Couples dissolving their marriages often find spousal support becomes a point of bitter contention. Although the law does not mandate continuing support, it vests the judge with discretion to determine if support is appropriate in light of a list of statutory factors. Where alimony exposure exists on account of the parties’ respective earning capacities and the length of their marriage, there is the potential for conflict.

If spouses cannot agree about the support between themselves, a judge will make the final decision in a way that might satisfy neither party. A Milford spousal support lawyer can help you resolve the issue, regardless of whether you may be at risk of paying alimony or receiving it. A seasoned family lawyer understands the alimony process and can help you advocate for your interests.

Temporary Alimony

When a couple first begins living apart, the higher earning spouse who has traditionally supported the family may be ordered to continue providing financial support to the spouse with fewer resources. While a divorce is pending, temporary alimony helps the receiving spouse establish a separate household, if necessary, or learn to maintain the home they already have as a single person.

Couples can agree to temporary alimony when they decide to divorce. In other cases, a spouse must motion the court to award temporary alimony. Courts usually award temporary alimony if one spouse demonstrates a need. A Connecticut court’s decision on temporary alimony is without prejudice and does not necessitate an ultimate finding of spousal support as part of the divorce judgment.

An obligation to pay temporary alimony ends when the court issues a final divorce decree. A lawyer in Milford can request a court extend temporary alimony or terminate it prematurely.

How Courts Determine Spousal Support

Connecticut General Statutes § 46b-82 (a) outlines the factors a judge will consider when determining the amount and duration of spousal support. There is no formula for calculating spousal support, instead, the judge will consider the length of the marriage, the causes for the divorce, the health and age of the parties, as well as their respective occupations, earning capacities, assets, needs, and the likelihood the requesting spouse could earn enough to provide themselves with a reasonable standard of living A party seeking alimony must demonstrate that they need the support under those factors, and that the other spouse has the ability to pay support.

A Milford attorney will ensure the court has all the information to most favorably consider their client’s spousal support position.

Post-Divorce Spousal Support

Judges often order rehabilitative support in Connecticut divorces. A spouse receives rehabilitative support to continue their education or gain marketable skills. Courts expect a spouse receiving rehabilitative alimony to become self-supporting. Some courts use a rule of thumb that a spouse receives rehabilitative support for half as long as the marriage’s length. However, that is not the law, and judges have discretion about the duration of the support.

Judges sometimes order permanent support. Courts usually reserve permanent support for a spouse coming out of a long marriage who cannot earn a reasonable income and support themselves. A judge might award permanent support after a shorter marriage if the requesting spouse is near or past retirement age, has a physical or mental condition that prevents them from working, or if it seems fair under the circumstances.

Either spouse can request the court to modify a spousal support order if they show a substantial change in circumstances merits a change. Situations that might require modification include a job loss, a windfall, cohabitation, and the birth of another child. A lawyer in Milford can advise a spouse whether an alimony modification might be appropriate in a particular case.

Consult a Milford Spousal Support Attorney for Help

There is no formula to determine spousal support in Connecticut, which means it is left to the judge’s discretion if the spouses cannot agree. You might require a strong advocate to persuade the judge to rule in your favor. One of our Milford spousal support attorneys will strive to achieve your goals. Reach out today to discuss your situation with our skilled legal team.

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