Does adultery affect alimony?

by | Feb 1, 2018 | Alimony, Firm News |

The way alimony is decided in a divorce proceeding varies by state. But the purpose is basically the same. Alimony is meant to help individuals that are going from a two-party household income to a single-party household income retain their standard of living. Awarding alimony to the individual with the lowest source of income helps to equalize the now separate households.

If a divorce in Connecticut is the result of adultery, does this affect alimony?

Many states in the U.S. have adopted the “no fault” divorce. Basically, a divorce can be obtained for no reason other than the couple’s statement that the marriage is no longer working. Connecticut not only requires a couple to be separated for a year before a divorce, but they grant both “no-fault” and “at-fault” divorces. The “at-fault” divorce can be granted based on eight different reasons, with adultery being one of the eight. When the judge considers alimony, adultery can be a factor that affects his or her decision-making.

How does adultery affect alimony awards?

The decision to consider adultery charges when awarding alimony is completely at the discretion of the judge. The judge determines who should receive alimony and how much.

In past years, a wife who committed adultery was considered to have forfeited her right to alimony. But women and men are now treated equal. A judge may consider the evidence of adultery and the effect it had on the marriage, as well as on the couple’s estate. Property settlements, as well as alimony awards, may be more generous toward the innocent party. In the case where the one who is to be awarded alimony is also the adulterous party, he or she may be awarded a lesser amount than usual.

Judges also consider a variety of other things when awarding alimony. They take into account how long the couple has been married, if one spouse will be caring for children while trying to secure employment and also the age, health and earning capacity of each spouse. Legal assistance is crucial during a divorce because an attorney can help to sway the judge’s decision on behalf of his or her client.

Once the initial award of alimony has been made, if the divorced parties go back to court with a request for modification, the “at-fault” or adultery evidence can no longer be used as a part of the decision-making process.

Source: DivorceNet, “ide on the amount and duration alimony. This article covers that basics of alimony in,” Amy Castillo, accessed Feb. 02, 2018


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