A married couple’s finances are often combined or otherwise intertwined as a natural consequence of supporting a family unit. When couples decide to separate, each party’s economic stability is necessarily impacted. If you were dependent on your spouse during the marriage, you might need to request spousal support. Conversely, if you were the higher-earning spouse, you may have an obligation to provide spousal support following the divorce. In either case, a skilled alimony attorney can help protect advocate for your financial interests.

Determining spousal support in Connecticut can be complicated, as there is no set formula for calculating alimony. However, several factors can influence the court’s decision on spousal support. Consider speaking with an attorney at Dolan Divorce Lawyers to learn more about how these factors may impact your case.

Calculating Alimony Based on Net Income

When the courts rule on spousal support cases, they typically consider both parties’ net incomes. Only mandatory deductions such as taxes and social security are included in this net income. The court will not subtract voluntary deductions from the parties’ gross incomes, such as contributions to retirement plans or health savings accounts.

The court generally attempts to set a weekly amount for alimony that would accomplish a fair division of the parties’ net income based on the facts of the case. This division might be a 50-50 split. However, the court may aim for a 60-40 split if one party needs more money due to having custody of the children.

Can Spouses Determine Spousal Support on Their Own?

If two parties work with an attorney to negotiate the terms of an alimony agreement, they may present it to the court. Ultimately, a judge will review the terms to determine if they are fair and equitable.

Factors Involved in a Spousal Support Determination

There are many facts that a judge may consider pertinent to a spousal support determination. Some crucial factors in a case may include:

  • The length of the marriage
  • Each party’s age
  • The amount and source of each party’s income
  • Each party’s vocational skills and employability
  • Each party’s needs and the needs of their minor children

It is important to note that even if one party is unemployed or earning a much lower wage than the other, the court will examine their earning capacity.

Earning Capacity

In an alimony dispute, a person’s profession, education, vocational skills, and work history can serve as evidence that they can earn more than their current income. Some spouses try to avoid paying alimony by taking a lower-paying job during a divorce. In cases such as these, the other party may argue that their earning capacity should be based on their previous income.

Alternatively, if one party has a medical condition that prevents them from working, this reality can reduce their earning capacity. High medical bills can also influence the court to increase the amount of alimony they receive. Mental health issues can also be factored into the court’s decision, though a psychological evaluation may be required to prove the condition would actually prevent that spouse from obtaining work.

If an individual is healthy, it is generally believed that they should be able to obtain a minimum wage job, even with no work experience. If necessary, either party could retain an earning capacity expert to determine the amount of alimony the court should award.

Understanding the Process of Determining Spousal Support in Connecticut

When two parties file for divorce, spousal support is often a disputed topic. Because spouses generally have conflicting opinions on whether alimony is necessary and how much should be paid, the court has the power to decide what is fair. If you wish to learn more about the process of determining spousal support in Connecticut, schedule a consultation today.

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