You come to the world-shattering realization that it is time to file for divorce. Whether due to infidelity, malicious deceit, addiction or simply a profound inability to meet each other’s needs, it often feels like a choice that is no choice at all.
Yet, this painful decision is all the more difficult if you find yourself in a situation where you cannot afford to move out on your own. Perhaps you have been a stay-at-home mother for many years, or you earn significantly less money than your spouse. No matter the reason, lack of money is not a reason to stay in a dying relationship, especially if it is unsafe or unhealthy.
Spousal maintenance may be an option for you
According to Colorado law, if your combined gross household income does not exceed $360,000 and your marriage is at least three years in length, the court can award spousal maintenance for at least the duration of the divorce proceedings.
Depending on your health and financial needs, the outcome of the division of property and assets, your spouse’s ability to pay, and any child support determination, you may also qualify for permanent maintenance payments.
It’s important to understand that needing spousal maintenance does not reflect poorly on you. It is not a sign of your weakness or inability to care for yourself. Marriages sometimes require one individual to take more responsibility for managing the family and home. Doing unpaid labor like childcare and housework or working for less money because it supports your spouse’s career should not leave you stranded and helpless if the marriage dissolves.
Don’t let the fear of not being able to afford housing and necessities be what keeps you in a marriage that is not meant to last. Seek legal advice to come to court informed and prepared to ask for what you need and deserve.