When a marriage ends it is possible that one spouse will be making spousal support payments to the other. Besides children, these payments are one way in which former spouses continue to have some kind of relationship after they divorce. This payment — also known as alimony — is created either by a court order in Colorado, often pursuant to an agreement between the two parties. It’s usually paid on a schedule and if the payor falls behind in payments, there are usually consequences.
Spousal support can either be ongoing for the long term or ordered for a specific time if there is the possibility of the payee being able to support him or herself. If there is no specification in a divorce decree that states when spousal support should end, then they must go on until a court order declares otherwise. Support can also end when certain life events happen like the remarriage of the payee, but not the payor. The death of a payor may not even be enough to stop support payments.
In individual cases, to get a grasp on when the obligation to pay spousal support ends, the payor should look at the operating document from which the particular mandate was established. If there is a problem in understanding the information, it would be wise to seek legal help. There is also the possibility a spousal support order could be modified in certain instances.
The bottom line is that there is no cookie cutter answer on when a person may stop paying spousal support for a former spouse after divorce. Much depends on how support-related matters were resolved between the payor and the payee. Laws in Colorado can change, so people who need help to understand their payment obligations or the payments they receive may wish to consult with an attorney experienced in family law.