Updated: Aug 15, 2018
Unlike child support, in Connecticut there is no standard calculation or period of time under which an individual is entitled to alimony. Therefore, there is no guarantee that an individual will be awarded alimony. So an individual could obtain alimony but whether that occurs, the dollar amount awarded and the length of time alimony will be in place are up to the court's discretion and vary from case to case based on the facts or circumstances.
However, this not to say that Connecticut courts make this decision arbitrarily. There are factors the Connecticut courts must consider when determining whether an individual will be awarded alimony: the duration and amount of the award; the length of the marriage; the causes for the annulment, dissolution of the marriage or legal separation; the age, health, station, occupation; the amount and sources of income, earning capacity, vocational skills, education, and employability; the estate and needs of each of the parties. In the case of a parent to whom the custody of minor children has been awarded, the court also considers the desirability and feasibility of such parent's securing employment.
If granted, alimony orders are for a defined period of time. The court also usually limits alimony orders by ordering that alimony orders terminate upon the death of either party or the remarriage of the alimony recipient. If done, the court must articulate (explain) and state the basis for such order. I have also seen courts order that any alimony award be terminated upon co-habitation. It is also important to become aware of the current tax implications of receiving alimony payments. These taxes laws have recently been changed.
Before the new Tax Cuts and Jobs Act (TCJA), payments that met the tax-law definition of alimony could always be deducted by the payer for federal income tax purposes. And recipients of alimony payments always had to report the payments as taxable income.
This old-law treatment continues for alimony payments made under pre-2019 divorce agreements. But for payments made under post-2018 agreements, things will change dramatically. Therefore it would be good to consult with an attorney who is familiar with these tax changes or a tax professional if you are or soon will be drafting a dissolution agreement with some type of alimony payment(s).
It is also important to note that alimony will not be awarded if it is determined that the other party cannot afford to pay alimony. Also a court will sometimes make a temporary order for alimony that is in effect until the court orders a final judgment when the marriage is dissolved ("dissolution"). Most importantly, if an individual does not ask for alimony at the correct time, they will never be able to ask for alimony again. Because the court cannot give an individual legal advice, it is important to at least review and understand your options with an attorney. You can reach my office at 860.295.1600 or via the contact form on this website if you wish to discuss with my your particular situation. Rememer each case is different and alimony is very fact specific.
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