Calculating Maintenance

The new spousal maintenance law, known as House Bill 13-1058 came into effect on January 1st of last year. Several groups hailed it as a groundbreaking legislation for deciding alimony in the State of Colorado. But, given that it’s a law grounded in math and dependent on different real life scenarios, most people find it difficult to understand.

Guiding Guidelines

Fortunately, we’re here to explain the intricacies of this new calculator to the best of our ability, so you can assess your financial standing before initiating any divorce, annulment, or legal separation procedure. The biggest selling point of this law is that it reduces the amount of time parties will consume in haggling over settlements.

Just to be clear, the courts aren’t bound to follow the formula as it’s mostly concerned with the amount of payment and the length with which it should be paid. The best way to describe the formula is that it’s a guideline that is neither mandatory nor a presumption. Courts can deviate from using the formula when the situation calls for it, but they will have to provide specific findings to support their actions.

How Much Do You Make?

The new law applies to all families with a combined gross income of $240,000 or less. The guideline states that the maintenance will take 40% of the higher wage earner’s pay and deduct 50% of the lower wage earner’s pay from it. For example, Spouse A earns $5,000, while Spouse B earns $3,000 every month. Forty percent of Spouse A’s wage is $2000, while 50% of Spouse B’s earnings is $1500.

Following the formula, the monthly maintenance should amount to $500. That’s the basics of the amount; the calculations get a bit more complex when it comes to the length of the payment. The law uses the duration of the marriage as the benchmark and basis of the calculations. There aren’t any guidelines for marriages that last less than three years.

The Longer it Lasts

Marriages that last more than three years but less than five should have maintenance equal to 31% the duration of the marriage. The period extends to 35% of the duration of the marriage for unions that last more than five years, but less than eight. Marriages that last more than 12 ½ years should have maintenance equal to 50% of the duration of the marriage.

That’s a lot of math to consider, but it makes the entire process simpler. If you need assistance in calculating your own spousal maintenance, contact us today. We’ll work closely with you to reach a solution that can work for your best interests.

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