Spousal support, often called alimony, is money one spouse pays to another while they live apart during and after divorce. The spouse seeking alimony must ask for it in the divorce filing—courts do not award it automatically. Individuals fiercely contest spousal support in many divorces.
If you are divorcing and need spousal support, or your spouse is requesting it and you prefer not to pay, consult a seasoned alimony attorney. They can help you form realistic expectations by explaining the factors courts use when determining spousal support in Guilford.
Alimony is not mandatory in Connecticut, and either spouse might receive or pay it. Couples can waive spousal support in a prenuptial (prenup) agreement. However, a financially disadvantaged spouse might try to overturn a prenup that denies them alimony. Courts often enforce a prenup as written, but they can find the agreement is legally defective or a provision of it is unfair, or that enforcing the prenup would be against public policy if one person would end up substantially disadvantaged or in need of public assistance
If there is no valid prenup waiving alimony and a spouse requests ongoing support, a court will consider it. However, the law recognizes most people can provide for themselves and expects them to do so if their circumstances allow it. This expectation affects the determination of alimony in Guilford. The state recognizes three types of spousal support, and two are temporary.
Many couples have temporary alimony agreements while the divorce is pending. These agreements allow the less wealthy spouse to establish a new home or maintain their current home and prepare to support themselves. Temporary alimony could end when a judge issues a divorce decree, or a judge could extend it for a set period. A court expects the receiving spouse to become self-supporting by the time the temporary alimony ends.
A judge could order rehabilitative spousal support if the receiving spouse needs time to return to school or gain marketable skills before they can support themselves. A court usually sets a time limit on rehabilitative alimony and expects the receiving spouse to improve their marketability and find gainful employment.
Permanent alimony continues until the receiving spouse remarries or one of the spouses dies, and sometimes, a deceased person’s estate might have to continue paying it. Connecticut judges rarely award permanent alimony but might if a marriage lasted several decades and the receiving spouse did not hold a job that could be self-supporting during that time. A spouse with physical or mental health issues that prevents them from working might receive permanent alimony if a judge feels it is necessary to avoid hardship.
Whether a judge awards spousal support depends on multiple aspects contained in Connecticut General Statutes §46b-82 (a). The factors a judge will consider include:
The judge has broad discretion when weighing factors for and against awarding spousal support. A Guilford attorney can advocate for a judge to give more weight to those factors supporting an individual’s goals when determining spousal support.
When a spouse engaged in adultery or was the at-fault party in the divorce, a court can consider their conduct when deciding on spousal support. For example, if a spouse wasted marital assets by buying expensive gifts for a lover, a court might award the wronged spouse more support for a longer time, or alternatively award a higher percentage of marital assets
Whether you seek ongoing financial support from your spouse or want to avoid paying alimony, a local legal representative can help you. They can use their extensive knowledge of the factors judges consider when determining spousal support in Guilford to your advantage.