Spousal Support Attorney

At Philip Goldberg PC, we represent clients with spousal support issues in Colorado. Alimony law is complex and requires a clear understanding of the legal requirements during the divorce proceedings. We are here to represent you in your case and answer questions about spousal support.

Contact our office to request an appointment for a family law consultation.

Spousal Maintenance in Colorado

Colorado law refers to alimony as spousal maintenance. One party may obtain a temporary or permanent maintenance award in certain circumstances. However, the details of each case determine the issuance of maintenance. In some cases, alimony is not part of the divorce settlement or final order.

The purpose of maintenance is to provide for the reasonable needs of the eligible party. For example, an unemployed spouse who stays home to care for a minor child may receive maintenance for a period.

Requirements for Spousal Maintenance

The law establishes spousal maintenance to support one spouse with payments from the other spouse. The court often orders maintenance under three main circumstances.

  • One spouse lacks sufficient property to provide for their reasonable needs
  • The spouse cannot support themselves through appropriate employment
  • The spouse is the custodian of a child whose condition or circumstances make employment outside the home difficult

The court considers various factors in determining whether to award maintenance, including:

  • Each spouse’s gross income
  • The marital property awarded to each spouse
  • The financial resources of each spouse
  • Each spouse’s reasonable financial need as established during the marriage

Several of the factors are subjective. The standard of living established in a marriage, or reasonable financial needs, depends on the facts of each case. Also, whether a spouse can support themselves through appropriate employment depends on the specific circumstances. The judge has the flexibility to decide the outcome based on the facts presented.

An experienced family law attorney can help achieve a positive outcome. We work with our clients to successfully navigate the legal requirements and present the facts of the case compellingly. We establish the parties’ expectations and intentions during the marriage, which the court uses as a consideration for subjective issues.

The court may consider the following when deciding whether to award spousal maintenance:

  • The time necessary for the eligible spouse to acquire enough education or training for appropriate employment
  • The age and physical or emotional condition of the spouses
  • The ability of the paying spouse to meet their individual needs while meeting the needs of the eligible spouse
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Types of Spousal Support

Temporary Spousal Maintenance

The court may hold a temporary orders hearing as part of the divorce process. During the hearing, the court considers whether to issue temporary alimony. Temporary maintenance only applies until the issuance of the final divorce decree. At that time, the divorce judgment replaces the temporary order.

Permanent Spousal Maintenance

In Colorado, the duration of spousal support may not be permanent. Each judgment sets forth the time and amount for maintenance based on the case’s specific details.

Factors for the Amount and Duration of Spousal Support Payments

Once the court determines that a spouse is eligible for maintenance, the court must decide the amount and duration of maintenance fair to both spouses.

The judge has the discretion to order maintenance for whatever amount and duration the court deems fair and equitable to both parties based upon the totality of the circumstances.

As an alternative, the court may adjust the distribution of marital property or marital debt to alleviate the need for maintenance or reduce the amount and duration of the maintenance awarded.

Colorado law provides an advisory formula to help judges determine the amount and duration of the spousal support agreement. However, the judge must consider “all relevant factors” to make the decision. Judges do not have to order the maintenance amount and duration that the formula provides.

The court may award spousal maintenance when, under the circumstances, the distribution of marital property is insufficient to achieve an equitable result.

The advisory formula does not apply in these cases. The court must base its maintenance determination on “all relevant factors” to arrive at an equitable award.

Spousal Maintenance FAQs

Traditionally, maintenance has been tax-deductible to the paying party and taxable to the receiving party. The law changed effective January 1, 2018. After that date, the paying spouse may no longer deduct maintenance payments for tax purposes, and the receiving spouse does not report the payments as income.

For decrees issued on or before January 1, 2018, the maintenance remains tax-deductible.

Any change to spousal maintenance requires filing a motion to modify maintenance. The court may modify an initial maintenance award when one of the party’s circumstances has substantially and continually changed so that the original award has become unfair.

Death of either party or the receiving spouse’s remarriage typically terminates maintenance.

No. Colorado is a no-fault divorce state, meaning the behavior of either party does not impact the judgment for spousal maintenance. When calculating spousal support awards, the law does not consider issues like domestic violence, adultery, or other behaviors.

Effective Colorado Alimony Attorney

Philip Goldberg is an experienced attorney specializing in family law. He understands the complexity involved in a divorce, including spousal maintenance issues. When you work with our law firm, you not only receive the highest quality of legal representation, but we also prioritize compassion and personalized service for our clients.

Contact Philip Goldberg PC to schedule an appointment to discuss your family law case. We work with clients in Denver and the surrounding areas.