There is now a formula upon which a Court is highly likely to base a maintenance award. Maintenance also may be called alimony, and is a payment by one former spouse to the other former spouse for the support of the spouse receiving the money.
Child support, in contrast, is for the support of children who are less than 19 years of age or, in some cases, children older than 19 years who are disabled. Maintenance is taxed to the former spouse receiving the money. Child support is taxed to the party paying the child support.
Although the payments pursuant to Colorado Revised Statutes § 14-10-114 are not required, in most cases the Court will award the amount of the calculation pursuant to this statute. If the Court does not award the amount in the formula pursuant to this statute, the Court must make findings to support the amount it has awarded.
The formula under Colorado Revised Statutes § 14-10-114 applies to families with a combined annual gross income of $240,000 or less. The formula is 40 percent of the higher wage earner’s yearly income minus 50 percent of the lower earner’s annual income. In regard to duration, there is no guideline for marriages of less than three years, although the court has the discretion to make a maintenance award for marriages of less than three years. At three years of marriage, the guideline duration is 31 percent of the length of the marriage. When the parties have been married for eight years, the duration is 40 percent of the length of the marriage, or 3.2 years.
The maintenance formula was adopted about two years ago. In cases in which there is more annual gross income than $240,000, the amount of a maintenance award, and the length of the award, are discretionary with the Court.