A Bridgeport Modification of Alimony or a Stamford Modification is a common filing. That’s because under Connecticut law, either spouse can petition the court for a post judgment modification of alimony unless the divorce decree precludes modification. The request may be to increase or decrease the award, or temporarily or permanently stop the payments.
The party requesting the post-divorce modification has the burden of proving to the court that there has been a substantial change in circumstances since the original support award was entered, or since the last time the order was modified. There is no set list of what constitutes a “substantial change in circumstances” – instead, the court considers the parties’ individual circumstances when making this determination.
A recent case from the Bridgeport Family Court holds that a judge can reduce unallocated alimony and child support if the payor’s health has deteriorated and his income has decreased.
In that case, the original order was $10,500 per month as unallocated support (alimony and child support combined). Apparently, the ex husband lost a large portion of his clientele which reduced his income. In order to continue to make payments and meet the current support obligations he asked his new wife to sell some of her assets. He also listed his house in Fairfield for sale.
Based on this, it seemed clear that there was a substantial change in his circumstances. However, the judge still had to decide on what the new support number would be. This happens a lot – it’s often not a question of whether the payor will get a break with a modification but what a fair and reasonable amount is.
The judge ultimately reduced the amount to $4,500.
I represent clients in alimony matters though out Fairfield County including those who reside in Easton, Fairfield, Monroe, Trumbull, Stratford, Bridgeport, Westport, Weston, New Canaan, Wilton, Norwalk, Darien, Stamford and Greenwich.