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Colorado Divorce: Will I have to pay spousal maintenance?

Question?

My wife has stayed at home to care for our three children, and has not been employed during our 18 year marriage.

Will I be required to pay her maintenance if we decide to divorce?

Answer:

The Court’s decision to award maintenance to one party is made on a case by case basis, and is dependent on several factors:

• Initially the party requesting maintenance must show that he or she does not have the means to provide for his or her reasonable needs.
• It must also be shown that he or she has an inability to support themselves through appropriate employment.

Once that standard is met, the Court will also consider factors that include:
• The financial resources of the party seeking maintenance, and the party's ability to meet his or her needs independently;
• The time necessary to acquire sufficient education or training to enable the party seeking maintenance to find appropriate employment;
• The standard of living established during the marriage;
• The duration of the marriage;
• The age and the physical and emotional condition of the spouse seeking maintenance;
• The ability of the spouse from whom maintenance is sought to meet his or her needs while meeting those of the spouse seeking maintenance.

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