In Connecticut, alimony awards are court orders that must be followed. They are designed to provide for the support of one party by the other’s making periodic payments to him or her for a given amount of time. A person who is ordered to pay alimony cannot simply stop doing so without first obtaining a modification of the original order.
Courts may modify an original alimony award upon the filing of a post-dissolution motion. The party seeking the modification must have sufficient legal grounds in order for the court to be able to grant the request for a reduction of the amounts paid or for a termination of theobligation entirely.
Connecticut law provides that alimony payments may be terminated if one party proves the recipient is now cohabiting with another person, obviating the need for the continued support. Courts may also modify an existing alimony award when a payer’s circumstances have changed significantly since the order, or if the recipient’s financial circumstances have significantly improved through a substantial increase in his or her income.
Since alimony is a court order, people cannot simply stop paying even when circumstances exist that wold warrant modification. The payer must file a motion to modify the prior award and must be able to prove to the court that grounds exist allowing the court to make the requested change. Failure to do so may subject the party to contempt of court proceedings which could result in incarceration. Those who wish to modify an alimony award can receive assistance in filing the appropriate motion from an attorney who has experience in divorce and other family law matters.
Source: Connecticut Judicial Branch Law Libraries, “Alimony in Connecticut“, October 18, 2014