In Colorado divorce cases, the lower-earning spouse is sometimes entitled to spousal support, or alimony, from the higher earner.
Calculating alimony is a complex process that often leads to disputes. An alimony attorney can help you achieve a fair agreement.
If you need legal assistance related to alimony, schedule a free consultation with Dunsing, Deakins & Galera in Avon or Denver, CO.
What Is Alimony?
Alimony, also known as "spousal support" or "spousal maintenance," is court-ordered financial support one former spouse must provide to the other after a divorce.
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When to Call an Alimony Lawyer Contact Our Attorneys If...
You Are Going Through a Divorce
If you have recently decided to end your marriage, you probably have questions about spousal support and other family law topics like child support, child custody, property division, and more. Our attorneys can handle all aspects of your divorce and ensure that you are treated fairly by your spouse.
You Need to Modify Your Spousal Support Order
Existing alimony orders may require modification when circumstances change, including when one of the parties obtains a new job, suffers a business failure, retires, or becomes disabled. Whether you are the party making or receiving alimony payments, our lawyers can help you file the necessary motions to make the arrangement fair once again.
Your Spousal Support Order Has Been Broken
Once a court awards spousal maintenance in Colorado, it must be paid. When it is not, contact our law firm. Our attorneys can aggressively pursue payment through garnishments, contempt actions, or bank account levies.
Why Call an Alimony Lawyer?
Unfortunately, calculating alimony in Colorado is not a simple formula. There are statutory guidelines that give judges some direction, but they still have wide latitude in determining how much, if any, spousal support to award. That's why it's important to have a qualified family law attorney on your side who can present a sound case for fair spousal support awards.
Beyond the legal complexities of these matters, alimony cases can become difficult because high-earning spouses often hide their assets in an effort to avoid paying spousal support. When it comes time to calculate a spouse’s ability to pay maintenance, it is astounding how often money suddenly disappears. An alimony lawyer can conduct a thorough review of your family's finances to ensure no assets have been hidden through business holdings, other family members, or acquaintances.
The attorneys of Dunsing, Deakins & Galera are spousal support lawyers with a full understanding of financial matters and the law. Our family law attorneys hold MBAs and accounting degrees, empowering us to investigate and locate any hidden income or assets. Our law firm knows where to look for hidden wealth when a spouse is trying to argue a limited ability to pay maintenance, and we know how to tell your side of the story in court to make sure that the alimony agreement is fair and legal.
Request a Free Consultation
The attorneys of Dunsing, Deakins & Galera provide personalized legal services to clients from communities in and around the Vail Valley, including Centennial, Lakewood, Aurora, and Eagle County. We assist men and women in all aspects of family law and divorce, including child support, child custody, and, of course, alimony.
Are you in the midst of a divorce and calculating alimony for the first time? Are you not receiving the alimony payments that you are due? Or do you need to modify an existing alimony order? Our lawyers can help.
You can contact our law firm right now to schedule a free consultation at either our Avon or our Denver office. You can get in touch with us by sending us a message online, or you can call the location closest to you.
Denver Office: (303) 758-8981
Avon Office: (970) 323-0023
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Factors Considered in Determining Alimony
A court may award alimony in a divorce if it finds:
- The requesting spouse lacks sufficient income or assets to provide for his or her reasonable needs
- The requesting spouse is unable to support himself or herself through appropriate employment or is unable to work because of childcare obligations
- The paying spouse has the ability to pay spousal maintenance after meeting his or her own reasonable needs
- The education level and earning capacity of one spouse far exceeds that of the other — this makes spousal maintenance particularly common among older couples
When determining how long alimony must be paid, the court will consider:
- The financial resources of the party seeking support
- The time to train, educate, or employ the requesting spouse
- The standard of living enjoyed during the marriage
- How long the marriage lasted
- The requesting spouse’s age, physical, and emotional condition
- The paying spouse’s ability to meet his or her needs while paying maintenance
Spousal support will be paid for a short or fixed period or indefinitely.
Colorado Alimony FAQs
Who decides how much alimony to award?
The ultimate decision of how much, if any, spousal support to award will be made by a judge in family court. CRS 14-10-114 established some advisory guidelines for judges to reference when making these decisions, but they are only guidelines. Judges have the ability to ignore the guidelines and make a unilateral decision if they are persuaded by the facts of a case.
How long does a marriage have to last for alimony to be awarded?
According to Colorado family law, a marriage typically has to last at least three years before either spouse can qualify for alimony in the event of a divorce.
Can spousal support be awarded for life?
Again, judges can ultimately make their own decisions regarding the length of time that one spouse has to make support payments to the other. However, the statutory guidelines do provide a formula that determines the duration of maintenance based on the duration of the marriage. According to these guidelines, lifelong maintenance should only be considered when spouses have been married for at least 20 years.
Does it matter whose fault the divorce is?
No. Colorado is a no-fault divorce state, so whether one spouse is primarily responsible for the dissolution of the marriage is irrelevant when determining spousal support, child support, child custody, or other family law matters.
Do I need to work with an attorney?
You are not legally required to enlist the aid of a lawyer during an alimony dispute, but it is highly recommended. Family law in Colorado is complicated, and you may be taken advantage of if you are not represented by a trustworthy attorney. The lawyers at our law firm in the Vail Valley are honest, approachable, and ready to help you achieve your best possible outcome.