In early 2019 the Colorado Court of Appeals issued a ruling in In re Marriage of Thorstad(2019COA13) which addressed a post-dissolution request for modification and termination of maintenance and support and payor’s election to retire. In this case the Court addressed how the trial court should apply the 2018 construction of C.R.S. 14-10-122 (2)(a), (b) and © when deciding whether or not the court should grant a request by the payor spouse to modify maintenance because the payor has decided to retire from employment. The Court concluded that absent a court’s decision to reserve jurisdiction, a separation agreement with a different standard or a statute outlining a different standard, the Court must apply section C.R.S. 14-10-122(1)(a) when deciding such motion. When that request is based upon the payor’s decision to retire, the Court must decide, considering all the factors in C.R.S. 14-10-114 whether the circumstances of the parties have changed in such a sufficient and continuing way as to render the current award of maintenance unfair. So, while the payor’s decision to retire being in good faith is a factor to consider, it is not the only factor, and does not trigger an automatic modification or termination and cannot be used as the sole basis for modification or termination, rather the court must apply all of the factors in C.R.S. 14-10-114.
Written by Jenni Helland