Stratford Alimony Lawyer
Alimony, also referred to as spousal support or maintenance, can be negotiated between two divorcing partners as part of a settlement agreement. Although the law recognizes the continuing duty of spousal support after separation or divorce, alimony is not automatically awarded when a marriage dissolves. Even though judges are required by law to follow certain guidelines when awarding alimony, they have great latitude to determine amounts and duration.
If you are considering divorce or legal separation, you may need compassionate legal assistance to determine what your alimony options may be. An experienced Stratford alimony lawyer could work to ensure your rights are protected and your financial needs are met.
About Alimony Law in Stratford
Alimony is the compensation a former spouse pays to help support the other spouse during and after divorce. In many marriages, one partner works to support the family while the other remains home to take care of the house and children. When a couple lives apart due to a pending divorce, the non-working partner may require money to continue to meet their basic financial needs.
Although there may be greater financial equality in marriages today, alimony laws remain to ensure both spouses are able to maintain a similar lifestyle to the one enjoyed prior to divorce. Based on the circumstances, the court may decline to order alimony or require the higher wage earner to pay the lower wage earner for a period of time. A Stratford alimony lawyer could help an individual pursue alimony.
Different Types of Alimony
Temporary alimony may be awarded for the period between when the couple separates and the final divorce decree. Pendente lite is a common term for this type of alimony, which means while the action is pending. The payment may be a lump sum payment or a series of payments made periodically over a limited time.
Permanent alimony may be awarded in long-term marriages where the spouse is unlikely to become self-supporting in the future due to health issues or advanced age. Permanent alimony was once very common, but it is rarely used today.
Rehabilitative alimony is an amount paid to a spouse for support during training or schooling that will presumably lead to gainful employment. The court may award rehabilitative alimony for a set duration of time so that the receiving spouse will have adequate time to become self-supporting.
Requirements for Receiving Alimony
Courts in Stratford will examine the financial situation of each divorcing couple that comes before them and determines whether one spouse has an economic need and the other can support it to some extent. Some factors the court may examine while making this decision include but are not limited to:
- Length of the marriage
- Physical and psychological health of the parties
- Age of the parties
- Station in life and employability of each partner
- Occupation, sources of income, and potential future earning power of each spouse
- Any issues affecting children, such as child custody or amount of child support that benefits either spouse
There is no set formula for awarding alimony in Stratford. A family court judge has broad discretion when awarding alimony and may consider the reason for divorce as one factor. Certain grounds for divorce, such as abandonment, abuse, or adultery, may affect alimony terms.
Changes in Alimony Terms
Unless the settlement agreement states that no changes are allowed in alimony, an alimony award may be altered or terminated under certain circumstances. The court may modify the terms if the spouse seeking the change can demonstrate a substantial change in circumstances, such as loss of employment or a promotion.
Alimony ends when stipulated in a court decree, the recipient spouse remarries, or if either spouse dies. Connecticut law allows a judge to modify or discontinue alimony if the receiving spouse cohabitates with another adult. However, the paying spouse must demonstrate that the cohabitation has changed the receiving spouse’s economic needs.
Contacting a Stratford Alimony Attorney
If you are considering separation or divorce, alimony may become an issue. You may anticipate the need for financial support, or perhaps you may be required to pay support. In either situation, you could benefit from a discussion with a seasoned Stratford alimony lawyer. Call today to schedule an appointment. A skilled alimony attorney could pursue the best possible outcome in your case.