Alimony in Colorado is determined by a family law judge. Thomas A. Ramunda Jr. is a family lawyer based in Parker, Colorado who can help those undergoing divorce navigate through alimony law. Read on to learn more about alimony, Colorado alimony law, how alimony is determined in Colorado, and how South Denver Law can help you.
What is alimony?
It’s important to know what alimony is to better understand how it is determined in Colorado. Alimony refers to payments made for the support or maintenance of a spouse after the legal end of marriage. Alimony can be paid at once in a lump sum, or on a continual basis. Typically, alimony is paid by one spouse to the other spouse. The supporting spouse is responsible for making alimony payments to the dependent spouse. This makes the dependent spouse, as the phrase implies, dependent on the supporting spouse for maintenance and support following a divorce.
Alimony is similar to but distinct from palimony, which is compensation made by one member of an unmarried couple to another after the couple separates. Alimony payments can occur for a set period of time or last indefinitely. How long alimony is paid depends on the outcome of the alimony proceedings.
How is alimony determined in Colorado?
The longer the marriage, the more likely a court is to set alimony payments. One spouse can even obtain lifetime alimony if the marriage lasted for longer than 20 years, although this type of permanent alimony is becoming increasingly rare. Factors that go into alimony determination include each spouse’s income and financial resources, the future earning capacities of the spouses, the length of the marriage, age and physical and emotional conditions of the spouses, and whether the spouse seeking alimony payments will obtain child support or property from the divorce proceedings. Alimony is based on a variety of factors that our legal team at South Denver Law can help you navigate.
Alimony in Colorado vs. other states
Colorado alimony law uses a formula to determine alimony payments if the combined gross income of the couple is less than $75,000; above $75,000, the magistrate can make decisions about the alimony calculation at their own discretion.
Colorado alimony laws differ from other states’ laws. For example, some states do not grant alimony at all. For example, Texas divorce law makes it very difficult to obtain alimony payments. Other states may look at the fault of each spouse in the divorce, the length of the marriage, and/or whether the alimony recipient remarries or moves to a different state. Kansas has one of the most simple alimony systems in the nation, granting alimony for up to 10 years.
Temporary Colorado Alimony Law
In situations in which the sum of both members of a couple’s combined gross annual income is less than $75,000. In these situations, unless there is sufficient evidence to suggest a different alimony arrangement, the Colorado family law magistrate will grant alimony according to a formula that stays the same regardless of the length of a marriage. In these cases, the maintenance level of alimony that the supporting spouse will pay is 40% of the higher income earner’s gross monthly income, minus 50% of the lower income earner’s gross monthly income. For example, if Taylor earns $3500 per month, and Chris earns $1500 per month, Taylor’s temporary maintenance payment, as calculated by the formula, will equal $650 ($1400 minus $750) until the permanent order hearing.
If the couple’s combined gross annual income is more than $75,000, there is no predetermined standard in Colorado for temporary alimony, and although some Colorado family law magistrates may use the aforementioned alimony formula, the courts are required to use the factors set forth in Colorado divorce law for maintenance. This makes alimony law more complicated and uncertain for higher-income couples, and individuals undergoing divorce may want to reach out to a divorce lawyer for help with the alimony determination, as magistrates may set their own standards for calculation of alimony payments.
Spousal Support or Spousal Maintenance
In Colorado, the term ‘alimony’ is not used and instead, alimony is called “spousal support” or “spousal maintenance.”
Is alimony taxable in 2018?
With tax season approaching, couples seeking a divorce may wonder whether alimony is taxable for the 2018 tax year. Alimony payments for divorces occurring after December 31, 2018 are no longer deductible and the recipient cannot declare alimony as a form of taxable income. If a divorce occurring before 2019 is not modified, the old rules apply. The payer of alimony can subtract payments, while the recipient is taxed for alimony they receive.
Colorado Alimony Calculator
An alimony calculator can help you what your alimony payment should be in various situations and help determine your alimony payments.