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The Facts about Colorado Spousal Support

Saturday, 22 January 2011

blog-logoIn the past, it was common for a woman to collect alimony from her estranged husband as part of a divorce settlement, but as women have started working outside of the home, the terminology has changed a bit.  While alimony still exists in some cases, it is more common for it to be called spousal support, spousal maintenance or temporary rehabilitative maintenance.  As a spousal support attorney in Colorado, I see many clients who are confused about this issue, so I’ve put together some of the basic facts about how and when this type of support is awarded.

Why does spousal support exist? 

Throughout the United States, spousal support laws are in place to prevent a divorced spouse from suffering a sharp decrease in his or her standard of living when they no longer can rely on their spouse’s income.  When one spouse has been out of the workforce for a significant period of time, the other spouse would pay spousal support until which time their ex-spouse could attain a job or position that would make them self-sufficient. 

Is spousal support included in every divorce settlement?

No, only about 15 percent of all divorces involve any spousal support in the final decree.  However, there are certain calculations used to determine whether a spouse is eligible to receive spousal support, and sometimes it is ordered on a temporary basis.  A spousal support attorney can help you figure out if your situation warrants long or short term support. 

Is spousal support paid only to the wife?

While it is still more common for women to stay home to raise children and maintain the household, and the man to be the sole wage earner, this is not true in every case.  Many two career couples decide to let the husband stay home if the wife’s job pays more money, and this scenario would result in the wife paying spousal support to the husband. 

To learn more about whether spousal support is something you are eligible to receive, call for a free consultation with a Colorado spousal support attorney at the Marrison Family Law LLC.

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