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Lady Themis
Lady Themis, Lawyer
Category: Family Law
Satisfied Customers: 7751
Experience:  Divorce, child custody, child support, etc.
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In Colorado, is there an average, typical, or range of "Spousal

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In Colorado, is there an average, typical, or range of "Spousal Maintenance" for divorce for a 20-year marriage? Neither party is disabled and both are able to work.
Thank you for your question.

In determining spousal support, it is often best to start with the governing statute. Here is a link to the text of that law (Colorado Statutes 14-10-114):

Generally, a long-term marriage such as this one usually warrants discussion of lifetime maintenance. Unfortunately as you have found there is no set standard or formula in determining duration or amount. The statute sets forth various factors for consideration, which are:

(a) The financial resources of the party seeking maintenance, including marital property apportioned to such party, and the party's ability to meet his or her needs independently, including the extent to which a provision for support of a child living with the party includes a sum for that party;

(b) The time necessary to acquire sufficient education or training to enable the party seeking maintenance to find appropriate employment and that party's future earning capacity;

(c) The standard of living established during the marriage;

(d) The duration of the marriage;

(e) The age and the physical and emotional condition of the spouse seeking maintenance; and

(f) The ability of the spouse from whom maintenance is sought to meet his or her needs while meeting those of the spouse seeking maintenance.

You said that both parties are able to work. That will be considered, but whether the parties worked during that marriage will also be considered. The closer the parties are in terms of income and assets, generally the less the maintenance order is in terms of both duration and amount.

Regarding amount, you can expect that the court will not enter an order which would result in the payor spouse having less income than the payee. For example, if the payor earns 80K per year and the payee earns 50k per year, a straight division would result in the payor paying 15k per year (80+50 / 2). That is about the max the court would award, and would work down depending on those factors mentioned above.

I hope this helps.

I hope this answers your question. Please let me know if you have any follow-up questions, which I am happy to answer. Once you are satisfied, please kindly rate my service, as that is how I am compensated by the website. Thank you.

Customer: replied 3 years ago.

Thank you, XXXXX XXXXX read most of that already on-line. I also read the statute previously. I am trying to find out if there was a "typical" range for spousal maintenance that would apply to this case. Yes, we both have worked and I do earn over $80k/year.

For experienced divorce lawyers in CO (specifically in El Paso County, where I reside) there a typical range (number of years for spousal maintenance)? Is there a typical general formula? You mention $15k/yr is about the maximum the court would that for any situation?

The $15k I mentioned was based on the income levels I mentioned in the example. That is a general starting point, to take both parties' incomes, add them together, divide by 2, and assign any of the higher income to the lesser. That is about the maximum maintenance that could be awarded, and the parties generally negotiate down from there. It is a good standard for determining your potential exposure. Beyond that, maintenance is truly determined on a case by case basis, and depends on many various factors.

It is not likely that there is an attorney online who practices specifically in that county, as this site is intended for general legal information only. However, I can opt out for another attorney to take a look if you'd like.
Customer: replied 3 years ago.

Well, if you think another attorney could answer the questions I have regarding what may be "typical" ranges (duration and money) for Colorado (I don't know if it varies between Counties within the state or not), that would be very helpful.

If you think there is no answer to my questions and I just need to go to a local attorney and pay them to answer the questions (assuming they could...not sure), then let me know.

Other than what I have described, there simply is no typical maintenance range. It is always based on the detailed circumstances of the parties. Only an attorney that you sit down with in person to discuss your situation with in detail could tell you what the appropriate maintenance award in your case would be. I can tell you with some certainty that in long-term marriages such as yours, permanent maintenance is sometimes awarded. Again, the duration will depend on the above factors, such as your ability to meet your needs, and your spouse's ability to meet her own needs.

Lady Themis and 6 other Family Law Specialists are ready to help you
Customer: replied 3 years ago.

Alright then, I will try and seek some information locally. I appreciate your trying to answer my questions.

All the best to you.

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