Connectictut Alimony Considerations
For divorce cases in Connecticut there are a number of factors that the court will consider when determining if alimony should be awarded and in what amount. One of those factors is whether one of the spouses has made sacrifices in the marriage for the benefit of the other spouse.
Connecticut statutes also contemplate other factors such as the length of the marriage, the cause of the divorce, need, employ-ability, the age of the parties, their station, their health, occupation, and their respective estates.
Duration: How Long Will Alimony Last?
The duration of alimony typically starts with half the length of the marriage and then depending on the above factors it can be increased or decreased. Alimony can end when either party dies, or when the receiving party remarries or begins to co-habitate with another person.
Alimony vs. Child Support Laws
Alimony, is different from child support in a number of ways. Most notably, alimony can be deductible to the paying spouse and taxable to the receiving spouse. This is in contrast to child support, which is neither deductible to the paying spouse nor taxable to the receiving spouse.
Also, unlike child support which can be raised as an issue either pre or post judgment, it is important to explore alimony at the outset of every divorce case. This is so, because if a party does not request alimony at the time of the entering of the divorce decree, he or she is forever barred from returning to court and requesting alimony after the date of judgment.
Types of Alimony Structures
In Connecticut there are two kinds of alimony awards.
Lump Sum & Periodic
The first is periodic or lump sum alimony. Periodic or lump sum alimony is not meant to be punitive but rather is awarded by the court after consideration of the above factors, and it is meant to provide continuing support to one spouse.
Time Limited & Rehabilitative
The second is time limited or rehabilitative alimony. Time limited alimony is awarded primarily to assist one spouse to become self sufficient primarily through additional education and training. Time limited alimony might also be awarded in some cases in order to provide temporary support until a future event occurs, which is anticipated to make support less necessary.
In summary there are some significant differences between alimony and child support. Connecticut also does not assess alimony to punish one spouse, and the cause of the divorce is just one factor in determining alimony. Time limited alimony is awarded in order to assist one spouse to become self sufﬁcient. Finally, alimony can terminate due to the death of either spouse, remarriage or cohabitation.