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Colorado alimony basics

In recent weeks we've talked about some basic tenets of Colorado divorce, including the state's no fault law and the residency requirements required to dissolve your marriage in the state of Colorado. We mentioned that under no fault divorce, a person can not really fight the divorce - only one spouse needs to avow that the marriage is irreparable.

One can, however, fight the terms of the divorce. If your marriage is ending it is important to do everything you can to make sure you are in the best possible position to move forward with your life and make sure any children are taken care of, both physically and financially. One term of divorce that is often hotly contested is alimony, or spousal maintenance as it is called under Colorado law.

In a dissolution of marriage, the judge assigned to your case will determine if either spouse must pay maintenance to the other. Typically, maintenance payments are only ordered for a certain amount of time to allow the spouse receiving payments a chance to get a job and be self-supporting.

Whether maintenance is awarded depends on many factors and is different in all situations. If you are not working because you made a commitment to raise your children at home while your spouse brings in income, you may be awarded maintenance for long enough to secure the necessary job skills and become employed. If you don't have a good reason for not working in the eyes of court, however, you may not receive maintenance.

In order to make sure your financial interests are protected during a divorce it is usually a good idea to work with an experienced family law attorney.

Source: Colorado Legal Services, "Frequently Asked Questions about Divorce/Dissolution of Marriage"

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