Alimony awards are highly discretionary in Connecticut. Should there be more specific requirements about when, why, and how Courts should award alimony in a Connecticut divorce cases?
In Connecticut, alimony awards are permitted by statute. Alimony is a support payment in a divorce case.
Because Courts have so much discretion whether to award or not to award alimony there is simply no entitlement to alimony. Some judges just don't like to award alimony. If you get one of those judges as your trial judge, you should not expect any alimony.
In one sense, that is unfair because why should one person receive alimony when another does not only because the second person drew a judge who happens to have had life experiences that predispose that judge to be opposed to alimony.
The rule in Connecticut is that the Court "may" award alimony. That means that the trial Court is not required to order alimony, but can if it wants to. The bottom line is that it is totally up to the trial judge based on their discretion.
But the rule also describes the factors that the Court must consider. The rule says the Court should consider the following factors:
1. The length of the marriage;
2. The causes of the divorce;
3. The age of the parties;
4. The health of the parties;
5. The station of the parties;
6. The occupation of the parties;
7. The amounts and sources of income of the parties;
8. The vocational skills of the parties;
9. The employability of the parties;
10. Other awards such as property awards and child custody awards.
You can see that those factors are general factors.
The bottom line is that an alimony award is highly discretionary.
It is important to know, therefore, what judges do award alimony, and what judges do not. Until the rule changes, one very important factor in your Connecticut divorce case is who is the judge that will decide your case.
If you have any questions about a family law case in which an an alimony award is disputed, contact The Bartinik Law Firm, P.C., at 860-445-8521 or toll free at 888-717-4211. Our main office is 100 Fort Hill Road, Groton, Connecticut.
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