A Singular Focus On Family Law Matters

How Does Remarriage Affect Spousal Maintenance in Colorado?

January 18, 2024 | Spousal Support

Spousal maintenance in Colorado is court-ordered financial support paid by one spouse to another. Spousal maintenance may be ordered during a divorce action or upon the legal pronouncement of a divorce.

To receive spousal maintenance in Boulder, the spouse desiring support must ask the court for a spousal maintenance order. The court will then determine if spousal maintenance is necessary and appropriate based on case circumstances.

How is Spousal Support Paid in Colorado?

Should the court decide a spousal maintenance award is proper, the court will set the support amount, frequency, and duration of payments. Spousal maintenance may be paid by one of the following methods:

  • A lump-sum payment;
  • Property exchange; or
  • Monthly or biweekly payments.

Typically, when an ex-spouse provides a one-time payment, there are no ongoing payment commitments afterward.

This settles the matter definitively, which is why it’s often the favored choice in divorce settlements.

How Does Remarriage Affect Spousal Maintenance in Colorado?

If spousal maintenance was paid by lump-sum or property exchange, the remarriage of a recipient spouse does not affect spousal maintenance in Colorado. The payor spouse will not be reimbursed for ordered payments that they made.

However, regularly scheduled spousal maintenance payments are affected by remarriage in Colorado. The receiving spouse’s maintenance is terminated as of the date of their remarriage.

Payor spouses who make direct payments to their ex-spouse may stop any spousal maintenance payments as of the date of their ex-spouse’s remarriage. However, a payor spouse whose wages are garnished on a regular bases might potentially need a court order to end the garnishment. Some employers might also want to see proof of the remarriage and this could require a formal court order for a payment to stop.

There are two others instances where a spousal maintenance order will stop that does not deal with remarriage. This can include a court order being formally ended or if the ex-spouse passes away.

For a court order to be formally ended for spousal maintenance in Boulder, typically an ex-spouse would have to attain a high paying job that would then cover all of their expenses or the payor spouse’s financial situation took a deep negative turn.

When Does Remarriage NOT Affect Spousal Maintenance in Colorado?

Remarriage does not affect spousal maintenance in Colorado when there is a prior agreement between the spouses stating spousal maintenance cannot be modified or terminated upon remarriage.

If a payor spouse does not know their ex-spouse remarries but finds out later, the payor may file a motion for reimbursement of spousal maintenance paid after the date of marriage.

Does Cohabitation Affect Spousal Maintenance in Colorado?

Colorado recognizes cohabitation as a reason to terminate spousal maintenance. Cohabitation in Colorado is when two people start living together in a “marriage-like” relationship when the expenses are shared and they present themself to the public as a couple.

However, in this situation, the payor spouse must file a motion to terminate spousal maintenance with the court to end their payments.

The payor spouse must then prove that their ex-spouse no longer has a financial need for spousal maintenance due to cohabitation, which could be difficult.

Does Common Law Remarriage Affect Spousal Maintenance in Colorado?

According to the Colorado Stat. §14-2-109.5, common law marriage is legal in Colorado and treated the same as a traditional marriage. Therefore, spousal maintenance ends upon common law marriage.

Contact an Experienced Boulder Spousal Maintenance Attorney Today

If you have concerns about spousal maintenance and remarriage, contact the experienced Boulder family law attorneys at Stahly Mehrtens Miner LLC to help.

Stahly LLC is now Stahly Mehrtens Miner LLC, with three offices in Boulder, Denver and Steamboat Springs. Learn More