Calculating Colorado Maintenance (Alimony)

Learn how to make Colorado maintenance (alimony) calculations using the Colorado Maintenance Calculator.

Go calculate

Introduction to the Colorado Maintenance Guidelines

The Colorado Maintenance (Alimony) Calculator makes Colorado guideline maintenance calculations with one click of the mouse. However, because the Colorado Maintenance Calculator allows you to select from two different versions of the Colorado maintenance guidelines, you must first understand the different versions before you can effectively use the Colorado Maintenance Calculator.

Version 1: Effective January 1, 2014, through August 7, 2018

On May 10, 2013, the State of Colorado approved House Bill 13-1058. This law became effective January 1, 2014, and provides formulas to calculate both maintenance amounts and durations. This law is commonly referred to as the "Colorado maintenance guidelines." Under the 2014 law, a court is required to make findings concerning the guideline amount and duration of maintenance if the length of the spouses' marriage is at least 3 years and the spouses' combined, annual adjusted gross income does not exceed $360,000.

2014 Amount Formula

Under the 2014 Colorado maintenance guidelines, the amount of maintenance is equal to 40% of the higher income spouse's monthly adjusted gross income minus 50% of the lower income spouse's monthly adjusted gross income; except that, when added to the gross income of the recipient, shall not result in the recipient receiving in excess of 40% of the spouses' combined monthly adjusted gross income.

2014 Adjusted Gross Income

Under the 2014 Colorado maintenance guidelines, "adjusted gross income" is defined as gross income minus (1) preexisting court-ordered child support obligations actually paid by a spouse, (2) preexisting court-ordered alimony or maintenance obligations actually paid by a spouse, and (3) the adjustment to a spouse's income as determined pursuant to Section 115(6)(b)(I) of the Uniform Dissolution of Marriage Act, for any children who are not children of the marriage for whom the spouse has a legal responsibility to support.

2014 Duration Formula

Under the 2014 Colorado maintenance guidelines, the duration of maintenance, for marriages of at least 3 years in length but not more than 20 years in length, is set forth in the table contained below.

Length of the Marriage Guideline Maintenance Duration
36 months 11 months
37 months 12 months
38 months 12 months
39 months 12 months
40 months 13 months
41 months 13 months
42 months 13 months
43 months 14 months
44 months 14 months
45 months 15 months
46 months 15 months
47 months 15 months
48 months 16 months
49 months 16 months
50 months 17 months
51 months 17 months
52 months 18 months
53 months 18 months
54 months 18 months
55 months 19 months
56 months 19 months
57 months 20 months
58 months 20 months
59 months 21 months
60 months 21 months
61 months 21 months
62 months 22 months
63 months 22 months
64 months 23 months
65 months 23 months
66 months 24 months
67 months 24 months
68 months 25 months
69 months 25 months
70 months 26 months
71 months 26 months
72 months 27 months
73 months 27 months
74 months 28 months
75 months 28 months
76 months 29 months
77 months 29 months
78 months 30 months
79 months 30 months
80 months 31 months
81 months 31 months
82 months 32 months
83 months 32 months
84 months 33 months
85 months 33 months
86 months 34 months
87 months 34 months
88 months 35 months
89 months 35 months
90 months 36 months
91 months 37 months
92 months 37 months
93 months 38 months
94 months 38 months
95 months 39 months
96 months 39 months
97 months 40 months
98 months 41 months
99 months 41 months
100 months 42 months
101 months 42 months
102 months 43 months
103 months 43 months
104 months 44 months
105 months 45 months
106 months 45 months
107 months 46 months
108 months 46 months
109 months 47 months
110 months 48 months
111 months 48 months
112 months 49 months
113 months 50 months
114 months 50 months
115 months 51 months
116 months 51 months
117 months 52 months
118 months 53 months
119 months 53 months
120 months 54 months
121 months 55 months
122 months 55 months
123 months 56 months
124 months 57 months
125 months 57 months
126 months 58 months
127 months 59 months
128 months 59 months
129 months 60 months
130 months 61 months
131 months 61 months
132 months 62 months
133 months 63 months
134 months 63 months
135 months 64 months
136 months 65 months
137 months 66 months
138 months 66 months
139 months 67 months
140 months 68 months
141 months 68 months
142 months 69 months
143 months 70 months
144 months 71 months
145 months 71 months
146 months 72 months
147 months 73 months
148 months 74 months
149 months 74 months
150 months 75 months
151 months 76 months
152 months 76 months
153 months 77 months
154 months 77 months
155 months 78 months
156 months 78 months
157 months 79 months
158 months 79 months
159 months 80 months
160 months 80 months
161 months 81 months
162 months 81 months
163 months 82 months
164 months 82 months
165 months 83 months
166 months 83 months
167 months 84 months
168 months 84 months
169 months 85 months
170 months 85 months
171 months 86 months
172 months 86 months
173 months 87 months
174 months 87 months
175 months 88 months
176 months 88 months
177 months 89 months
178 months 89 months
179 months 90 months
180 months 90 months
181 months 91 months
182 months 91 months
183 months 92 months
184 months 92 months
185 months 93 months
186 months 93 months
187 months 94 months
188 months 94 months
189 months 95 months
190 months 95 months
191 months 96 months
192 months 96 months
193 months 97 months
194 months 97 months
195 months 98 months
196 months 98 months
197 months 99 months
198 months 99 months
199 months 100 months
200 months 100 months
201 months 101 months
202 months 101 months
203 months 102 months
204 months 102 months
205 months 103 months
206 months 103 months
207 months 104 months
208 months 104 months
209 months 105 months
210 months 105 months
211 months 106 months
212 months 106 months
213 months 107 months
214 months 107 months
215 months 108 months
216 months 108 months
217 months 109 months
218 months 109 months
219 months 110 months
220 months 110 months
221 months 111 months
222 months 111 months
223 months 112 months
224 months 112 months
225 months 113 months
226 months 113 months
227 months 114 months
228 months 114 months
229 months 115 months
230 months 115 months
231 months 116 months
232 months 116 months
233 months 117 months
234 months 117 months
235 months 118 months
236 months 118 months
237 months 119 months
238 months 119 months
239 months 120 months
240 months 120 months

