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How do Colorado courts determine alimony?

On Behalf of | Apr 11, 2024 | Family Law |

Divorce can significantly impact one’s finances, and spousal maintenance or support (alimony) can help ease that transition. How do Denver family courts decide who gets spousal support and how much?

The following is a breakdown of factors judges look at to make alimony determinations in litigated divorce cases.

Marriage length

Longer marriages sometimes result in a longer spousal support duration. The court considers the time commitment each spouse made to the marital lifestyle.

Standard of living

The lifestyle that a couple shared during their marriage is a benchmark. Courts aim to ensure the supported spouse can maintain a reasonable version of that standard after divorce.

Financial resources

The income, assets and debts of both spouses are crucial. The court accounts for each spouse’s ability to pay and the recipient’s need for financial assistance to achieve self-sufficiency.

Earning capacity

The potential for each spouse to earn a living is a major factor. The court might award support to allow a spouse time for education or retraining to re-enter the workforce.

Age and health

Age and health limitations can impact a spouse’s ability to earn a living. The court considers any health conditions that could impact employability or daily living expenses.

Marital contributions

Non-financial contributions are valued. Did one spouse stay home to raise children, supporting the other’s career? The court recognizes these contributions when determining support.

Tax implications

Spousal support payments may qualify as taxable income for receiving spouses and are usually tax-deductible for the spouse who pays alimony. Courts consider this to better ensure a fair financial outcome.

Spousal maintenance is never a guarantee. Consulting with a representative can help you present a compelling case for alimony to the judge if you are facing a decision to divorce.

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