In the state of Colorado, alimony payments are called spousal maintenance payments. As part of divorce proceedings, a judge may order one spouse to make alimony payments to the other. These payments are established either for the short term, or for a longer period of time.
If you are an earning male, you are likely to have a judge order alimony payments to your ex-wife. These payments will not be made for the rest of your lifetime. Even if the payments are deemed as permanent, they are typically for a long-term, after which your responsibility to make alimony payments to your ex-wife will stop.
Alimony payments may be temporary, rehabilitative or permanent. Temporary alimony, like the term suggests, is only valid during the divorce process to allow the non-breadwinning party to continue maintaining expenses, while the breadwinner moves out. In a rehabilitative alimony, the spouse who is earning less may receive alimony just as long as he or she becomes self-supporting, or is able to acquire the education needed to get a job. Permanent alimony only lasts till a particular milestone is reached. This could include your ex-wife’s remarriage, or until you reach retirement age. Even if you are ordered to pay permanent alimony to your wife, it does not necessarily mean that you’ll keep sending out those checks till you die. There are restrictions in Colorado on how long alimony payments can continue while in other states, “permanent” actually means just that – till the payer dies.
So, what kind of alimony will you be required to pay?
This depends on a number of factors. The most important factor is the duration of your marriage. The longer the duration of the marriage, the higher the alimony you will be expected to pay. In a short-lived marriage, you may not even have to pay alimony if the marriage lasted for less than three years. Speak to a divorce lawyer about this, however.
Alimony payments will also depend on your income, or earning ability. To decide this, the judge may look at the number of years you have been earning, as well as the standard of living that your ex-wife was used to during the marriage. Expect a lot of details about your income and financial assets to be brought out in court, when deciding alimony. Any other source of income that you may have apart from your salary, and both your educational backgrounds may also be considered.
Alimony is not guaranteed to the ex-wife. If you were working and paid for the education of your wife, or supported your wife while she went to school and then got a well-paying job, you may even be able to argue whether alimony to your ex-wife is necessary in your case.
If you are currently considering divorce, and want to know how much alimony you might have to pay contact us.