When spouses in Connecticut divorce, they might not initially be on equal financial footing. This may especially be true if one spouse earns significantly more than the other or if one spouse stayed out of the workforce entirely to care for the family during the marriage. Therefore, the lesser-earning spouse may want to seek alimony -- also known as spousal support -- from his or her ex.
Connecticut does not have a statutory formula for calculating alimony. Instead, the court will consider several factors when deciding whether alimony should be awarded and, if so, how much to award and for how long. This gives the judge a good deal of discretion when it comes to alimony cases.
For example, the court will consider how long the marriage lasted and the cause of the divorce. It may also consider each party's age and health. What each party does for work and how much they earn may be considered. Any vocational skills a party may have, along with each party's employability and level of education are also factors. Each party's needs may be considered. Also, if one parent has custody of any minor children, whether it is desirable and feasible for that parent to work outside the home may be considered.
These are only some factors that a court will use at its discretion to make decisions regarding alimony. In the end, it is important that any alimony award allows the spouse receiving alimony to meet their financial needs without financially draining the spouse paying alimony. Because so much is at stake when it comes to alimony and other family law issues, it is important for those seeking alimony or for those who may be paying it to understand their legal options.