Child Support and Spousal Maintenance
After a couple separates, there are two primary financial arrangements that help ensure children are cared for and in instances of a broken marriage, to ensure that neither spouse experiences financial devastation.
Child support is a legally mandated system of payment that requires both parents to contribute to the financial cost of raising minor children. Spousal maintenance is not mandatory in this state, but may be ordered at the discretion of the court after consideration of the income of the parties, length of the marriage, need for support from the higher wage earner and the ability of the higher wage earner to provide support to the other after consideration of the distribution of the marital assets and debts. Spousal maintenance is negotiated as part of an equitable divorce settlement.
The attorneys at Pollart Miller will help you determine a fair agreement that is appropriate for your lifestyle and supportive of your and your children’s financial needs.
What Is Child Support?
Child support is the term given to funds paid from one parent to another to cover the costs of raising a child. Although every family has different life circumstances, child support generally follows a very specific formula. As a result, a few factors influence the amount of child support, including:
- Gross income of both parents
- Time the child spends at the home of each parent
- Extraordinary expenses, like insurance, medical care or schooling
Modifying Child Support Orders
Parents have an obligation to pay support for their child regardless of whether or not they are married to each other. Therefore, although child support often arises in the context of divorce proceedings, it can also become an issue during an allocation of parental responsibilities action. At any stage of raising a child, many of the factors that go into determining the amount of support may change. Your income may drop, you may relocate for a job, or you may seek a modification of a parenting time agreement which changes the amount of time the child is with you.
Whenever you need to enforce, establish, change or terminate a child support order, our lawyers provide the best protection for your interests and those of your children. You do not need to navigate the details of the law alone.
Spousal Maintenance in Colorado
During a marriage, it is common for one spouse to earn more money than the other. In the event of a legal separation or divorce, the spouse who makes less money may face an uncertain financial future and request spousal maintenance, sometimes referred to as alimony or spousal support. The attorneys at Pollart Miller will help you determine an amount of spousal maintenance that is fair and appropriate for your lifestyle.
Colorado is a “no fault” state with regard to divorce or legal separation and that means there is no automatic right to spousal maintenance based upon who may be at “fault” for the divorce. Therefore, even if spouses leave the marriage with very different earning capacities or wealth statuses, no one is guaranteed spousal support. Spousal maintenance is just one possible aspect to consider in the overall divorce settlement. A couple’s marital agreement, if one exists, may address the issue of spousal maintenance and division of assets. If the couple did not sign a contract before or during the marriage, they will have to negotiate the issue and possibly litigate the issue before the court if an agreement cannot be reached.
Pollart Miller’s attorneys will take appropriate steps to fully analyze your circumstances and goals for the resolution of your divorce or legal separation to ensure your financial stability is protected.
Talk to a Divorce Lawyer
Call (720) 488-9586 or email Pollart Miller to schedule a consultation. An experienced lawyer will discuss the unique complexities of your divorce and devise a plan to represent your interests when it comes to spousal maintenance.