Is Alimony Reform Underway in Connecticut?

In light of a number of recently enacted changes to the law governing alimony awards in Connecticut, many people are wondering if true alimony reform could soon become a reality. What is alimony reform, and is it on its way in Connecticut?

Alimony is a complicated and often contentious issue during any divorce. While spousal support can be awarded to either spouse in Connecticut, at present, it is more often awarded to women who may have become economically disadvantaged through circumstances of their marriage.

Alimony reform is an issue in play throughout the United States. While few men or women want to continue paying money to maintain an ex-partner’s lifestyle, the basis for spousal support is to address income inequities between spouses. Alimony reform urges reconsideration of the basis and rationale for awarding alimony, especially alimony awarded without an end date.

In Connecticut, another provision of Bill No. 6688 requires the Connecticut Law Revision Commission to review the accuracy and fairness of state law relating to alimony. In particular, the commission is charged with analyzing the following:

  • Empirical information about alimony awards in our state
  • The nature of proceedings that lead to alimony awards
  • The comprehensiveness of criteria used to develop awards of spousal support
  • Statistical data concerning relative financial circumstances of parties at intervals following an award of alimony

Based on its review, recommendations for statutory revision of alimony laws are to be presented by the commission by February 1 of this year. Until then, it is unknown to what degree alimony reform may affect Connecticut parties who pay or receive alimony.

For divorcing spouses with high net worth, spousal support is a key issue. If you are considering ending your marriage, seek legal advice.