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In re the Marriage of Herold and Callison.

2021 COA 16. No. 19CA2136. Family Law—Retroactive Temporary Spousal Maintenance.

February 11, 2021

Husband and wife were common law married for over 30 years. Wife petitioned for divorce, and the district court issued temporary orders awarding temporary maintenance to wife of $12,000 per month retroactive to the commencement of the parties’ dissolution proceeding. This resulted in husband owing $144,000 in arrearages.

On appeal, husband argued that the district court lacked authority to award retroactive temporary maintenance. However, the legislature’s 2014 reenactment of the maintenance statute gave broad authority to the district court to award temporary maintenance in its discretion, including retroactively. Further, the record supports the court’s determination that wife could not meet her reasonable needs as established during the marriage and an award of retroactive temporary maintenance was appropriate.

Husband also argued that the district court did not make sufficient findings under CRS § 14-10-114(3) or (4) to support its award of $12,000 per month. While the district court made certain required statutory findings, it made insufficient findings on wife’s reasonable financial needs and whether $12,000 per month would meet those needs, and it did not make findings related to husband’s payment of shared expenses and debts or other required statutory factors.

The award of retroactive temporary maintenance was reversed and the case was remanded for additional findings.

Official Colorado Court of Appeals proceedings can be found at the Colorado Court of Appeals website.

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