Branford Alimony Determination

Alimony, also referred to as spousal support, is continual payment to a spouse in a divorced or separated couple. It is meant to sustain a lesser paying spouse at a financial level that is comparable to the level that existed during the marriage. If you are seeking financial support or have any issues with alimony payments, a Branford family attorney will best be able to help you seek fair payments. There are a number of factors to consider when determining spousal support in Branford, which an experienced alimony attorney can help to illuminate.

Factors of Consideration

Initial temporary alimony, while the case is pending, is given as the first step in a case. During the negotiation of the case, hopefully, both parties reach an agreement as to what the alimony is and the length of time for the alimony going forward. Typically, lawyers will try to reach an agreement here when determining alimony.

A person’s education and profession speak to the employability of somebody and whether they are under or over employed and whether they are maximizing their earning capacity. Those two things are primarily taken into account in an alimony determination in Branford.

The factors that go into that are statutory factors, including the length of the marriage, age and health, employability, the estate, child support, and whether there is visitation. All those things go into an spousal support award, but there is no specific formula. The court has a lot of discretion in determining this, so if an agreement cannot be reached, they will go to a judge to determine whether somebody should be awarded alimony.

Earning Capacity

There are a number of ways to determine a person’s earning capacity. The easiest and most inexpensive one is to look at a person’s past earning history, what they have made in the past. A person can also hire an expert like an economist or a forensic accountant, to make a determination of what a person’s earning capacity is, particularly if they are under-employed, if they are over-employed, or if they are not employed, then what their job prospects are and what those job prospect would earn them.

Measuring Finances

One of the first things that a person needs to do in a divorce is to fill out a financial affidavit and get a complete financial picture of the parties in a divorce, which is a required. There are court orders in place that require full and frank financial disclosures. There is also the requirement of discoveries, including the production of documents, banking records, and any records regarding financial institutions. One of the safeguards is that the court in effect forces everybody to get a clear financial picture. Once they have that, attorneys can start developing an argument against an award of alimony.

Rights to Alimony

There are a few considerations for circumstances in which a person could be barred from receiving alimony. The first part is not necessarily a restriction if both parties make too much money, are on an equal financial footing, and agree not to seek spousal support from each other. Also, another way that they can avoid the award of alimony is if they were married for a very short period of time. The court looks at the life of the marriage to determine if alimony should be awarded at all.

Then, there is the question of signing away rights for alimony in any temporary agreement or permanent agreement regarding a divorce. A person is allowed to sign away and essentially waive any right to alimony. That could potentially bar somebody from receiving spousal support.

An individual can always file a motion to get an award of a temporary alimony, so that is always on the table in the case. The same factors that go to a permanent award of alimony or an extended award of alimony through a divorce also speak to any temporary award during the pendency of that divorce.

Role of an Attorney

The first thing attorneys try to do when helping their client to determine alimony in Branford is to reach an agreement concerning the spousal support, because the last thing couples want to do is litigate it. Then, an attorney will go through all the finances, make a recommendation on what one party should be offering, if at all, and present that argument in light of the statutory factors to the court.