How Does Infidelity Affect Alimony Awards in Connecticut?

Discovering that your spouse has been unfaithful can be devastating. The trust that you hoped would last forever has been broken, and if the affair has been going on for awhile, you may decide that you want to end the marriage.

When you can prove that your spouse committed adultery, Connecticut law entitles you to a divorce that lets you start over. What is not so straightforward is to what degree infidelity affects alimony awards.

At one time, a spouse who had sexual relations outside the marriage was not legally entitled to alimony. Today, the courts are more lenient, but judges still take infidelity into account when they determine how much alimony a spouse may receive.

Factors That Affect Alimony

Courts take several factors into consideration when deciding the amount and duration of an alimony award in Connecticut. They include the duration of the marriage and the age, health, and employability of both spouses. One accepted criterion is the cause for the breakdown of the marriage, which makes adultery relevant if your spouse committed infidelity frequently or was having an affair with someone else at the time you filed for divorce. This is especially true if there was a detrimental effect on the marital estate.

If, for example, your spouse ran up the balance on your joint credit cards or used marital funds for buy gifts for their boyfriend or girlfriend, their affair increased your liability and decreased the value of the marital estate, so a judge may opt to compensate you by awarding more alimony for a longer period of time.

The reverse is also true. If your spouse claims that they need financial support, they could be awarded lower amounts of alimony and a shorter support period.

Introducing Evidence Post-Decree

It is important to remember that infidelity can only be introduced as evidence in favor of alimony prior to the divorce decree being finalized. Once an alimony order is issued, neither you nor your former spouse can modify it by introducing evidence of previous adultery or any other type of misconduct. These factors are only relevant when the court is initially deciding whether to award alimony, how much you are entitled to, and for how long.

When your former spouse has been unfaithful, alimony can give you the stronger financial footing you need to embrace a new and better future. At Freed Marcroft we believe in setting up our clients for a secure and successful post-divorce life, and that can include the right amount of spousal support for as long as you need it. To speak to a team member and schedule a consultation, START HERE.

Share this on...Share on FacebookTweet about this on TwitterShare on LinkedInShare on Google+Email this to someone