The alimony laws governing spousal support in Connecticut is different from what is obtainable in other states. Read further to grasp the peculiarity of the CT alimony law.
All 50 states in America are alimony states, meaning states that have enacted laws permitting a spouse who cannot work full time or with a lower income to request payments from the other spouse to support themselves after a divorce.
What is Alimony?
Also referred to as “spousal support” or “spousal maintenance” in Nutmeg State, alimony is the series of payments made by one spouse (the payor spouse) to another (the supported or payee spouse) after the divorce.
Before the alimony payments commence, there has to be a written order or agreement which requires the payor to support the payee with a stipulated amount of money.
This agreement eliminates any disputes in the future about why the payment was made or when it’s not made.
Type of Alimony Laws Practiced in CT
In Connecticut, judges can impose any combination of three types of alimony: temporary, rehabilitative, and open-ended alimony. Taking from the CT statute, the court will consider a number of issues while deciding whether or not alimony is appropriate.
Temporary Alimony in Connecticut
Temporary alimony refers to payments made by one spouse to the other while the divorce is proceeding. These payments help the recipient spouse adjust to life as a single person. Depending on how many contentious issues there are in your divorce, it could take months or perhaps a year or more for your case to be resolved. (Conn. Gen. Stat. Ann. § 46b-83).
Payments of temporary alimony continue until you and your spouse sign a formal divorce order or until a court extends the payments.
Rehabilitative Alimony in CT
Rehabilitative alimony, like temporary alimony, compels one spouse to pay for a set amount of time. Rehabilitative alimony payments are made while one spouse works to become financially self-sufficient. Getting job training or completing a degree are examples of these steps.
Open-ended alimony in Connecticut
(Also known as permanent alimony.) Open-ended alimony is no longer as popular as it once was. If one spouse is unable to be financially self-sufficient owing to a disability, age, or responsibilities to care for a disabled child, a judge will order permanent alimony. Unless circumstances change, the paying spouse keeps making permanent alimony payments, as the name implies.
Who Pays Alimony in Connecticut?
In Connecticut alimony law, the spouse that makes most of the money will share that income with the other spouse. The idea behind who pays for alimony is to considerably level up the living standard of the dependent spouse to what it was while the marriage was on.
Regarding the sex that pays, alimony in Nutmeg State is gender-neutral, meaning either spouse can request support from the other. As long as the alimony can be provided to the requesting spouse, then it will most likely be granted.
So a husband can receive alimony from a wife in Connecticut if the above conditions are met.
How Long Does Spousal Support Last in CT?
There is no minimum length of marriage required to receive alimony under Connecticut’s alimony statute. The amount of alimony and the length of alimony payments are up to the judge under Connecticut alimony statutes. A judge will weigh several considerations before making this decision. The duration of the marriage is also taken into consideration.
How to Collect Spousal Support Arrears in Connecticut
When it comes to collecting spousal support in Connecticut, you have a few choices if your ex-spouse has failed to make alimony payments as ordered by the court. Debts for spousal support are frequently given priority among debtors under US law.
Factors That Influence Alimony in Connecticut
The average amount payable as spousal support in Connecticut after divorce is determined by various factors. But the major factor you have to understand is “the standard of living of the marriage.”
To determine the final amounts for rehabilitative and permanent support in CT, the courts in CT take into consideration the income of the spouses, plus other factors like:
- earning capacity of each spouse.
- the ability of the paying spouse to pay, considering assets, the standard of living, earning capacity, as well as earned and unearned income.
- the extent of contribution the supported spouse gave to the other’s educational pursuit or professional license during the marriage
- how long the marriage lasted
- the needs of each spouse
- the assets and debts of each spouse including separate property
- each party’s tax consequences
- the ability of the supported spouse to gain employment without interfering with their children’s care
- each spouse’s health and age
- each party’s balance of hardships
- whether there is a documented history of domestic violence against the children or either party
- will the dependent spouse be self-supporting within a reasonable period
- any criminal conviction of an abusive spouse
- any other factors which the court wishes to consider
This is the main measure the court uses to determine the amount to be paid in Nutmeg State. The principle behind the standard of living of the marriage is that after the marriage breakup, both spouses should continue living within the same standard they lived while the marriage lasted. (Conn. Gen. Stat. Ann. § 46b-82)
How Alimony is Calculated in CT
The amount to be paid as spousal support in Connecticut is calculated after considering the above-stated factors. Whichever option is adopted it is reflected in the Alimony Calculator
Importance of Using a Skilled Connecticut Spousal Support Attorney
If you’re getting a divorce in Connecticut and need to negotiate or re-negotiate spousal support, you’ve definitely got a lot of questions and want to seek competent legal guidance. Though state Supreme Courts have supported lifetime spousal support,
your circumstances may or may not fulfill the requirements. CT courts may judge your case differently based on the merits of you and your previous spouse. There are so many variables to consider.