The 2014 Colorado maintenance guidelines provide that when the marriage length exceeds 20 years, a court may award maintenance for a specified duration of years or for an indefinite duration, but a court shall not specify a maintenance duration that is less than 10 years without making specific findings that support a reduced duration of maintenance. The 2014 Colorado maintenance guidelines do not specify maintenance durations for marriages of less than 3 years in length.

Version 2: Effective August 8, 2018, through Present

On May 24, 2018, the State of Colorado approved House Bill 18-1385. This law became effective August 8, 2018, decreases the adjusted gross income upper limit, and accounts for the repeal of the deduction for alimony payments under the Tax Cuts and Jobs Act. Under the 2018 law, a court is required to make findings concerning the guideline amount and duration of maintenance if the spouses' combined, annual adjusted gross income does not exceed $240,000. The 2018 law did not change the formula for calculating Colorado guideline maintenance durations.

2018 Amount Formula

Under the 2018 Colorado maintenance guidelines, calculating the maintenance amount is a two-step process. First, calculate the base amount of maintenance. The base amount is equal to 40% of the spouses' combined, monthly adjusted gross income minus the lower income spouse's monthly adjusted gross income. If the calculation results in a negative number, the base amount is zero.

Second, normalize the base amount of maintenance between the different income tax treatments. If the maintenance award is deductible for federal income tax purposes by the maintenance payor and taxable income to the maintenance recipient, then the actual maintenance amount is equal to the full base amount. Otherwise, if the maintenance award is not deductible for federal income tax purposes by the maintenance payor and not taxable income to the maintenance recipient, then the actual maintenance amount is equal to a percentage of the base amount, which is determined by the spouses' combined monthly adjusted gross income as follows:

Combined Monthly Adjusted Gross Income Base Amount Percentage
$10,000 or less 80%
More than $10,000 but not more than $20,000 75%
2018 Adjusted Gross Income

Under the 2018 Colorado maintenance guidelines, the preexisting alimony income adjustment is normalized between the different income tax treatments. If the preexisting court-ordered alimony obligation actually paid by a spouse is deductible for federal income tax purposes by that spouse, then the full amount of alimony actually paid is deducted from that spouse's gross income. Otherwise, if the preexisting court-ordered alimony obligation actually paid by a spouse is not deductible for federal income tax purposes by that spouse, then the amount of alimony actually paid by that spouse multiplied by 1.25 is deducted from that spouse's gross income.

