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Frequently Asked Questions About Alimony

October 27, 2023

If you are contemplating divorce, you may have questions about alimony. Inquiries about alimony are among the most frequently asked questions we receive from clients. Whether you are worried that you may be required to pay or you are anxious that you won’t get enough alimony, here are the facts so you know what to expect. 

What Is Alimony?

Alimony is a periodic sum the Court awards to a spouse or former spouse following a divorce. The amount awarded is either a predetermined set amount or a percentage of the payor spouse’s net income from employment.

How Long Do You Have to Be Married to Collect Alimony?

There is no requirement that couples be married for a specific length of time to receive alimony in Connecticut. The day you get married, you are eligible for alimony if you seek a divorce. However, even though you would legally qualify for alimony, whether you would actually be awarded alimony requires a fact-specific analysis.

Under Connecticut General Statutes Section 46b-82, courts must consider several factors in determining whether a spouse should receive alimony and the duration and amount of the award. These factors include the length of the marriage; the causes for the annulment, dissolution of the marriage, or legal separation; and the age, health, occupation, income, earning capacity, vocational skills, education, employability, and needs of each of the parties, among other factors. In the case of a parent with custody of minor children, the Court may also consider the desirability and feasibility of the custodial parent securing employment.

Can the Spouse Who Files For Divorce Get Alimony?

In Connecticut, it doesn’t matter who initiates the divorce when awarding alimony. As discussed, either spouse can receive alimony from day one of the marriage. However, he or she may not be awarded alimony depending on how the Court weighs the statutory factors under Section 46b-82.

What States Do Not Enforce Alimony?

While some states strictly limit alimony, Connecticut is not among them. Connecticut allows for alimony under the terms of Section 46b-82. In addition, Connecticut will enforce foreign alimony awards granted by other states under the Full Faith and Credit Clause of the U.S. Constitution.

What Are Other Frequently Asked Questions About Alimony?

Do you have other questions about alimony? Our video blog on alimony provides more information on the topic.

If you are considering divorce, having an experienced lawyer is essential. Contact us to learn how we can help you with your divorce.

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