Alimony: What is it? Must I pay it? Will I be entitled to receive it?

Alimony, also called spousal support, is the continuing duty to support your spouse. Historically it arose because the wife lost substantial rights to control her personal property, including earnings upon marriage. It was based upon husband’s fault and wife’s innocence. After the advent of No-Fault Divorce in the 1970’s, the concept changed dramatically.

alimony, spousal support

Spousal Support is now gender neutral. Unlike child support there is no formula to determine what the spousal support will be. Anaward of Alimony or spousal support and maintenance is based upon factors enumerated in our statutes.  One of these factors is still fault but another one is economic need. The judge or family relations officer is concerned with what this spouse needs to pay their bills and what the other spouse has for income. Child support is the primary obligation and spousal support will take into account any child support payments.

Alimony in Connecticut, is generally rehabilitative spousal support which gives the unemployed or underemployed spouse a chance to obtain the skills, training or education needed to be self-supporting. The weekly payments allow the spouse to get a full time job and pay their bills while going to school or brushing up on their job skills to improve their earnings. A spouse, who is disabled, advanced in age or was the stay at home parent may need the financial assistance longer than a spouse who has taken a short time off or worked part time while the children are young and merely needs time to look for suitable full time employment.

You or your spouse may be entitled to alimony pendent lite or temporary support to assist in paying the family bills while the case is pending.

The amount of the spousal support and maintenance as well as the length of time a spouse may be required to pay it is based upon the statutory factors and how they are applied in each case. Alimony is modifiable if there is a substantial change in circumstances. Schedule an appointment to discuss your situation in more detail.


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Disclaimer: The information presented here is only meant to offer a brief guide to alternative dispute resolution of divorce issues in Connecticut. It is not and should not be construed as legal advice and does not form an attorney/client relationship. Questions about your individual circumstances should be discussed with a licensed attorney. A Connecticut divorce mediation attorney at Gryk & Frolich  LLC is available to assist you in your legal matters.

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