People going through a divorce often want to know whether the court will award alimony and, if so, the amount and duration of the alimony award. Judges are not limited to a strict formula, which makes it challenging to predict the exact amount of an alimony award. Instead, judges are guided by numerous statutory factors.
Factors That May Be Considered When Calculating Alimony
Based on the circumstances of each case, a family law judge will weigh the answers to the following questions in determining whether alimony will be awarded, how long alimony will be paid and what the amount of alimony will be:
- How long was the marriage?
- How old are the parties?
- How healthy are the parties?
- What is each party’s station and occupation?
- How much income does each party earn?
- What is each party’s earning capacity, vocational skills and employability?
- What is the size and value of the estate?
- What are the needs of each party?
- Is it desirable or feasible for the primary parent to be available to minor children and forego employment?
These factors are listed in Connecticut’s divorce statute. Judges are not required to weigh these factors equally, nor are they required to recite each factor in their spousal support decisions. However, they do need to make it clear that they have considered these factors.
One of the benefits of working with an experienced and skilled attorney is that the attorney should understand the applicable statutes and decisional law, and also the facts that particular judges considered in past decisions to award alimony or deny alimony requests. This information assists attorneys in providing guidance about the potential outcome if a case is taken to trial during which alimony is in dispute, and to provide reasoned guidance in reaching a settlement.