, Esq.

Family Law
Carla Jaquess

Carla Jaquess, Esq.

Family Law
Jenna Hardesty

Jenna Hardesty, Paralegal

Family Law


  • "I am very appreciative of Toms services. English is a second language to me, and this process seemed difficult because of that barrier. He was very patient and thorough making sure I understood everything before he proceeded. I will recommend him to everyone! He truly cares about you, as does his wonderful, helpful team"

    Review from AVVO

  • "I had a very challenging case, one that could have had indefinite financial consequences. Tom Cossitt evaluated my case and identified several strategies for moving forward. I chose one and Tom developed and implemented that strategy with speed and with the utmost in professionalism. The documents he drafted on my behalf, based on extensive research and case law / precedent were thorough and comprehensive. When the Court ruled, it used the arguments as developed by Tom Cossitt verbatim in its decision, and the case was decided in my favor. Needless to say, I was pleased beyond words. Based on my experience and the outcome of my case, I would highly recommend Tom Cossitt to anyone requiring the services of a family law attorney."

    Review from Google

  • "I met with as many as 10 different attorneys before coming across Thomas. After our initial consultation, I was very pleased with his knowledge and realistic expectations. During the really tough time, Thomas kept me calm and helped tremendously to get custody of my daughter. He kept me informed on what was going on and would ask for my input; if it was something that was unrealistic or could be done a different way, Thomas would tell me right away. During the hearings, he was amazing. He kept a professional attitude and was great at cross examinations. He took in all of the facts and evidence, and was able to present them efficiently and effectively. Ultimately helping me gain custody of my child."

    Review from AVVO

The Cossitt Difference: Fort Collins Divorce Attorneys That Care

AFCC Colorado Logo
Law Week Colorado Logo
Colorado Bar Assocation Logo
Fort Collins Chamber Logo
Super Lawyers Logo
Lead Counsel Verified Logo
Avvo Client's Choice Logo
Expertise Logo

Schedule a Consultation with one of our Fort Collins Family Law Attorneys

(970) 488-1887
linkedin facebook pinterest youtube rss twitter instagram facebook-blank rss-blank linkedin-blank pinterest youtube twitter instagram