Skip to content

Divorce in Colorado - Alimony

Divorce in Colorado Alimony

Divorce in Colorado can be complicated – especially when it comes to paying or receiving alimony. When you divorce, the judge in your case will decide whether one spouse is entitled to receive maintenance payments. These payments are supposed to help a spouse provide for his or her basic needs when that spouse can’t provide for him- or herself through employment.

Whether you think you’re entitled to alimony or your spouse does, here’s what you need to know.

Divorce in Colorado: Alimony

Alimony is technically referred to as spousal maintenance in Colorado. And unlike child support, which the custodial parent is entitled to receive and goes toward kids’ expenses, not everyone is entitled to spousal maintenance.

Colorado law says that courts have to look at a handful of factors to determine whether one spouse should receive maintenance, including:

  • Each party’s financial resources
  • Financial need
  • Tax implications of receiving or paying alimony
  • How long the couple was married
  • The standard of living established during the marriage
  • The age and physical condition of the spouse who wants maintenance
  • How long it would take for the asking spouse to get the education or training he or she needs to find employment

Use our simple alimony calculator to determine how much you’re likely to have to pay or how much you may be entitled to receive.

Why Do Courts Award Spousal Maintenance in Colorado DivorcesWhy Do Courts Award Spousal Maintenance?

Spousal maintenance is a form of temporary assistance. It gives the receiving spouse time to find a job or get training and education that will lead to a job so that he or she can become self-sufficient.

You and your spouse can agree to alimony on your own, provided that the courts find that your agreement is fair to both of you. Some couples even agree that one spouse will pay the other for a longer term than the court would’ve ordered.

What is Temporary Alimony in a Colorado Divorce?

Most spousal maintenance in Colorado is temporary – it only lasts for a certain period of time rather than a lifetime. (Even temporary alimony is sometimes referred to as permanent alimony. That term refers to spousal maintenance orders that extend beyond your divorce date, even if the alimony only changes hands for a few months or a few years.)

In many cases, a longer marriage means a longer duration of spousal maintenance payments.

What is Permanent Alimony in a Colorado Divorce?

Again, the courts refer to alimony that lasts past the date of your divorce as permanent alimony. However, there are some cases in which alimony truly is permanent – such as when one spouse is to ill to work or is too advanced in age to reasonably find work.

Divorce in Colorado Alimony - Fort Collins Divorce LawyersWho’s Eligible for Alimony in Colorado?

When you’re getting a divorce in Colorado, alimony isn’t a guarantee. Not everyone is eligible.

If a couple has a combined annual gross income of $75,000 or less, the court will use a specific formula to determine whether a person is financially eligible. The formula provides for payments to the lower-earning spouse.

If a couple has a combined annual gross income over $75,000, the court will only award spousal maintenance if the spouse asking for it:

  • Lacks sufficient property to provide for his or her reasonable needs
  • Is unable to become self-supporting through work or is serving as the custodian of a child that needs him or her

Does Fault Matter?

Fault doesn’t count when a court is determining spousal maintenance in Colorado. It doesn’t matter whose fault the divorce is – the judge in your case is only going to look at:

  • The financial resources of the person seeking maintenance (including what that person receives during property division and child support)
  • The maintenance-seeker’s future earning capacity
  • The standard of living established during the marriage
  • How long you were married
  • The seeking spouse’s age
  • The seeking spouse’s physical and emotional condition
  • The paying spouse’s ability to meet both spouse’s financial needs

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

If you need to talk to an attorney about divorce in Colorado, alimony, child support or any other matter involving a split, we can help. Call us right now at 970-488-1887 for a free divorce case review – you can ask us your questions and we’ll get to know your situation so we can help you get the best possible outcome.


April 27, 2021
In Colorado, Does It Matter Who Files for Divorce First?

The person who files for divorce first in Colorado won’t automatically have different rights or a stronger divorce case. The courts will give equal consideration to the claims made by petitioners, those who are first to file, and the respondents, their spouses. Still, there can be some advantages to filing for divorce first, depending on […]

April 20, 2021
When to Move Out During a Divorce

Divorce forces a lot of hard choices. For many, one of those choices is when to move out of the family home. If there are safety issues, like threats of domestic violence or child abuse, it’s always wise to move out ASAP. In absence of those issues, the best time to move out will depend […]

April 13, 2021
Being a Single Parent After Divorce

Parenting after divorce can feel like a new world of challenges. While you may have to make some adjustments to learning or returning to parenting on your own after divorce, the good news is that kids are resilient—and there are several things you can do to make the transition easier. 4 Tips for Single Parents […]

April 6, 2021
Can You Refuse a Divorce in Colorado?

No. A divorce case in Colorado will move forward when just one spouse wants to end the marriage. When the other party doesn’t want a divorce, however, (s)he can do things to try to delay the case. Still, the divorce will proceed, despite any additional filings or proceedings that may need to happen. Here’s a […]

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
Attorney Lisa Vigil

Lisa Vigil, Esq.

Family Law
Jenna Hardesty

Jenna Hardesty, Paralegal

Family Law

Testimonials

  • "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"

    Abigail
    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."

    Dan
    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."

    Mitchell
    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