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Who gets alimony in a divorce?

When a couple divorces and children are involved, figuring child support is almost always a part of the process. It is based on different factors, such as who earns the most money, who has the children the most time and so on.

Alimony, however, is not always a consideration anymore. In years past, alimony was usually paid by husbands after a divorce because most women were housewives and had no other income. This helped them to survive financially. Now that so many women work outside the home also, it does not rate as much in priority.

When is alimony usually a part of a divorce agreement now?

When a couple divorces, and one earns more than the other and there is a huge discrepancy between their earnings, this leaves one partner less well-off and one partner more well-off than before. A judge may order the one who earns more to pay alimony to the other so he or she will be better able to survive post-divorce.

What are typical alimony agreements?

Alimony orders vary depending on a couple's circumstances. Here are some options a Connecticut judge might include in a divorce agreement:

Rehabilitation alimony: This option grants alimony only for a specified period. An amount is paid only long enough to help support a former spouse while they are obtaining the education and skills needed to become employable.

Lump sum: As often occurs in property settlements, one spouse is ordered to pay their share of the monthly payments on a property, or to buy out the other spouse's portion of the property. These are usually paid in a lump sum.

Permanent spousal support: In some cases, alimony is ordered to be paid indefinitely unless the recipient remarries, or either of the spouses die.

Temporary alimony: In Connecticut a separation period is required before a divorce takes place. Temporary alimony support may be ordered during this period. The support agreement is then revisited during the divorce process.

What if the one paying permanent alimony cannot afford the payments?

If the payer's circumstances change and their earnings are reduced, or in the case of a job loss or retirement, their attorney can petition the court to revise the spousal support payments. The court will review the case and act accordingly.

Source: Legal Zoom, "What are your Spousal Support options in a Divorce?," Beverly Rice, accessed March 30, 2018

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