Connecticut Alimony and Spousal Support
Alimony is one of the most important issues in divorces. It’s also one of the most complex. Courts have immense discretion when determining the amount and duration of alimony and spousal support, or whether to award it at all. There is no calculator or set formula on (1) whether there will be alimony, and, if so, (2) how it’s calculated or (3) how long it will last. This means tremendous flexibility exists for experienced alimony lawyers to craft and advocate for an individualized approach. That’s why an experienced alimony and spousal support attorney can make such a big difference. With the Freed Marcroft legal team by your side, you’ll have an advocate for the life you want to live.
Factors That Determine Alimony and spousal support
Instead of an alimony formula, Connecticut courts consider multiple factors. Judges have discretion to weigh the factors based upon your individual circumstances – they don’t weigh them equally. This is one of the reasons advocacy from one of Freed Marcroft’s experienced alimony attorneys is so valuable.
The alimony and spousal support factors include:
- Length of the marriage
- Adultery & other reasons for the divorce
- Income & assets
- Age, health, station, education, occupation, and needs
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ALIMONY AND SPOUSAL SUPPORT BASICS
Property division divides the assets (and debts) as of the end of the marriage, leaving the spouses independent financial futures. In contrast, alimony (like child support) represents an ongoing financial relationship between the spouses following the divorce. But, where child support concludes when children are grown, alimony has the potential to last a lifetime. Alimony is particularly complex in high-net worth, later-in-life, and international divorce, and the complexities involved when dissolving same sex marriages.
How spouses (or the court) handle alimony at the time of the divorce not only has a long term impact on both people’s finances — but also on their ability to make changes to alimony down the road. That’s why it’s highly critical that alimony is thoughtfully and skillfully addressed and structured by an experienced spousal support attorney at the time of the divorce. Freed Marcroft’s legal team custom-tailors this to set you up for a strong financial future.
ALIMONY AND SPOUSAL SUPPORT
Spouses always have the opportunity to reach agreements on alimony, spousal support, and all the issues in their divorce. These resolutions are reached via negotiation in litigated divorces or in litigation alternatives like mediation and collaborative divorce. In many cases, the spouses are able to resolve all issues in the divorce, resulting in a full settlement agreement. Then, lawyers present this comprehensive settlement agreement to the judge at an uncontested divorce hearing.
HOW LONG DOES ALIMONY LAST?
Alimony can be temporary, open-ended, or time-limited. Temporary, or “pendente lite” alimony is often awarded while the divorce is pending but does not carry over once finalized. To continue receiving alimony, the party must accept one of the other two forms. Time-limited alimony, also known as “rehabilitative alimony”, is available for a specific duration. For instance, the person might receive alimony until the children are 18 or older. Open-ended alimony, also called lifetime alimony, lasts until the alimony recipient remarries or the other party passes away. Although some people still do receive it, lifetime alimony is no longer common in Connecticut.
Alimony can be increased, decreased, or eliminated when there’s been a “substantial change in circumstances.” Possible circumstances for alimony modification include remarriage, cohabitation, a long-term disability, or a career change that leads to a change in finances. If both spouses agree to the alimony modification, they can create a new order and bring it before the court for approval. If both spouses do not agree, the one who wants the change must petition the court. Providing proper evidence is critical for alimony modifications, so it’s wise to hire an attorney for help.