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What’s the Interplay Between Alimony and Property Division?

White square with a gold border and the black words "What's the interplay between alimony and property division?" with the Freed Marcroft family law firm logo in the lower right corner.The interplay between alimony and property division in Connecticut divorces can be confusing.

Read on to learn more.

Factors Considered

The Connecticut statutes provide factors for consideration for both alimony and property division.

The factors considered for property division are essentially the same as for alimony, with a couple of exceptions.  For alimony, courts consider the desirability and feasibility of a custodial parent securing employment.  For property division, courts consider: (1) the opportunity for each spouse to acquire capital assets and income in the future and (2) the spouses’ contribution to their respective estates.

Read:

What Factors Are Considered When Determining Alimony in a Connecticut Divorce?

What Factors Are Considered When Dividing Property in a Connecticut Divorce?

Purpose of Property Division vs. Alimony

It makes sense that the alimony factors and property division factors don’t entirely overlap.  For context, alimony and property division have different purposes.  The goal of property division is to divide the spouses’ assets and debt at the time of the divorce in a manner that gives each spouse an equitable share.  On the other hand, alimony flows from spouses’ joint duty to support each other.  If both spouses are self-supporting, there will likely not be an alimony award.

Consequences of Alimony vs. Property Division

Property division is final, the spouse that receives property has the right to control it.  On the other hand, courts can modify or eliminate alimony later on.

In contrast, if the court awards periodic alimony when finalizing the divorce, it retains the ability to make decisions about alimony down the road.  For example, the court can modify alimony or hold someone in contempt for failure to pay.  However, the court cannot order alimony in the future if alimony if didn’t order alimony in the divorce.

Read: Can Alimony Be Changed in Connecticut?

Overlap Between Property Division and Alimony

There are certain items that courts could consider either alimony or property division.  For example, income from a small business.  Or, a court could decide to divide unvested stock options as property or consider it income subject to alimony.  The key is to pick one and stick with it.

The Comprehensive Connecticut Alimony Guide

Alimony is one of the most important issues in divorces.  And, it’s one of the most confusing.  There are no set formulas or rules on (1) whether there will be alimony, and, if so, (2) how it’s calculated or (3) how long it will last.  The good news is that this means there is tremendous flexibility to craft an individualized approach.  In order to prepare to make solid and informed decisions, you need to understand how alimony works. Our Comprehensive Connecticut Alimony Guide tells you everything you need to know about alimony in Connecticut.

Read: Alimony: The Comprehensive Connecticut Guide

Next Steps

To start making a plan for your divorce, reach out.  Our first step at Freed Marcroft, the Goals & Planning Conference, is designed to get to the heart of your problem and unveil your true goals.  We analyze those goals, plus the facts of your case, and present you with recommendations and options to move forward.

Schedule your Goals & Planning Conference today, or contact us either here or by phone at 860-560-8160.

Written by Meghan Freed