Spousal Support or Maintenance in Colorado: How it Works

  • Colorado Law
November 29, 2023

Spousal support, also known as maintenance in Colorado, is court-ordered payments from the higher-earning spouse to the lower-earning spouse. Understanding spousal support or maintenance in Colorado can be tricky because the process is not straightforward, there are many variables and factors to consider. Here is a brief overview of how it works.

Modified Maintenance

If the parties to a divorce or legal separation decide to waive maintenance, you will be waiving maintenance forever. In other words, if you choose to waive maintenance, you cannot decide later to ask the Court for maintenance.

Likewise, suppose the parties explicitly agree that maintenance is warranted but it is non-modifiable as part of a separation agreement. In that case, you will not be able to ask the Court for modified maintenance payments in the future.

On the other hand, if the parties agree to maintenance or the Court orders maintenance payments, either spouse can ask the Court to modify or terminate maintenance.

Under Colorado law, a party may modify maintenance if the party seeking a modification can prove a substantial and continuing change of circumstances such that the current terms are unfair.

Substantial and Continuing Change of Circumstances

Examples of a substantial and continuing change of circumstances that would warrant a modification in maintenance are a sudden increase or decrease in either partys’ income, job loss, or a sudden loss of assets or property.

Under Colorado law, the payor may terminate maintenance if the payee remarries, under certain circumstances, if the payee moves in with a new romantic partner, or if either one of the parties dies.

Suppose the payee cohabitates with a new romantic partner. In that case, the payor must be able to show the Court that the payee’s financial status has significantly improved because of the cohabitation, or the payor must be able to show that the payee and the new romantic partner have entered into a common law marriage.

Talk to an Experienced Attorney

Modifying maintenance can be confusing, emotionally exhausting, and stressful. Helping you understand what steps are required and how to move forward is one of the services our attorneys provide.

For more information, contact an experienced family law attorney at Jorgensen, Brownell & Pepin, P.C. today.

Get The Help You Need

Get JBP Legal’s experience on your side. Contact us for questions or a consultation.