Colorado’s new maintenance (alimony) law significantly changes the approach for awarding maintenance.
House Bill 1058 became law on May 10, 2013 providing a formula for determination of spousal maintenance. Some individuals who believe that this law may adversely effect their case are filing their divorce case before the January 1, 2014 effective date.
The formula provides the amount of maintenance shall be determined by taking 40% of the higher income earner’s monthly income and subtracting 50% of the lower earner’s monthly income. The duration of the maintenance award ranges from 31% of the duration of a marriage of three (3) years to 50% of a marriage of 20 years or more. The formula is advisory only and the Court has wide discretion for deviation.
Inasmuch as the new alimony law goes into effect for cases filed on or after January 1, 2014 many individuals who are presently considering divorce may wish to file their case before January 1, 2014 if they believe they may have exposure for an award of spousal maintenance. Presently, the Courts have wide discretion and there is no formula for permanent maintenance.
The statute also requires that the Court consider the following factors in determining maintenance issues:
- The amount of each party’s gross income;
- The marital property apportioned to each party;
- The financial resources of each party including, but not limited to, the actual or potential income from separate or marital property; and,
- Reasonable financial need as established during the marriage.
The law was enacted in large part to provide more uniformity with regard to the award of maintenance and to address the perception of unfairness in the differential of awards and inability to predict outcomes. A growing number of states have enacted similar legislation, which uses a formula in the same manner used to calculate child support.
Maintenance terminates upon death or remarriage but does not terminate upon non-marital cohabitation.
Gary Gottesfeld understands the tremendous importance and stress associated with financial matters and uses his knowledge and experience as a divorce attorney for 37 years to analyze your situation and develop maintenance solutions tailored to your specific needs. Contact us today to schedule a free consultation at 303.892.7000 or firstname.lastname@example.org.