For high-net-worth spouses entering into divorce, the issue of alimony or spousal support is often a contentious one. In addition to the tax implications, it is important to understand Connecticut law regarding alimony awards.
Alimony is available to either spouse in a Connecticut divorce. Because the law does not stipulate a formula for calculating spousal support, the parties are left to their own negotiations or the ruling of a judge to determine a fair alimony award.
In October 2013, legislation revising the award of alimony was enacted. Some of the provisions of that measure include the following:
- While courts have always considered factors (instead of a formula) when determining an alimony award, the new legislation adds earning capacity and education to that list of criteria.
- A court must now consider the feasibility of employment by a custodial parent when making a support award.
- The new measure expands evidence required for consideration by the court before making an alimony or property award.
- Open-ended alimony is still available in Connecticut. In the future, courts considering an award of indefinite spousal support must review and define the basis on which they are making their ruling.
- Either party can petition a court for modification of alimony either upward or downward unless such modification is specifically precluded in a Separation Agreement. The new legislation requires courts to consider the same criteria used to make an original alimony award when ruling on a petition for modification.
Fair alimony awards are important for those with considerable net worth. Ensure your alimony arrangement is appropriate by securing reputable legal counsel throughout your divorce in Connecticut.