In Colorado, alimony is referred to as “spousal maintenance” — but what is spousal maintenance and how does it affect a divorcing couple? Spousal maintenance is a financial payment that one spouse makes to another spouse in the wake of a divorce to balance out the financial picture between the two ex-spouses. This doesn’t mean things will be perfectly even, it is just a means to give some financial help to one of the spouses that is in need in the eyes of a judge.

So what factors does the judge consider to make his or her determination? There are too many to list. But in general, the health of the spouses; the emotional condition of the spouses; the age of the spouses and the length of their marriage; and the financial earnings and potential of the spouses all play roles in the judge’s decision. The length of time that a spouse has to pay spousal maintenance also varies from case to case.

Another thing to remember about spousal maintenance or alimony is that this concept is changing with the times. More specifically, here in Colorado a new law was passed last year that introduced some new rules for spousal maintenance.

They apply to couples who have been married for at least three years and no longer than 20 years. The couple also has to make less than $240,000 in combined income in order to qualify for the new spousal maintenance rules. Under these new rules, it is critical for a divorcing spouse to have legal help so that they can address all the complexities of the spousal maintenance issue.

Source: FindLaw, “Spousal Support (Alimony) Basics,” Accessed March 24, 2015