Westport Alimony Lawyers
Experienced & Highly Professional Legal Representation in Fairfield, Greenwich, New Canaan, Darien, Stamford, Weston, Wilton and Norwalk Counties
Alimony, also known as spousal support, is a complex issue that can become highly contested between parties. The courts have significant discretion to decide whether alimony should be awarded and the amount and duration of each award. Unlike child support, no hard-and-fast formula exists for the calculation of alimony in Connecticut. Because of this, you need an attorney who can provide an individualized approach to your unique matter. Whether you are seeking or contesting alimony in Westport, Fairfield County, or beyond, the team at Rutkin, Oldham & Griffin can help.
Need an advocate in your alimony case? Turn to our Westport alimony attorneys and call (203) 428-4476 or submit your consultation request online.
Alimony in Connecticut
Alimony typically comes into play when divorcing parties earn vastly different incomes. The Connecticut Judicial Branch Law Libraries provides a guide to this issue. This summary reports that “the generally accepted purpose of alimony is to enable a spouse who is disadvantaged through divorce to enjoy a standard of living commensurate with the standard of living during marriage.” It also states that alimony is “money a court requires one spouse to pay the other spouse for support before and/or after the divorce is granted. If you do not ask for alimony at the final hearing, you can never get it in the future.”
The factors the courts will evaluate in determining the issue of alimony can include but are not limited to:
- The duration of the marriage
- Each party’s age and health conditions
- Whether minor children are involved
- The incomes, occupations, and/or earning capacity of both parties
- The causes of the divorce
- Employability of the parties
- The needs of both parties
- What each party has contributed to the marriage
In many cases, one spouse has forfeited employment or educational opportunities to raise children or support a partner’s career. On the other hand, the case may involve a client who had a well-established career before marriage. Each case is unique and is reviewed and determined by the judge on a case-by-case basis. Our firm can evaluate your individual situation, advise you on your rights and obligations, and represent you in negotiations or hearings regarding this issue.
Alimony may be awarded on a temporary basis while the divorce is pending to help the supported spouse adjust to new financial circumstances. It may also be granted on a “rehabilitative” basis for short term to help the supported spouse gain the education, training, or skills needed to become more financially independent.
Modifications & Tax Issues
Alimony is often made modifiable. It is only non-modifiable if specifically identified as such. In order to modify an alimony order, you must file a motion with the court. Modifications must be justified and are generally based on a substantial change in life or financial circumstances. Examples of this can include a sudden change in income level, such as from the supporting spouse’s job loss or a significant promotion for the recipient spouse; an injury or accident experienced by the supporting spouse; or the remarriage of the recipient spouse.
For divorces filed after January 1, 2019, supporting parties (those paying alimony) will not be eligible to take a tax deduction for alimony payments. Recipient spouses will not have to pay taxes on the payments they receive. For orders entered before January 1, 2019, this was reversed. Our team can help you navigate this significant change to the taxation of alimony.
Rutkin, Oldham & Griffin – A Leader in Family Law
Our well-established firm is widely respected for delivering quality legal representation. Attorneys Arnold Rutkin and Sarah Oldham coauthored “Family Law and Practice with Forms,” the highly respected three-volume treatise that covers complex family law issues and spousal support laws. We bring an abundance of knowledge and experience to alimony and other divorce-related issues. If you need advice relating to an alimony case, no matter how complex or difficult, you can rely on our discretion, legal ability, and dedication in helping you establish and protect your best interests.
We understand that no two family law cases are alike. While our clients may be going through similar processes, each case brings a different set of circumstances involving family dynamics, personal histories, financial matters, specific legal needs, emotional challenges, and more. What works for one client may not work for you. We approach each case by taking the time to thoroughly understand all of the details of your unique situation. Our strategies can then be thoughtfully tailored to serve your specific goals and purposes.