If you are going through a divorce in Bridgeport or anywhere in Fairfield County, alimony may be very important for your future financial security. Whether you fear you might have to pay support or hope you’ll be able to receive it, your negotiated settlement or the court’s ruling is of paramount importance. Fortunately, you can trust MeehanLaw, LLC to provide trustworthy representation that addresses your needs. We gather the detailed evidence the court requires to make a fair determination that protects your rights and your financial future.
Under Connecticut family law, alimony is a court-ordered payment of spousal support based on two important facts:
If both of these conditions are met, the dependent spouse can petition the court for temporary alimony during the divorce process as well as permanent alimony when the divorce is finalized. A spouse who does not ask the court for alimony during the divorce process is barred from making a request after the divorce. If the court orders alimony, the payment can be monthly or in a lump sum.
When a spouse requests alimony, the court must determine whether to award it, in what amount and for what duration. To decide the issue, the court examines several factors:
Courts look for a fair solution that prevents a dependent spouse from suffering undue financial hardship because of the divorce. When facts show a dependent spouse can become self-supporting, the court can order alimony for a set duration to allow for a smooth transition. When facts suggest a dependent spouse cannot become self-supporting, the court can order permanent, lifelong alimony. Permanent support is generally reserved for older spouses in marriages of long duration and those who have health issues that prevent them from working.
It is possible to modify an alimony award. Supporting spouses who can show evidence of a substantial change in their ability to pay can sometimes get a downward modification. It may also be possible to get an order reducing or terminating alimony if the recipient spouse has entered into a supportive relationship and therefore has less (or no) need for alimony.
It is harder for a recipient spouse to get an upward modification of support. For this to happen, it’s usually necessary to present evidence that the supporting spouse was not fully honest and transparent in the financial disclosures during divorce. If the alimony order was less than expected based on a false claim of inability to pay, the court is likely to grant an increase, and there can be additional penalties for the misrepresentation.
Alimony terminates automatically on the death of either spouse, so courts will sometimes order a supporting spouse to purchase life insurance for the other’s benefit. Alimony also ends when the recipient spouse remarries.
MeehanLaw, LLC advises Bridgeport residents on alimony issues during and after divorce. Please call 203-916-1743 or contact us online to make an appointment for a consultation at our Bridgeport office.