Alimony is a large part of divorce proceedings. The courts decide which spouse is going to receive financial support from the other, for how long, and how much will be received. Before 2014, Colorado judges could decide alimony according to their own discretion, and there were fewer regulations and specific formulas. Because of this, payment amounts were extremely different throughout the state.
Ever since 2014, there has been a uniform length of time and a specified breakdown in place for alimony payments. Colorado also has no requirement for spousal support, and the person with a smaller income does not automatically receive the alimony. Independent of how much one of the spouses makes in wages, the judge will factor in many financial aspects before deciding who will receive alimony.
There are many regulations dictating how much financial support should be allotted. Colorado has a standardized method that is used for any couple that earns $240,000 or less in income. In this situation, the amount of alimony is 40% of the income of whoever earns more, minus 50% of the income of the spouse who earns less and is receiving the alimony.
For a couple that makes a combined amount that is over $240,000, their alimony payments are more case-by-case. The judge is no longer required to follow the formula. Property also weighs into the decision regarding the amount of money. The judge can decide to lower the amount of money if one spouse is receiving property that the judge believes changes the financial picture.
Another factor that impacts alimony is the amount of time one of the spouses needs to pay the other, which is measured by the duration of the marriage. If you have been together for three to 20 years, the guideline is that the paying spouse would owe financial maintenance for a total of 31% of the duration of the marriage. If the judge is awarding alimony for a marriage that lasted less than three years, the court is not required to grant alimony to either spouse. If the marriage ran for 20 years, the court does not follow the formula and is given the choice to decide a time window for payment. This can sometimes amount in one of the spouses being required to pay a lifetime of alimony.
It is common during a marriage to have one spouse that does not have an income or only works part-time and shares finances with their partner. This also weighs in as a large factor during divorce proceedings. However, the spouse who is awarded the alimony also receives the responsibility of paying the taxes.
An important point to keep in mind during your divorce proceedings is the fact that the court has regulations. If the judge makes a decision that does not follow these formulas, he or she is required to provide an explanation as to why they did not follow the regulations in place. Anyone going through a divorce should retain the services of legal counsel to ensure that regulations are followed, and financial statements are accurately relayed by both parties.