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Denver Spousal Maintenance Attorney

Elkus & Sisson attorneysThere’s no way around it—divorce can be expensive. You’re moving from one household to two, with no automatic increase in income. Both parties must be able to support themselves post-divorce, and figuring out how to make that happen can be a challenge. You and your spouse’s finances are likely intertwined to a significant degree—few people enter into financial agreements like mortgages, car loans, and retirement plans with a plan to divorce. When both parties earn enough income to support themselves, this transition can be relatively pain-free, if still a major adjustment. In other scenarios, it’s a bit more difficult.

Spousal support (aka alimony) can help a lower-earning spouse bridge the gap between what they have and what they need to get by. If you’re asking for spousal support or being asked for spousal support, it’s important to know your rights.

Greenwood Village Spousal Support Lawyers Serving Denver

Elkus & Sisson, P.C. are spousal support attorneys in Greenwood Village located just a short drive from downtown Denver. Our address is 7100 E Belleview Avenue, Suite 101 Greenwood Village, CO 80111 (open in Google Maps). Call us today at (303) 567-7981 or fill out a contact form and we will call you to schedule an appointment to discuss your family law needs.

Spousal SupportWhen Spousal Support is Awarded

Spousal support is intended to “level the playing field” and to help both parties in a divorce go on to be financially stable and able to provide for themselves. Two equal-earning spouses are already on equal financial footing, so spousal support may not be recommended or awarded. However, when one spouse earns a high income and the other earns a low income or none at all, it is important to address that disparity, especially in longer term marriages.

In many cases, a spouse who earns little to no income has made other sacrifices for the sake of the marriage. Their work as a stay-at-home parent and homemaker, for example, may have allowed their spouse to build the successful career they now have. A spousal maintenance agreement compensates them for these sacrifices and puts them on the path to becoming self-sufficient.

Types of Spousal Maintenance in Colorado

There are multiple types of spousal maintenance in Colorado, depending on where you are in the divorce process and what is outlined in your agreement. Temporary maintenance may be the first time you discuss spousal support, as it’s paid after separating but before the divorce is finalized. During that time, the lower-earning spouse still needs to make ends meet, put gas in the car, and feed themselves. Temporary maintenance is a short-term solution until the final divorce hearing. If the parties cannot agree to temporary maintenance, then either party can ask for a temporary orders hearing which is an additional hearing that is shorter and to address temporary issues so the parties can have Orders and some certainty while the divorce is pending.

For long term maintenance once a divorce decree is entered, the Courts will now use a maintenance worksheet which is only an advisory guideline but can help the parties resolve the issues without going to court. A court has discretion to award maintenance as it sees fit and will take into consideration the length of the marriage, parties’ income, and other factors such as the needs of the party seeking maintenance and the ability to pay of the spouse from whom maintenance is requested. The Courts will also consider the age and work experience of both parties and the standard of living the parties enjoyed during the marriage, among other factors. Parenting and homemaking work is valuable, even if it is not financially compensated at the time.

Family Law ViolationsHow to Calculate Payments

Unfortunately, there aren’t always quick-and-easy calculations for spousal support in Colorado. However, the state does follow a basic formula to come up with a starting point. The formula works for couples that were married for at least three years and who currently earn $360,000 or less per year.

The calculation subtracts half of the lower-earning spouse’s income from 40% of the higher-earning spouse’s income. The amount is capped at 40% of the couple’s combined monthly income. The resulting number is the amount of spousal support to be paid each month; the duration depends on how long the couple was married.

Note that this amount is not necessarily the final amount that will be awarded in your case. Numerous factors will be taken into account, including:

  • Both parties’ financial resources
  • How marital property was distributed
  • The lifestyle needs of both spouses
  • Each spouse’s income and ability to earn an income
  • The length of the marriage
  • Each party’s age and overall health
  • Contributions made to the marriage
  • How long it will take the lower-earning party to become self-sufficient 

These factors could increase or decrease the final amount paid.

Seeking or Contesting Alimony

If you believe you are entitled to spousal support or you don’t think you should have to pay spousal support, it is critical to talk to a Denver alimony attorney as soon as possible. There are serious financial implications involved in the decisions you make, and you must have a legal advocate ready to fight for your best interests. The earlier you hire a lawyer, the more time they have to build a strong case for you to receive or not pay spousal support.

Why You Should Choose Elkus & Sisson, P.C.

When you decide to work with Elkus & Sisson, P.C. your case will be handled by attorney Robert Pomper. Attorney Pomper has spent over three decades in family law, giving him an in-depth understanding of both the legal side of these issues and the human side. As a result, he brings a compassionate and client-focused approach to every case he accepts. He knows that this will play a big part in your financial stability in years to come, and he’s committed to advocating for you every step of the way.

Contact Us to Start Your Case

If you’re concerned about the role of spousal maintenance in your divorce or you’re seeking a modification, it’s time to talk to the team at Elkus & Sisson. Reach out online or call us at (303) 567-7981 to learn more about how we can help you.