In the Centennial State, alimony is one of most contested debates during divorce. Since 2014, Colorado has joined the national reform movement to standardize spousal maintenance, dramatically altering the landscape for divorcing couples.
If you’re unfamiliar with the recent law changes, there’s a good chance that your understanding of the state’s alimony rules is now incorrect. Here are the common misconceptions people have about spousal maintenance in Colorado:
Judge’s Formula is Always Fair
Any experienced divorce attorney in Colorado Springs, CO would say that fairness isn’t absolute. What’s fair to you may be different from what your spouse believes to be. In hopes of regulating alimony payments, the court can employ a formula to determine the eligibility of one spouse for maintenance. As every situation is different, there’s always a possibility that its result may not be favorable to the paying or supported spouse, or both.
Deviation from Formula is Not an Option
Although there’s now a formula available to calculate alimony, there’s a way to take it out of the equation. Fortunately, both spouse can request the court to deviate from using it for unfairness. The judge may grant it, but not without specifying the reasons behind the decision.
Fault Affects the Amount or Length of Alimony
As a “no-fault” state, Colorado doesn’t punish any spouse for behavioral misconduct, such as drug abuse, adultery, or domestic violence, during marriage in finalizing divorce settlements. The relevant factors the judge would consider when determining alimony include the current financial resources and the future earning capacity of the party seeking maintenance.
Maintenance Continues After Supported Spouse Remarries
In the spirit of fairness, the paying spouse’s alimony duties end when the supported spouse remarries. Unless there’s a written agreement that says otherwise, this rule applies to all divorce cases.
Alimony is a thorny issue, but proper preparation and adequate knowledge of the law can help you deal with it with less stress. Speaking with an experienced family law attorney is the first step toward ready yourself for a possible hotly contested debate in court.