In any divorce, one of the biggest concerns for both parties is often spousal support. How much will I have to pay? How much can I receive? These are questions that often plague those getting divorced, as financial uncertainty about one's future can cause significant personal turmoil and agony. Sometimes the fear of being left unsupported financially even causes people to stay in unhappy or unhealthy marriages.
If you know that your marriage is coming to an end and you will likely be the one ordered to pay spousal support, you may be wondering, "how can I avoid paying it?" Unfortunately, in the state of Colorado, there is no easy answer. The court will evaluate several factors when deciding how much income one spouse will have to pay the other, how long they will have to make payments, and whether spousal support should be paid at all. Every scenario is unique, and the best strategies and tips to avoid paying spousal support will vary on a case-by-case basis and will also depend on which phase of the process you're currently in.
To understand how to avoid paying spousal support, it is essential to first understand what it is. Spousal support, also called alimony or spousal maintenance in Colorado, is a payment from one spouse to the other to help them maintain their standard of living after a divorce. It is often ordered when one spouse earns significantly more than the other or when one spouse has been out of the workforce for a significant amount of time in order to care for the couple's home and children.
The purpose of spousal support is twofold: to help the lower-earning or unemployed spouse maintain their current lifestyle and to help them become self-sufficient over time. The goal is that, eventually, the lower-earning spouse will no longer need spousal support and will be able to support themselves or have found some situation that meets their needs without the need for further alimony payments.
There are two types of spousal support in Colorado: temporary and permanent. The court can order temporary spousal support while the divorce is still pending, and it is meant to help the lower-earning spouse maintain their current standard of living while the divorce is being finalized. Once the divorce is final, the court may order further temporary support for a specified duration or permanent spousal support
Permanent spousal support is just what it sounds like. It is a payment that is made from one spouse to the other permanently, usually, until the lower-earning spouse dies, remarries, or meets other terminating conditions specified by the court. It is typically ordered when one spouse is unable to support themselves financially after a divorce.
In Colorado, the court will consider several factors when deciding the duration and amount of spousal support payments. Some of these factors include:
A variety of other circumstances may also influence if you will have to pay spousal support and how much you will have to pay.
There is no surefire way to avoid paying spousal support. However, some of the following strategies and tips may help you to either avoid a court order for child support or minimize the amount you have to pay:
Q: Is spousal support mandatory in Colorado?
A: No, spousal support is not mandatory in Colorado. If both spouses can support themselves after the divorce, the court is unlikely to order spousal support.
Q: How can I avoid paying spousal support?
A: Negotiating an agreement with your spouse before going to court, securing a prenuptial agreement prior to the marriage, proving your ex-spouse is living with someone else, or otherwise proving that their financial situation has changed and so no longer needs support from you are some strategies that may help you avoid paying spousal support.
Q: Who qualifies for spousal support in Colorado?
A: An ex-spouse who does not earn an income or has a lower earning capacity than the other spouse typically qualifies for spousal support. The court will also take into account the standard of living established during the marriage and each spouse's age and health.
Q: Can a spouse waive spousal support?
A: Yes, a spouse can waive spousal support in Colorado. This is typically done through a prenuptial agreement or divorce settlement agreement.
If you are facing a divorce and are wondering what steps you need to take to protect your assets, please contact Johnson Law Group today. We are experienced in family law and can help you through every step of the process. We understand that divorce is a difficult process, and we will do everything we can to make it as smooth and stress-free as possible. We look forward to hearing from you soon.