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What type of spousal maintenance could you pay?

On Behalf of | Jun 17, 2021 | Divorce

During a divorce in Colorado, it is possible that the court will award spousal maintenance, or alimony, to one party in the divorcing couple. Spousal maintenance can often become a point of contention between the divorcing parties because it is typically unappealing to continue paying money to someone you no longer have a relationship with. Still, it is important to understand that paying or receiving maintenance could be a possibility in your case. 

Does having to pay alimony mean that you will be stuck losing part of your income for the rest of your or your ex-spouse’s life? Fortunately, the answer is not necessarily. The court could award one of multiple types of maintenance, and some of those are temporary obligations. 

What types of maintenance exist? 

If you earned more than your spouse during the course of your marriage, you may have valid concern that you will have to pay maintenance to your ex. If so, one of the following types could apply: 

  • Temporary maintenance: This type of alimony lasts, as the name suggests, temporarily. Often, the court requires payment until the lower-earning spouse can gain a steady income and recover financially from the divorce. 
  • Rehabilitative maintenance: This type of alimony also lasts temporarily, and the funds typically go toward helping the receiving spouse take steps toward getting back into the workforce. This could mean using the funds for college courses, work-related training, certification programs or other avenues. 
  • Permanent maintenance: This type of support may be your most dreaded as it could continue for the rest of your life or until your ex-spouse remarries. However, it is important to note that remarriage does not always guarantee an end to maintenance. 

The type of maintenance awarded in your case, if any, will depend on various factors relating to your marriage. These can include the length of time you remained married, your health and that of your spouse, your financial circumstances and your spouse’s, and more.  

What can you do? 

You could work to negotiate for a maintenance outcome that you at least feel somewhat comfortable with. Though the judge will likely make the final decision, your arguments could play a role in the decision made. As a result, it is worth knowing your legal rights and options and how you may be able to reach a favorable outcome to your divorce case in all areas.