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Spousal Maintenance: How is it determined by the Court?

On Behalf of | Apr 10, 2014 | Family Law, Firm News, Spousal Maintenance |

In Colorado spousal maintenance is not guaranteed in a dissolution of marriage and the court takes into consideration several factors to determine whether maintenance is appropriate for the moving party. Colorado has recently formulated new advisory guidelines for maintenance in cases where parties have been married for at least three years and have a combined gross annual income of $360,000 or less. C.R.S. 14-10-114. The determination takes into consideration the months of marriage to appropriately determine maintenance. But before we get to the actual determination of the amount of maintenance, the court takes into consideration several factors to determine if the party moving should be awarded maintenance.

There is a threshold requirement to be granted maintenance. Maintenance will only be awarded when the moving party lacks sufficient property to provide for his/her reasonable needs and is unable to support himself/herself through appropriate employment or he/she is the custodian of a child whose condition makes it appropriate that the moving party cannot be employed outside the home. The court takes into consideration several factors to determine if this threshold has been met including the financial resources of the parties, the distribution of marital property, actual and potential income of the parties, the reasonable lifestyle the parties maintained during the marriage, the income, employment, and employability of the parties, their historical earnings, the duration of marriage, the age and health of the parties, need for education, amount of temporary maintenance and other signification economic and non-economic contributions to the marriage.

There are several factors and considerations that go into the determination of the amount, but the key to maintenance is to get by the threshold requirement that maintenance is necessary. Again, in Colorado maintenance is not required and not granted as often as one might think.