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What is considered with the length and amount of alimony?

Divorce in Colorado can be a difficult thing to navigate, especially when one member of the marriage worked and the other either did not work or did not earn enough to support him or herself. Once the marriage is over and the couple decides to part ways, it is not unusual for one former spouse to be ordered to pay alimony to the other.

When the amount is determined, the spouse who will be receiving alimony will have his or her financial resources assessed. This will include the income received or the potential income that might be received through separate property, marital property and other sources for the spouse to meet living requirements independently. The paying spouse's resources will also be considered with the same factors part of the process. During the marriage, there might have been a certain lifestyle. Steps will be taken to maintain it as much as possible.

Marital property and how it is distributed is a factor along with whether additional marital property might be awarded to one spouse to reduce or eliminate the need to pay alimony. The income of the parties, their employment and ability to gain employment with diligent attempts and education and training will be assessed. A spouse historically earning more than or less than the other spouse will be a key consideration. The length of the marriage will be gauged. If there was temporary maintenance, its amount and its duration for which it was paid to the receiving spouse, this will be an important part of the decision.

The parties' age and health will be part of the process. If there are certain contributions in an economic or non-economic way that were made in helping the other spouse advance, the alimony will reflect that. Finally, a factor will be the circumstances when the permanent order is made and if there should be an amount of maintenance awarded to preserve a possible future claim. The court can examine any factor it believes is important when coming to a decision.

For many couples, alimony and the legal obligation to pay it will not be a permanent situation. The courts will take the above into account and move forward accordingly. Those who are concerned about how much will be paid in maintenance and the duration it will be paid should speak to a lawyer. This is true for the receiving spouse and the paying spouse.

Source: lpdirect.net, "14-10-114. Spousal maintenance -- (c) Factors affecting the amount and term of maintenance.," accessed on March 27, 2018

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