How can I avoid alimony?

The divorce process takes a toll on your emotions. The pocketbook may make a huge hit as well and not just during the divorce. Paying out for child and spousal support may place a strain on the budget.

The state of Colorado provides for maintenance to level the playing field between spouses. One spouse may have brought in more money to the household than the other. Can you get out of paying maintenance? Can you terminate it once you start paying it?

Colorado does not guarantee spousal maintenance. But, C.R.S. 14-10-114 states that rewarding it is possible if a spouse needs support, and the other spouse can pay it. Not paying alimony completely may be difficult, but there may be ways to end the maintenance once you start paying.

  1. Challenging a prenuptial agreement

One way to get out of paying support may be through challenging a prenuptial or postnuptial agreement. The prenup might not be valid if one spouse did not receive the proper financial disclosures before signing the agreement.

  1. Ending spousal maintenance you are already paying

The court order sets forth the timing of the maintenance. In other words, the agreement may require you to pay temporary alimony, rehabilitative or permanent alimony. You cannot get out of paying permanent alimony unless your ex-spouse dies or remarries, or unless you die.

  1. Reducing the amount

Colorado uses a method of calculation to award spousal maintenance. The court figures the amount and determines if it is fair and equitable to both spouses based on the circumstances.

In some cases, if you cannot pay the amount required, you may be able to ask for modification. The court may find your situation changed substantially or materially and may lower or terminate your payments.

  1. Failing to pay maintenance at all

Failing to pay is not a good option. If you fall behind, your best bet is to pay any outstanding amount and then continue to pay the correct amount on time. Deciding to not pay court-ordered spousal maintenance is not in your best interest, as the court can charge you with contempt of court.