Connecticut Family
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Why the state’s definition of alimony matters

On Behalf of | Aug 7, 2023 | Divorce |

In a general sense, alimony serves as support paid to a former spouse after a divorce. The support usually runs for set amount of time, perhaps allowing that person to get back into the workforce.

For example, say that a couple decides to have children. They are both high earners, but one parent decides to leave the workforce entirely and stays at home for 20 years, raising the kids. When the children go to college, the other person asks for a divorce. The spouse who was home with the children has no independent income and no earning capacity, and it may be all but impossible for them to just jump right back into the lucrative career they had two decades before. Therefore, alimony may be ordered so that they are not left without their fair share of the marital estate.

The official definition

A general understanding of things like alimony is not necessarily enough. It’s wise to look at the official definition given that the stakes of a couple’s property division process are generally very high. There are two parts to this definition, per the State of Connecticut Judicial Branch, and the first is as follows:

“Money a court requires one spouse to pay the other spouse for support before and/or after the divorce is granted.”

That seems simple enough, but the second part of the definition makes this statement:

“If you do not ask for alimony at the final hearing, you can never get it in the future.”

And that is why it’s critical for people to really look into the legal steps they need to take to secure a fair property division settlement. Merely overlooking the need for alimony could be enough to make it impossible to seek that type of support in the future. Someone who doesn’t initially ask for alimony at their contested divorce hearing isn’t going to be able to come back later and ask for a modification so that they can get support. They have simply lost that potential asset.

This is just one reason why you need to carefully look into all of your options during a divorce. You must know what legal steps to take to better safeguard your interests. Seeking legal guidance is a good place to start.