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Common Questions about Alimony in Connecticut

August 15, 2023

 

If you’re currently navigating a Connecticut divorce, it is important that you have a solid understanding of alimony and how it may affect your divorce case.

In our latest video blog, Partner and Attorney Sarah Murray weighed in on some of the most common questions regarding alimony in Connecticut. Her answers are summarized below.

How Is Alimony Determined In A Connecticut Divorce?

Connecticut has not established alimony guidelines. Courts determine the amount and the duration of alimony based on the factors in the state alimony statute, General Statutes Section 46b-82. These factors include the length of the parties’ marriage, the ages of the parties, the parties’ health, their respective occupations and incomes, and their employability (particularly if they are not working at all or not working to capacity). 

What Impact Does The Size Of The Overall Marital Estate Have On The Alimony Determination?

One of the statutory factors that a Court can consider in making an alimony award is the parties’ estate. In certain high-net-worth Connecticut divorces, alimony is not awarded because the overall division of the assets provides the non-wage-earning spouse sufficient financial resources to support themselves. There is no rule as to what a significant level of assets is for alimony not to be awarded. Those determinations are made on a case-by-case basis. 

Is Alimony Awarded For Half The Length Of The Marriage?

Connecticut has not established any laws stating that alimony is awarded for half the length of the marriage, nor are there any laws that mandate any period of time that alimony must be awarded. The length of alimony is discretionary and is based on a number of factors. The duration of alimony can be negotiated against the amount of alimony or against another part of the overall financial settlement. 

What Does Lifetime Alimony Mean?

Though it is usually phrased as ending upon the death of either party, lifetime alimony does not necessarily mean that an alimony payor is paying alimony for their entire life. An award of lifetime alimony is rare, though it does sometimes occur. Lifetime alimony means that the person paying alimony must continue doing so as long as they are working and earning income. A person with a lifetime alimony order may still retire at a reasonable retirement age.  

If A Party Is Working And Earning Income, Can They Still Receive Alimony?

Someone who is employed can still receive alimony. If both parties work and earn income, but one party earns significantly more in income, the person earning more may have to pay alimony to the person who earns less. 

If you’re considering divorce, seeking experienced counsel is highly advised. Contact us today to learn more about how we can assist you.

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