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How do you modify spousal support in Colorado?

It's not uncommon for spousal support rulings in Colorado to have predefined end dates. For instance, the spousal support may end when the recipient remarries or enters into a cohabitation relationship with another person. A spousal support order may also end after a certain period, such as five years. Sometimes, though, one party may find it necessary to modify the support order before that termination date.

The modification may be necessary because the payer spouse has had financial troubles and is unable to continue payments. It could also be necessary because both spouses have determined that the spousal support is either excessive or insufficient and have reached an agreed to make a modification. In some cases, a court may order a modification because one spouse violated some terms of the agreement.

Whatever the cause of the modification, Colorado has a process in place for reviewing modification requests. The first step is to file a Motion or Stipulation to Modify or Terminate Maintenance request with the court. With this application, the applicant must submit any documentation that supports their request for modification or termination. That could include financial statements or even evidence of cohabitation on the part of the ex-spouse. This request must be notarized and also must be accompanied by a filing fee of $105. The applicant must also present a copy of the filed request to the ex-spouse so that they may have the opportunity to argue their case.

The court will then review the request and any supporting documentation within 49 days. The court could then either approve the request, approve it in some modified form or deny it. The court could also schedule a hearing to review the matter further. In that case, both spouse's and their representation would be present to make their cases for or against modification.

Source: Colorado Judicial Branch, "Maintenance & Alimony Forms", October 17, 2014

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