A wife has the same rights as her husband to seek her fair share in divorce matters, such as property division and alimony (spousal maintenance). Each of these issues is determined separately during divorce, with its own guidelines and factors to consider. Let’s take a look at what a wife may be entitled to in a Colorado divorce. For legal advice specific to your situation, please consult a reliable divorce attorney.
What is a Colorado Wife Entitled to in a Property Division?
In Colorado, this depends on how much “separate property” the wife has, and what her fair share is from the couple’s “marital property.”
Divorcing spouses must first distinguish their separate property from their marital property. Separate property are assets that either spouse acquired before the marriage or received as gifts or inheritance. These remain the sole property of the owner and cannot be distributed during divorce, however the growth of value or equity in such separate property may be divisible during a divorce. Meanwhile, marital property are assets that either or both spouses acquired while married. Title alone is not indicative of an item being determined to be one’s separate property– marital property will be divided upon divorce.
Colorado follows the “equitable distribution” rule, which means the court doesn’t automatically split the marital property 50-50, but instead aims to award each spouse their fair share. To determine this, the court will take into account factors such as:
- Each spouse’s contribution to the marriage
- Each spouse’s contribution to acquiring the marital property
- Each spouse’s economic circumstances
- Any separate property that increased or decreased in value during the marriage.
Wives and husbands are on the same footing when protecting their separate property and fighting for their equitable share of marital property. However, this issue is often complicated and contentious. To effectively protect your rights during property division, you’ll need assistance from financial professionals and an experienced divorce lawyer. It is important to note that property is divided without regard to fault in the State of Colorado.
How Much Alimony is a Colorado Wife Entitled To?
Contrary to popular belief, a wife doesn’t automatically get alimony (spousal maintenance) in Colorado. During divorce, the Court analyzes the maintenance statute after property has been divided.
Some of the factors that the Court determines are:
(A) The amount of each party’s gross income;
(B) The marital property apportioned to each party;
(C) The financial resources of each party, including but not limited to the actual or potential income from separate or marital property;
(D) Reasonable financial need as established during the marriage; and
(E) Whether maintenance awarded pursuant to this section would be deductible for federal income tax purposes by the payor and taxable income to the recipient.
(II) After making the initial findings described in subparagraph (I) of this paragraph (a), the court shall determine the amount and term of the maintenance award, if any, that is fair and equitable to both parties after considering:
(A) The guideline amount and term of maintenance set forth in paragraph (b) of this subsection (3), if applicable, based upon the duration of the marriage and the combined gross incomes of the parties;
(B) The factors relating to the amount and term of maintenance set forth in paragraph (c) of this subsection (3); and
(C) Whether the party seeking maintenance has met the requirement for a maintenance award pursuant to paragraph (d) of this subsection (3).
The ideal way to resolve these questions is for the spouses themselves to come to an agreement on alimony. If a mutual decision isn’t possible, it will be up to the judge to make the alimony determination. Note that this spouse can either be the wife or husband.
While divorce is pending, one spouse may be in need of financial assistance, and the court may grant temporary alimony.
As for how long the spouse will receive alimony, this will primarily depend on how long the marriage lasted. The duration of maintenance is listed within the statute as a guideline. It is important to remember that the Colorado maintenance statute is a guideline and that the Court can award amounts of alimony above or below the guideline, just as it can award maintenance to last for a certain period of time above or below the guideline as well. In some cases, Colorado courts also award permanent alimony (lifetime maintenance), which is statutorily provided for.
Whether you’re a wife in need of spousal support, or trying to protect your hard-earned money, you’ll want a competent lawyer on your side to assert your rights during alimony determination.
Call an Experienced Divorce Attorney in Colorado
The divorce lawyers at Goldman Law have over 25 years of combined experience in challenging divorce cases. We have earned the trust of Colorado spouses after obtaining favorable settlements for them in terms of property division and alimony.
Talk to us about your divorce situation. Call Goldman Law today at (303) 656-9529.