Spousal maintenance, also referred to as alimony or spousal support, is often included as part of a divorce settlement. It is important to remember that maintenance is not automatically awarded. Rather, if a party plans to seek maintenance they must make their request in the initial divorce petition. Failing to include this request in the initial petition will waive one’s right to maintenance. A person can also permanently lose their right to maintenance by voluntarily signing an agreement that waives their right.
Unlike child support, there isn’t a set formula for calculating how much maintenance payments should be. Instead, judges take into account several factors, including, but not limited to:
- The length of the marriage
- Each spouse’s current income level
- Each spouse’s ability to earn an income
- The amount of time it would take the spouse seeking maintenance to go through school or training in order to get a self-supporting job
- Whether one spouse stayed home from work to take care of children
- Whether one spouse paid for the other’s school, training, or tuition
- Whether the spouse asked to pay maintenance would be able to meet both his/her financial needs and the needs of the spouse seeking maintenance
- How marital property was divided
- Each spouse’s age and physical and mental health
After taking these factors into consideration, if the judge feels the party seeking maintenance is indeed deserving of maintenance, he or she can order one of the following maintenance arraignments to be paid:
- Temporary Maintenance
- Rehabilitative Maintenance
- Permanent Maintenance
Spousal maintenance can be a complex topic. If you have any questions about your rights regarding maintenance, please feel free to contact Denver Family Lawyers today to arrange a consultation with an experienced Denver divorce attorney!