One of the most common concerns for a Colorado couple when they divorce is how much spousal maintenance – also referred to as alimony or spousal support – will be paid from one spouse to the other. There are many factors that are considered when determining how much maintenance will be. The basics such as how marital property was allocated, what the financial situation and lifestyle was during the marriage, and more are part of the process. For some, however, there is the need to think about other considerations.

The advisory guideline amount and term of maintenance should be considered when the circumstances call for it. For this to be a factor, the marriage must have lasted for a minimum of three years and the combined income – annual adjusted gross – cannot go beyond $240,000. If these criteria are met, the court will have additional written and oral findings as to the duration of the marriage, the advisory guideline amount and the term of maintenance.

If the person who is paying maintenance can deduct the amount from their income taxes and it is taxable to the person receiving maintenance, the amount in this category will be equal to 40 percent of the combined monthly gross income and the amount earned by the lower earning party will be subtracted from that amount per month. If the amount turns out to be less than zero, there will be no maintenance.

Should the award not be deductible nor taxable, those who make a combined adjusted gross of $10,000 or less per month will be equal to 80 percent of the amount calculated under normal maintenance determination. If the same circumstances are in place and the combination of adjusted gross income per month is greater than $10,000 but does not surpass $20,000, it will be 75 percent of the normal maintenance determination.

The amount of time the couple was married can alter these numbers. Depending on how long the couple was married, between three and 20 years, maintenance can vary. If it went beyond 20 years, the court can award maintenance for a certain time-period or for an indefinite time-period. Since there are often complications and disagreements as to the legal obligation of one former spouse supporting another, understanding the nuance of the law with maintenance requires legal help. A law firm that understands all aspects of family law should be called for advice.