What are the laws on alimony?

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What are the laws on alimony?

I am currently married and my husband asked for a divorce. He is throwing at me that I would have to pay alimony because I hold a higher degree when in fact, he makes more money than I do. Is this true?

Asked on October 26, 2018 under Family Law, Connecticut

Answers:

SJZ, Member, New York Bar / FreeAdvice Contributing Attorney

Answered 2 years ago | Contributor

There is no hard and fast "law" on the subject: every case is decided by the court on it's facts. Generally, the court weighs four factors:
1) Over the course of the marriage, who contributed more to the family income, and by how much? That one tends to have to pay.
2) Who is earning more at the time of the divorce? Again, the higher earner will tend to pay, unless it can be reasonably shown that this is a fluke (e.g. spouses A &  B; A earned more for the last 12 years but was recently laid off and is unemployed or took a temp/part-time job while looking for a full-time one--clearly, the fact of earning less now does not reflect earning power generally).
3) Who on paper should have the greater earning potential in the future, such as based on career/field, education/degree/training, work experience, etc.? That one generally pays.
4) Did one spouse contribute to the other one's earning potential, as in supporting him/her while he/she got a degree, built a business, etc.? The one who supported the other in building up his/her career will often get compensation for that.
The court will weigh the above, and order alimony as deemed fair and equitable.


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