Divorce has the potential to be a lengthy process and negotiating spousal support may lead to further frustration. However, being aware of the process for determining spousal support in New Haven beforehand can prove beneficial in the long run to save both time, money, and mental strain.
An alimony attorney could help you understand and streamline the process as much as possible, while protecting your rights along the way.
According to Connecticut law, the standard a judge will use for awarding spousal support is codified in statute and includes a variety of outlined factors. Some factors involved include:
Before determining if either spouse qualifies for spousal support, each party will go through a discovery phase. In the discovery phase, both parties must provide the other side with their financial disclosure and the opportunity to inspect relevant financial documents. The couple may then attend a pre-trial hearing to attempt to negotiate the issue of alimony.
If the parties are unable to come to an agreement on the financial issues involved in their case, they may be required to go to trial, where spousal support would then be determined by the judge on the basis of testimony and evidence.
To prove the necessity of spousal support, both parties may be requested to disclose financial documents, such as tax returns, W-2s, and pay stubs, as well as documentation regarding expenses and financial obligations. After an initial meeting, a qualified local attorney can help guide an individual in gathering and producing the necessary documentation.
Each party, with the help of their attorneys, will fill out financial affidavit forms that lay out their incomes, expenses, and debts to add to the spousal support analysis.
Spousal support awards are typically modifiable on the basis of a change in circumstances, which might include an increase in income by the party receiving alimony or a decrease in income by the payor party. Additionally, the term and amount of alimony are often subject to the Connecticut Cohabitation Statute, which allows for the paying spouse to seek the termination or reduction of alimony in the event the recipient begins living with a third party post-divorce, and such cohabitation is proven to improve their financial circumstance. Generally, spousal support is also ordered to automatically terminates upon the remarriage of the recipient party.
Spousal support is harder to obtain in cases of short-term marriages, however, the decision to award alimony is at the discretion of the judge, who can also consider the relative fault in the breakdown of the marriage. Additionally, having the assistance of an attorney in putting forth evidence to support the factors outlined in the alimony statute will impact the likelihood that alimony is awarded.
An attorney can educate a party going through a divorce about what factors are relevant to a spousal support analysis and assist them in gathering all the financial documents needed to make their case to a judge.
An experienced lawyer can determine what the accurate earning capacity might be for the other spouse and get experts involved whenever necessary to show the other party’s earning capacity or income is higher than what they are disclosing. To get assistance determining your eligibility for spousal support in New Haven, call our firm to set up a consultation today.