What is Alimony?
Alimony, sometimes referred to as “spousal support,” is payment that goes towards maintaining the well-being of one spouse to another in a divorce. The payment can be in the form of a lump sum, but it is commonly paid in periodic installments. The general principle behind alimony is that divorce should not impoverish either spouse—alimony’s purpose is to help each spouse maintain the same lifestyle they enjoyed during marriage.
Alimony is awarded to a spouse in the event of the following three conditions:
- If a spouse cannot make a sufficient living
- If a spouse is the primary caretaker for a child
- If a spouse lacks sufficient assets to support themselves
Alimony is not optional once it is ordered by the court—once it is set, it must be paid. In the state of Colorado, alimony is calculated through a mathematical formula for couples who have a combined annual income of $75,000 or less. The formula is as follows:
Alimony Payment = 40% of Higher Earner’s Monthly Gross Income – 50% of Lower Earner’s Monthly Gross Income
Courts will typically subtract from the gross income any spousal or child support that already exists for either spouse outside of the current marriage. For couples with combined incomes over $75,000, temporary alimony agreements can be set by the court as well. Deviation from the formula are possible, but they must be justified according to the three conditions mentioned above.
How Can Alimony / Maintenance Affect Me?
Good alimony agreements are ideally mutually-agreed upon, and they ensure that no spouse suffers financially from a divorce. It is important to remember that alimony is not punitive—the idea is to create two financially-stable households out of one. However, without good legal representation and experienced guidance, alimony agreements can be range from overbearing to negligible, neither of which helps bring peace to a divorce.
The Harris Law Firm Difference
The divorce attorneys at The Harris Law Firm are skilled negotiators, and we have a strong understanding of how alimony is calculated in Denver, Colorado Springs, and throughout the state of Colorado. Our grasp of family law and spousal support makes us an invaluable resource to any spouse filing for divorce.
Many of our lawyers are skilled at “discovery,” the legal practice of uncovering assets and investigating during divorce proceedings. We can ensure maximum fairness for both parties. More importantly, we can make sure that our client receives what he or she needs in an alimony agreement, either as the paying spouse or the recipient spouse.
If you need help navigating the complex process of alimony agreements, call The Harris Law Firm today at (303) 622-5502, or contact us to have any legal question answered at no cost to you.
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