Using the Colorado Maintenance Calculator

Once you understand the basics of the Colorado maintenance advisory guidelines, you are ready to use the Colorado Maintenance (Alimony) Calculator. To calculate Colorado guideline maintenance, you must enter gross income, income adjustment, marriage length, and tax treatment information into the calculator and you must select a version of the Colorado maintenance guidelines.

Step 1: Enter the Gross Incomes

First, you must enter the spouses' yearly gross incomes. Enter the gross incomes into the appropriate inputs in the Colorado Maintenance Calculator form. The gross incomes should be entered in dollar amounts with no letters or special characters, such as the dollar symbol or commas.

Colorado Maintenance Calculator gross income inputs

The Colorado Maintenance Calculator uses the gross incomes entered into the calculator inputs to determine the spouses' adjusted gross incomes and calculate the Colorado guideline maintenance amount. To calculate Colorado guideline maintenance amounts, the Colorado Maintenance Calculator uses the applicable amount formula for the version of Colorado maintenance guidelines that you select. There are two different versions of the Colorado maintenance guidelines that you must select from.

Combined Adjusted Gross Income Greater Than $240,000

The 2018 Colorado maintenance guidelines do not specify a maintenance normalization percentage when: (1) the maintenance award is deductible for federal income tax purposes by the maintenance payor and taxable income to the maintenance recipient, and (2) the spouses' combined, annual adjusted gross income is greater than $240,000. In that situation, the Colorado Maintenance Calculator multiplies the base amount of maintenance by 75% to arrive at the actual maintenance amount. The following alert message will also be displayed above the maintenance calculation.

Colorado Maintenance Calculator combined adjusted gross income greater than 240000

Step 2: Enter the Income Adjustments

Second, you may enter any adjustments to gross income that either spouse may claim. If applicable, click on the "Adjustments" tab and enter the relevant information into the appropriate input in the Colorado Maintenance Calculator form. Each income adjustment has been defaulted to zero.

Colorado Maintenance Calculator income adjustment inputs
Preexisting Child Support Adjustment

The preexisting child support income adjustment applies when a spouse, pursuant to a court order, is paying child support for any children of the marriage. The yearly amount paid should be entered in dollar amounts with no letters or special characters, such as the dollar symbol or commas. Any amount entered for this adjustment will be subtracted from the spouse's gross income prior to calculating maintenance.

Preexisting Alimony Adjustment

The preexisting alimony income adjustment applies when a spouse, pursuant to a court order, is paying alimony for a prior spouse not of the marriage. The yearly amount paid should be entered in dollar amounts with no letters or special characters, such as the dollar symbol or commas. If any amount is entered for the preexisting alimony adjustment, then you must choose whether the spouse's preexisting alimony payment is deductible for federal income purposes by the spouse. Any amount entered for this adjustment will be normalized (if necessary) and subtracted from the spouse's gross income prior to calculating maintenance.

Other Supported Children Adjustment

The other supported children income adjustment applies when a spouse has a legal responsibility to support any children who are not children of the marriage, such as children from a prior relationship. The total number of other supported children should be selected from the select menu. The Colorado Maintenance Calculator will automatically determine the proper adjustment to the spouse's income based on Section 115(6)(b) of the Uniform Dissolution of Marriage Act. This amount will be subtracted from the spouse's gross income prior to calculating maintenance.

Step 3: Enter the Marriage Length

Third, you must enter the length of the spouses' marriage. The marriage length is the period of time from the first day of the month following the date of the spouses' marriage until the date of the divorce decree or the date of the hearing on division of property if such hearing precedes the date of the decree. Once you have determined the marriage length, enter the length into the appropriate input in the Colorado Maintenance Calculator form. The length should be entered in years with no letters or special characters.

Colorado Maintenance Calculator marriage length input

The Colorado Maintenance Calculator uses the marriage length entered into the calculator input to calculate the Colorado guideline maintenance duration. To calculate Colorado guideline maintenance durations, the Colorado Maintenance Calculator uses the applicable duration formula for the version of Colorado maintenance guidelines that you select. There are two different versions of the Colorado maintenance guidelines that you must select from.

Marriage Length Less Than 3 Years

Because the Colorado maintenance guidelines do not specify maintenance durations for marriages of less than 3 years in length, the Colorado Maintenance Calculator uses extrapolation to estimate maintenance durations for marriages of less than 3 years in length. The following table displays the values that the Colorado Maintenance Calculator uses to estimate maintenance durations for marriages of less than 3 years in length.

