I get a few calls per month about modifying Connecticut alimony when unemployed. The leading reason for modifying alimony post-divorce in Connecticut is a decrease in income – either less earnings or outright unemployment. These motions are filed regularly in the Bridgeport and Stamford Court.
There are two aspects to a Modification of Alimony.
Like all modifications, the judge must first find that there has been a “substantial change in circumstances.” If you were working then and you are not now then this standard is usually met. This is the easier part.
The far more difficult part is what the new order should be. In cases involving unemployment, underemployment or a reduction in income judges will consider the following:
- Prior earnings – earning capacity
- Training, education and work experience
- Whether the reduction in income or job was voluntary or involuntary
These factors are about the paying spouse. They determine the likelihood of obtaining employment and at what income level.
The judge will also consider the circumstances of the spouse receiving alimony. For example:
These factors dictate the extent to which there is a continued need for spousal support and if so at what amount.
After considering all of these factors, the judge has a lot of discretion in making the ultimate decision. Possible outcomes include:
- Keeping the order the same
- Reducing the alimony
- Terminating the alimony
- Suspending the alimony
Sometimes former spouses are amicable enough to resolve these issues. If so, a lawyer may not be necessary. In cases that require extensive litigation, representation should be considered.
Please (203) 259-5251 contact me if you have questions on modifying alimony in Connecticut when unemployed.