In some Colorado divorce cases, the divorce judgment may include a court order that requires one party to pay alimony or spousal support. Spousal support can be short-term or long-term and is intended to cushion the spouse who did not work during the marriage or had a low income from the financial impact of the divorce.
But spousal support is not cast in stone. Regardless of what happened at the divorce court, spousal support payments, like other court rulings, are not meant to last forever. Colorado spousal support laws allow for a modification of an existing alimony order under the following set of circumstances:
A change in either party’s financial circumstances
The court is usually open to the idea of modifying an existing spousal support order if either party’s financial circumstances change. For instance, if the benefiting party acquires a separate estate (like a significant inheritance, a job opening or a lottery) that is able to afford them a decent living, then spousal support may be terminated.
The paying party’s retirement of income can also justify alimony modification. However, keep in mind that you cannot quit your job to avoid paying spousal support. If the court establishes that this was your motivation for quitting your job, then your petition for modification might be refused.
When the benefiting party remarries or cohabits with a romantic partner
Unless you have it in writing, your financial support to your obligation to your ex automatically ends when they remarry or move in with a romantic partner. You can petition the court to end the existing spousal support if you can prove remarriage or cohabitation.
Spousal support can be a controversial subject during the divorce. Learning more about Colorado spousal support laws can help you protect your interests when modifying an existing spousal support order.