A Connecticut divorce court has a great
deal of flexibility is deciding whether there should be
alimony. If there has been a long marriage and one
spouse has stayed home while the other spouse has worked,
there is likely to be alimony. If the marriage has
been relatively short, both parties work, are healthy, and
have fairly equal incomes, then it is unlikely that a
divorce court will order alimony.
Alimony can be awarded for a
set amount of time. For example, if a divorce court
feels that a spouse needs some time to obtain schooling to
learn an occupation or to return to a former occupation,
the court can require that alimony be paid for the time it
will take to finish that schooling and to be hired.
The divorce decree can state
whether the amount of alimony can be changed or whether the length
of time that alimony is paid can be changed.
If no alimony is awarded at
the time of the divorce, neither party can return to
divorce court and ask for alimony.
A Connecticut divorce court can order that
alimony stop if a certain event happens, such as if the
spouse receiving alimony marries or lives with someone as
if married. Remarriage does not automatically
There are two types of
alimony, periodic and lump sum, that may be ordered in a
divorce. Periodic alimony is
paid at regular intervals, usually weekly. Lump sum
alimony is made in one or a few large payments.
Unless the divorce court
orders otherwise, the person who receives
alimony pays income taxes on the amounts received.
The person who pays alimony can deduct the amount of
payments from his or her income. Alimony payments
from a spouse in a higher tax bracket to a spouse in a
lower tax bracket may result in more overall net income
available to the parties because less taxes are paid
Filing bankruptcy will not
cancel the requirement to pay alimony as long as the
alimony is truly to support an ex-spouse. If the
bankruptcy court determines that the alimony really is
part of a property division, then, in a Chapter
13 Bankruptcy case, the bankruptcy court may
cancel the alimony if the party paying it has the greater
The divorce decree will often
require that the person paying alimony obtain a life
insurance policy with the person receiving alimony named
as the beneficiary.
A divorce court can punish a
person who purposefully fails to pay alimony. The
divorce court can find the person to be in contempt of court
and send the person to prison, require the person to pay
the other party's attorneys fees, and order that property
be turned over to the other party.