Colorado judges may order alimony, or spousal support, when a couple divorces. This often applies when one spouse has left the workforce to raise young children or support the other spouse’s career.
Review the laws about spousal maintenance in Colorado to understand what to expect if you decide to end your marriage.
How Colorado calculates support
Colorado law establishes a spousal support formula. If you earn more than your spouse, you may have to pay the monthly equivalent of 40% of your income minus half your spouse’s income. For example, if you earn $10,000 a month and have a spouse who stays home to care for a toddler, you could owe up to $4,000 a month in alimony.
The judge can adjust this number based on the factors in your case, such as:
- Your ages
- The mental and physical health status of each of you
- How long your marriage lasted
- Your employment situation and income as well as your spouse’s
- Information about your married lifestyle
- The agreed-upon division of marital debts and property
- Whether you pay spousal support to anyone else
- Whether you pay child support to children from another relationship
Types of spousal support
In addition to the spousal maintenance formula, Colorado law recognizes three types of support. Your spouse can request temporary support starting when you separate and ending when the judge finalizes your divorce.
If your spouse needs training and education to earn a living, the court can order time-limited rehabilitative support. If he or she supported you while you pursued your career, you could be required to repay your spouse for that effort with reimbursement support.
Unless your spouse cannot become self-sufficient because of age or a mental or physical illness, you will unlikely have to pay permanent spousal support.