Length of the Marriage Extrapolated Duration
0 months 0 months
1 month 1 month
2 months 1 month
3 months 1 month
4 months 1 month
5 months 2 months
6 months 2 months
7 months 2 months
8 months 2 months
9 months 3 months
10 months 3 months
11 months 3 months
12 months 3 months
13 months 4 months
14 months 4 months
15 months 4 months
16 months 5 months
17 months 5 months
18 months 5 months
19 months 6 months
20 months 6 months
21 months 6 months
22 months 7 months
23 months 7 months
24 months 7 months
25 months 8 months
26 months 8 months
27 months 8 months
28 months 9 months
29 months 9 months
30 months 9 months
31 months 10 months
32 months 10 months
33 months 10 months
34 months 11 months
35 months 11 months

If the marriage length is less than 3 years, then the Colorado Maintenance Calculator will display the following alert message above the maintenance calculation.

Colorado Maintenance Calculator marriage length less than three years
Marriage Length Greater Than 20 Years

Linear extrapolation is used to determine maintenance durations from marriage lengths that exceed the upper limit of the guideline maintenance duration table, i.e. marriage lengths that are greater than 240 months. For marriages that exceed 240 months in length, the marriage length (in whole months) is divided by two and rounded up to the nearest whole number of months. If the marriage length is greater than 20 years, then the Colorado Maintenance Calculator will display the following alert message above the maintenance calculation.

Colorado Maintenance Calculator marriage length greater than twenty years

Step 4: Choose Whether Maintenance is Deductible

Fourth, you must choose whether the maintenance award is deductible for federal income tax purposes by the maintenance payor and taxable income to the maintenance recipient. If your final (not temporary) maintenance order was entered before January 1, 2019, then your maintenance payment may still be deducted from the maintenance payor's income and included in the maintenance recipient's income for federal income tax purposes. Otherwise, your maintenance payment is neither deductible by the payor nor includible to the recipient. Once you have determined the proper tax treatment, choose from one of the two available options.

Colorado Maintenance Calculator maintenance is deductible option

Based upon your selected tax treatment and version of the Colorado maintenance guidelines, the Colorado Maintenance Calculator will determine whether the maintenance amount should be normalized. As discussed above, under the 2018 Colorado maintenance guidelines, if the maintenance award is not deductible for federal income tax purposes by the maintenance payor and not taxable income to the maintenance recipient, then the maintenance amount will be normalized downward.

Step 5: Select a Formula Version

Fifth, you must select a version of the Colorado maintenance guidelines. The selected version will be used to make your Colorado guideline maintenance calculation.

Colorado Maintenance Calculator formula version select

As discussed above, the Colorado maintenance guidelines became law in the year 2014. In the year 2018, the formula to calculate maintenance amounts received a substantial change. This change to the maintenance guidelines carried forward key components from the previous statutory framework. The following table displays the amount and duration formulas that comprise the two versions of the Colorado maintenance guidelines as used by the Colorado Maintenance Calculator.

Maintenance Guidelines Version 2014 Amount Formula 2014 Duration Formula 2018 Amount Formula
01/01/2014 - 08/07/2018
08/08/2018 - Present

Step 6: Make the Calculation

Once the spouses' gross income, income adjustment, marriage length, and tax treatment information have been entered into the Colorado Maintenance Calculator and a version of the Colorado maintenance guidelines has been selected, click the "Calculate Alimony" button. That's it! Your Colorado maintenance calculation will display on the page underneath the calculator.

Colorado Maintenance Calculator calculation

Your Colorado maintenance calculation result contains both a maintenance amount and duration. By clicking on the interval buttons, you may view your result in either a yearly or monthly interval. Also, the spouses' income adjustments, adjusted gross incomes, and gross incomes after maintenance are displayed for reference.

Validation Errors

If the Colorado Maintenance Calculator was submitted with invalid information, the calculator will display validation errors on the calculator inputs that were filled out incorrectly and the "Calculate Alimony" button will be disabled. Also, error messages will be displayed below the inputs that indicate the reasons for the errors.

Colorado Maintenance Calculator validation errors

If you receive validation errors, enter valid information into the calculator inputs that contain the validation errors. Upon entry of new information, the validation error will be removed from the updated calculator input. Once all validation errors have been removed, the "Calculate Alimony" button will be re-enabled for resubmission of the Colorado Maintenance (Alimony) Calculator.