Heidi E. Opinsky

The Law Offices of Heidi E. Opinsky, LLC

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Can I Get Permanent Alimony in Connecticut or New York?

The purpose of alimony in Connecticut and New York is for both partners to be able to maintain more or less the same lifestyles as they did when married. Support is commonly used to temporarily provide for a person who requires employment training or extra schooling prior to entering the job market. 

The kind, length, and sum of support payments are all determined by the merits of your circumstances. Here’s a quick overview of NY and CT alimony guidelines and how to get experienced legal help with your case.

What Is Permanent Alimony? 

Alimony, also known as spousal support, is financial aid paid from one spouse to the other after a divorce. This type of alimony is generally ordered until the paying spouse passes away and continues even if the paying spouse becomes disabled, retires, or otherwise lives on a fixed income. The term, however, is a bit of a misnomer. Permanent alimony may not be permanent for the recipient if they survive the paying spouse.

CT Alimony Guidelines 

In Connecticut, you do not have to be married for a certain amount of time in order to get alimony in or spousal maintenance. How much support is ordered and for how long is determined by a Connecticut Superior court. There, a judge will look at a variety of factors before making this determination. 

Connecticut does not have a defined formula or spousal support calculator. Although some people argue that maintenance should be paid for half of the number of years the couple was married, this isn’t mandatory. Spousal support is determined by the judge based mostly on the financial needs of the lesser-earning spouse and the ability of the payor. 

NY Alimony Guidelines 

Alimony can be requested by either partner when getting a divorce in New York. Ultimately, whether the judge orders spousal support or not will be determined by each person’s financial position, the petitioning person’s need, and other circumstances. Since 2010, New York law has required judges to compute spousal assistance using a specified formula. Rather than relying exclusively on the judgment of the court, the established formula helps to make support uniform and consistent.

New York family courts typically utilize the following formula to determine spousal maintenance, which takes into account:

  • The incomes of each person 
  • Existing child support payments 

Only up to $184,000 of the payor’s income is used to calculate support in New York. This means the court will not consider further income unless the judge determines other grounds to modify the order. The court will choose one of three methods to determine the final amount of support awarded:

  • subtract 25% of the payor’s earnings from 20% of the recipient’s earnings
  • subtract 20% of the recipient’s income from 30% of the payor’s earnings, or 
  • multiply both spouses’ total earnings by 40% and subtract the recipient’s earnings from that sum

The judge will take the smallest of the three numbers and then divide it by the payment frequency to get the award amount for that time period. For example, dividing the total sum by 12 calculates the monthly award, while dividing by 52 calculates the weekly award. How often payments are made is decided by the judge, usually after reviewing the frequency of the payor’s income.

How Both States Determine Spousal Support 

Both Connecticut and New York use similar factors to consider if spousal maintenance should be awarded and if so, how much and for how long. These include but are not limited to the following:

  • both spouses’ current earnings and assets
  • the expected future earnings and assets of each spouse
  • the duration of marriage
  • how old each spouse is 
  • the physical and mental health of each spouse
  • the recipient’s capacity to become self-sufficient 
  • if the recipient’s ability to work was impacted in any way by actions of the payor
  • the presence of a shared home before marriage
  • the recipient’s reduction in income if they forfeited their career to care for the marital home or children the couple share 
  • if the couple has a child and which parent the child is primarily staying with 
  • if the child or another dependent living with either spouse requires care 

Call Experienced Divorce Lawyer Heidi E. Opinsky Today 

The family lawyer you hire can make or break your case. Whether you stand to pay or receive alimony in Conncticut or New York, it’s crucial that you work with a veteran divorce attorney. Without a lawyer, you run the risk of receiving less support than you need if you are a recipient or being ordered to pay more alimony than you can afford if you are or may be the payor. 

Contact Heidi E. Opinsky today for more information or to book an appointment to meet with Attorney Opinsky in-office. Call now at 203-653-3542.