Spousal maintenance is a form of support that one spouse pays to the other during or after a divorce. It is a common misconception that spousal maintenance, also called spousal support or alimony, is applicable to all divorces, but that is not the case. Some Colorado divorces, either because of finances or marital agreements, do not involve spousal maintenance determinations.
When preparing to divorce it is important that individuals gain as much knowledge about the process as they can. This post will offer some general information about spousal maintenance in Colorado, but it does not provide legal advice. A trusted family law and divorce attorney is the best source of knowledge for a person who is preparing to end their marriage in divorce.
Fact #1: Not all spousal maintenance awards are permanent
Though some awards of spousal maintenance may be permanent and provide recipients with lifelong support, others are temporary awards. For some individuals, support is only needed to help them prepare to re-enter the workforce so that they can become self-sufficient after their divorces. Temporary support may enable a recipient to go back to school or get job training so that they can begin their career as a single person.
Fact #2: Men and women can receive spousal maintenance
Though traditional roles in marriage and family have often seen women forego their careers to stay at home to raise families, modern families have all different looks and organizations. As such, either a wife or husband may be the financial earner in their marriage and therefore either men or women may be eligible to receive or pay spousal support.
Fact #3: Spousal maintenance awards and agreements can look very different from divorce to divorce
Though spousal maintenance may exist to prevent non-earning or low-earning individuals from being financially disadvantaged by their divorces, how spousal maintenance awards are decided can vary from divorce to divorce. That is because every divorce will move forward based on the unique circumstances of the parties and the facts that are relevant to their lives. As such, individuals should not rely on the spousal maintenance outcomes of others to anticipate what their awards may be.
Spousal maintenance is only one issue that divorcing couples must address when they choose to end their marriages. It is an important part of the process because it ensures that both parties will have financial stability as they move into their post-divorce lives. It is imperative that divorcing individuals are educated on their rights under the law to seek spousal maintenance and secure fair outcomes in their proceedings. They can turn to their trusted family law and divorce attorneys for case specific guidance and support as they work toward divorce.