How Do Connecticut Courts Determine Alimony?
Divorce between any two parties can be difficult, yet when a couple has a lot of assets and needs to address the issue of alimony, things can become even more complex. In the state of Connecticut, the guidelines for determining alimony aren’t necessarily as strict as they might be in other parts of the country. Let’s examine some of the key components of what contributes to alimony apportionment and what you can expect.
What Do Judges Look at?
Each case is different, but as a general rule, judges in Connecticut take many factors into consideration when determining alimony payments. These factors are provided in Connecticut General Statutes Section 46b-82 and include:
- Length of the marriage
- Causes for the dissolution of the marriage
- Age, health, and station of the parties
- Amount and sources of income
- Earning capacity
- Vocational skills and employability
- Estates of the parties
- Liabilities and needs of each party
- Desirability of custodial parent securing employment
Any number of factors can contribute toward one party receiving a favorable alimony judgment.
Determining Connecticut Alimony
It would be comforting if there was a predictable formula that determined the outcome of each case. For those getting divorced, it might be disheartening to find out that alimony is typically apportioned at the judge’s discretion. The duration of payments and the payment amount will depend on the above-mentioned factors but is mostly subject to each individual court.
There are four potential outcomes in determining alimony including;
- Not granting one party any at all
- Issuing a lump-sum payment
- Creating a schedule for periodic payments
- The option of paying $1.00 per year
While the last scenario might sound a bit odd, it gives parties and the court the option to modify the dollar amount in future years rather than creating a blanket statement of no alimony whatsoever.
It’s Not Set in Stone
Thankfully, once alimony has been determined in Connecticut, each party has the ability to request a modification down the line. If there have been any significant changes in circumstances that would require more or less support, the court has leeway for future adjustments.
At the time of the initial case, the alimony agreement can be deemed non-modifiable as long as both parties agree to it. This ensures that both the frequency of payments and the dollar amount paid will not ever change no matter what life events may take place.
If you’re concerned about the outcome of your alimony hearing and need guidance during this time, McConnell Family Law Group is here to help. We are committed to helping you receive the best outcome possible.