If you want to get spousal support for the rest of your life or if you want to fight against it in Connecticut, an expert divorce lawyer can help. Depending on the objective and the desire of the adversary attorney to bargain in good faith, you’ll need attorneys that are both empathetic and strong.
For the convenience of our members, we have an up-to-date directory of CT divorce and spousal support attorneys who can help with a variety of issues. For legal advice and
representation on spousal support that is powerful and well-informed.
FAQ About Connecticut Alimony Laws
Here are Frequently Asked Questions about spousal support laws in CT:
Can a Husband get Alimony in CT?
Who Qualifies for Alimony in Connecticut?
Just as either spouse can pay or receive, the party that qualifies to receive spousal support is the dependent party while the marriage lasted. This means that in CT, the spouse that had lesser or no income when the marriage was on is also the one qualified to receive alimony. Click here for details
How Long do you have to be Married to get Alimony in CT?
To understand how long alimony lasts in Connecticut, you have to take into consideration how long the marriage lasted.
However, bear in mind that there is no limit to the duration you can pay or receive alimony for marriages that lasted 10-20 years or more. Any marriage that lasted below 20 years will not pay nor receive alimony that exceeds 50% of the duration of the marriage.
Is Alimony Tax Deductible in Connecticut?
Following the passage of the Tax Cuts and Jobs Act, which altered the link between alimony and taxes dramatically in Minnesota and all over the US, alimony payments are no longer tax deductible for the payer and are no longer recognized as income for the recipient spouse as of January 1, 2019.
Is Alimony Mandatory in Nutmeg State?
Alimony is mandatory in Connecticut as long as one of the spouses earns or owns assets that can be relied upon to support the other spouse after the marriage breaks down.
Can Alimony be increased in Connecticut?
Alimony amount or duration can be increased or decreased due to changes in the financial circumstances of the parties in different ways, including:
- an increase or decrease in the income of the alimony recipient
- if it’s determined that the original alimony awarded is inadequate
- loss to the alimony recipient’s financial assets
- an increase in the justified expenses of the alimony recipient
- when the financial condition of the receiving spouse fails to improve as originally expected
Can you go to Jail for Not Paying Spousal Support in CT?
Technically, you will not be jailed for not paying alimony in Connecticut. While there are varying consequences for not paying alimony, you can still end up in jail as a result. Here is how.
If it’s a Connecticut court-ordered spousal support that you refuse to pay, it means you are in violation of a court order meaning you can be prosecuted for being in contempt of court if contempt proceedings are brought up against you. This could attract a jail term in CT}.
How to Modify Spousal Support in Connecticut?
When necessary, Connecticut law allows for a spousal support modification. When it comes to alimony, courts in CT usually try to do their best to create judgments that are fair and effective in the long run. Nevertheless, conditions change over time, and these changes may compel a revision or modification of the initial order.
When filing for a spousal support modification in Connecticut, keep in mind that the courts will only entertain the motion if there has been a significant and long-term change in circumstances. A brief problem is unlikely to be significant enough to warrant a revision in the initial alimony ruling. Likewise, dissatisfaction with the support order is not a valid reason for a revision in CT. (Conn. Gen. Stat. Ann. § 46b-86)
The following are some of the most common reasons for requesting an alimony modification in Connecticut:
- Changes in income or employment
- Birth of a new child
- Health changes, including disability
- A new dependent
How to Avoid or End Spousal Support in CT?
In Nutmeg State, the spouse paying the alimony can successfully avoid or stop the alimony payment if he/she is able to prove any or all of the following points:
- that the dependent spouse is guilty of infidelity
- the spouse proves that he has no source of income
- the spouse remarries and has to take care of the new spouse however, he/she will continue paying the child support for children if any
- if the spouse is disabled and unable to earn a living
- Connecticut Child Adoption Guidelines
- Connecticut Childcare Guidelines
- Connecticut Child Custody and Visitation Guidelines
- Connecticut Child Support Guidelines
- Connecticut Divorce Guidelines
- Connecticut Marital Property Guidelines
- Connecticut Spousal Support Guidelines
- How to Check Connecticut Child Support Payment History
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