Can I Receive Alimony for Life in Colorado?

Full Question:

I live in Colorado a no fault divorce state. I am disabled mentally. I heard my husband say the other night he is going on a trip and will not tell me until the morning of the trip and if I don't like it I can divorce him. We own a home that is paid off and he makes about $90,000.00 a year. Will I be able to get alimony for the rest of my life? We have been married 28 years.
08/18/2009   |   Category: Divorce   |   State: Colorado   |   #18142

Answer:

It is possible, but will be a matter of subjective determination for the court based upon the factors listed in the statute below. The factors considered 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.

Please see the following CO statutes to determine applicability:

14-10-114. Maintenance.

(1) Legislative declaration. The general assembly hereby finds that the
economic lives of spouses are frequently closely intertwined in marriage
and that it is often impossible to later segregate the respective
decisions and contributions of the spouses. The general assembly further
finds that when a dissolution of marriage or legal separation action has
been filed and temporary orders are to be determined pursuant to section
14-10-108, it is generally appropriate to utilize the period of temporary
orders as a period of adjustment during which the marital arrangements of
the parties may be recognized through a temporary blending of the
parties' incomes. Accordingly, the general assembly declares that for
purposes of temporary orders, it is appropriate in most cases to apply a
presumptive formula to the determination of temporary maintenance.

(2)(a) In every proceeding for dissolution of marriage or legal
separation when temporary maintenance is requested by a party and when
the combined annual gross income of the two parties is seventy-five
thousand dollars or less, there shall be a rebuttable presumption in
favor of a specific award of temporary maintenance from the higher income
party to the lower income party based upon the formula set forth in
paragraph (b) of this subsection (2). In those cases in which the combined
annual gross income of the parties exceeds seventy-five thousand
dollars, the court may award a monthly amount of temporary maintenance
pursuant to the provisions of subsections (3) and (4) of this section.

(b) (I) (A) The monthly amount of temporary maintenance in cases in which
the parties' combined annual gross income is seventy-five thousand dollars
or less shall be equal to forty percent of the higher income party's
monthly adjusted gross income less fifty percent of the lower income
party's monthly adjusted gross income. If the remainder of such calculation
is the number zero or a negative number, the presumption shall be that
temporary maintenance shall not be awarded. If the remainder of such
calculation is more than zero, that amount shall be the amount of the
monthly temporary maintenance.

(B) In any action to establish or modify temporary maintenance pursuant to
this subsection (2), the formula set forth in sub-subparagraph (A) of this
subparagraph (I) shall be used as a rebuttable presumption for the
establishment or modification of the amount of temporary maintenance.
Courts shall deviate from the formula where its application would be
inequitable or unjust. Any such deviation shall be accompanied by written
or oral findings by the court specifying the reasons for the deviation and
the presumed amount under the formula without deviation.

(C) The parties may agree in writing to waive temporary maintenance under
this subsection (2) where one party is otherwise entitled to temporary
maintenance under the formula or the parties may agree in writing to
deviate from the presumptive amount of temporary maintenance. Any such
agreement to waive temporary maintenance or to deviate from the presumptive
amount shall include the reason or consideration for the waiver or
deviation. The court shall have jurisdiction to review such agreement and
to decline to approve such agreement if the court determines that the
agreement is unconscionable.

(II) At the time of the initial establishment of temporary maintenance
pursuant to this subsection (2), or in any proceeding to modify a temporary
maintenance order pursuant to this subsection (2), if a party is under an
obligation to pay maintenance or alimony pursuant to a prior valid court
order, an adjustment shall be made revising such party's income by the
amount of such maintenance or alimony actually paid prior to calculating
the amount of temporary maintenance.

(III) At the time of the initial establishment of temporary maintenance
pursuant to this subsection (2), or in any proceeding to modify a
temporary maintenance order pursuant to this subsection (2), if a party
is legally responsible for the support of other children who are not the
children of the parties and for whom the parties do not share joint legal
responsibility, an adjustment shall be made revising such party's income
by the amount of such child support paid prior to calculating the amount
of temporary maintenance.

(IV) (A) For purposes of this section, "income" shall have the same
meaning as that term is described in section 14-10-115(3).

(B) For purposes of calculating the formula set forth in this paragraph
(b), "monthly adjusted gross income" means gross income less preexisting
maintenance or alimony obligations actually paid by a party as described
in subparagraph (II) of this paragraph (b) and less the amount of child
support paid by a party, as described in subparagraph (III) of this
paragraph (b).

(c) The period of time covered by any temporary maintenance ordered
pursuant to this subsection (2), upon the request of a party, shall begin
at the time of the parties' physical separation or filing of the petition
or service upon the respondent, whichever occurs last, taking into
consideration payments made by either party during such period.

(d) Because spousal maintenance awards entered at temporary orders
pursuant to this subsection (2) are made under different standards and for
different reasons than spousal maintenance awards entered at permanent
orders, the temporary maintenance formula set forth in this subsection (2)
shall not be used for the determination of spousal maintenance orders to be
entered at permanent orders and any temporary maintenance order entered
pursuant to this subsection (2) shall not prejudice the rights of either
party at permanent orders.

(e) After determining the presumptive amount of temporary maintenance
pursuant to this subsection (2) and the amount of temporary child support
pursuant to section 14-10-115, the court shall consider the respective
financial resources of each party and determine the temporary payment of
marital debt and the temporary allocation of marital property.

(3) In a proceeding for dissolution of marriage or legal separation or a
proceeding for maintenance following dissolution of marriage by a court,
the court may grant a temporary maintenance order when the parties'
combined annual gross income is more than seventy-five thousand dollars or
a maintenance order at the time of permanent orders for either spouse only
if it finds that the spouse seeking maintenance:

(a) Lacks sufficient property, including marital property apportioned to
him or her, to provide for his or her reasonable needs; and

(b) Is unable to support himself or herself through appropriate employment
or is the custodian of a child whose condition or circumstances make it
appropriate that the custodian not be required to seek employment outside
the home.

(4) A temporary maintenance order in those circumstances in which the
parties' combined annual gross income is more than seventy-five thousand
dollars or a maintenance order entered at the time of permanent orders
shall be in such amounts and for such periods of time as the court deems
just, without regard to marital misconduct, and after considering all
relevant factors including:

(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.