factors that affect alimony payments

How Do Courts Determine Length and Amount of Alimony?

How Do Courts Determine Length and Amount of Alimony?

Factors That Affect Alimony Payments

At G&G Law, LLC we represent both husbands and wives in divorce proceedings, both as the party filing for divorce or defending against it. In most cases, the issues of alimony arises early on:

  • Who will pay alimony to who?
  • What will be the amount of the alimony payment?
  • How long will alimony payments last?

In deciding whether alimony should be awarded, and if so for how much and how long, the Court will consider a list of factors as provided by Connecticut General Statute Sec. 46b-82. The section provides that either party may be liable for alimony to the other. In coming to a decision, the Court will take evidence and hear testimony on:

  • the length of the marriage
  • the cause of the separation or divorce
  • the ages of the divorcing parties
  • the station and occupations of the divorcing parties
  • the amounts and sources of income for the divorcing parties
  • the vocational skills and employability of the divorcing parties
  • the estate (total assets) of each divorcing party, and
  • any other awards of property in connection with the divorce.

The Court is looking at the financial situation of each divorcing party, how much one party may have relied on the other for financial support, and whether the situations of either divorcing party are likely to change in the future. What the Court is doing is establishing a need, or lack of need, for the financial support of one of the parties, trying to evaluate the ability of the other party to provide that financial support, and finally deciding the extent of that financial support and when and if it should stop.

The Courts perception of the circumstances will depend heavily on which documents or testimony are presented to the Court and whether they are presented in the proper manner. While each factor is relevant, some are more relevant than others in specific situations, and those need to be highlighted to Court. An experienced Connecticut divorce attorney can be instrumental in the fair and adequate award of alimony.

nonadversarial divorce process

The Shortcut to Divorce – New Connecticut Law Creates Nonadversarial Divorce Process – Connecticut Public Act 15-7

The Shortcut to Divorce in Connecticut

Public Act 15-7 Creates Nonadversarial Divorce Process

Coming into effect this past October 1st, Public Act No. 15-7, An Act Concerning a Nonadversarial Dissolution of Marriage, creates a shortcut to divorce in nonadversarial divorces that meet certain criteria. While the goal was to offer the public a faster and far less intense divorce process, the qualification requirements are rather restrictive.

Qualification Requirements for Nonadversarial Dissolution of Marriage

ALL of the following conditions must be satisfied, and both parties must swear to them under oath in order to qualify for nonadversarial divorce:

  1. The marriage has broken down irretrievably;
  2. The parties were married fewer than 8 years;
  3. Neither party to the action is pregnant;
  4. No children were born to or adopted by the parties before or during marriage;
  5. Neither party owns real estate property, in whole or jointly with others;
  6. The total value of all property owned by both parties does not exceed $35,000 (excluding encumbrances);
  7. Neither party has a benefit pension plan;
  8. Neither party has a pending petition for relief in Bankruptcy court;
  9. Neither party is applying for or receiving Title 19 Social Security benefits;
  10. No other action relating to the marriage is pending anywhere else;
  11. There are no restraining orders or protective orders in effect between the parties; and
  12. residency requirements are satisfied.

If all of the above are true, an action for nonadversarial dissolution of marriage can be started by filing a duely signed and notarized joint petition in a judicial district in which one of the parties to the nonadversarial divorce lives. The joint petition must include the following:

  1. Date and place of marriage;
  2. Current residential address of each party;
  3. Financial Affidavits;
  4. Notarized certification signed by both parties that they agree to proceed by consent and wive service of process, neither is acting under duress or coercion, and each is waiving the right to trial, alimony, spousal support, or appeal.

If the parties wish to submit a settlement agreement or request to restore birth name or former name, these must also be included with the joint petition at filing.

Timeframe of Nonadversarial Divorce

Thirty or more days after the joint petition is filed the court will schedule a disposition date. During this thirty day period, either party can file a notice of revocation, turning the nonadversarial divorce into a standard one.

Assuming no issues arise and both parties agree on everything, the Court may enter a decree of dissolution of marriage (judgment of divorce) as early as the disposition date or within 5 days of that date. The parties are then notified by mail of the divorce and given the status of unmarried person. No court hearing is required.

Issues That Can Arise

The new law points out two specific reasons for why the Court can choose not to enter the decree of dissolution. If the court spots an issue, it will schedule a hearing within the next thirty days so that the parties can be heard. If the court is still not satisfied that the nonadversarial divorce process is proper under the circumstances, it will turn the nonadversarial divorce into a standard family docket divorce.

  • The Settlement Agreement proposed by the parties is not Fair and Equitable; and
  • Failure to comply with the 12 criteria for qualifying.

However, from reviewing the statute, there are some other reasons that could likely cause a joint petition for nonadversarial divorce to fail.

  • Jurisdictional issues with the Court where the joint petition was filed;
  • Failure to notarize the joint petition, certifications and affidavits;
  • Failure to notify the Court of a change concerning criteria for qualifying in a timely manner;
  • Failure to provide financial affidavits or use the proper form;
  • Failure to provide required certifications; or
  • There is evidence of duress or coercion.

Why You Need To Be Very Careful With Nonadversarial Dissolution of Marriage

When the Court enters a decree for the dissolution of marriage in a nonadversarial divorce, that decree is the “final adjudication of the rights and obligations of the parties with respect to the status of the marriage and the property rights of the parties.” You waive any right to a trial, alimony, spousal support or any appeals. 

The final judgment may only be set aside for fraud, duress, accident, mistake or other grounds recognized at law or in equity.

 

 

attorneys for young professionals

Attorneys for Young Professionals

Attorneys for Young Professionals

Let us be your lawyers for life!

At G&G Law, LLC, we are a firm comprised of three attorneys in their thirties. As young professionals ourselves, we are able to cater to other young professionals such as doctors, nurses, financial advisers, accountants, insurance agents, real estate agents, teachers and professors, life and success coaches, etc. Our young professional clients appreciate our ability to communicate on their level, use technology to improve the flow of information and their overall attorney experience, and in general understand the hardships and demands of the modern landscape for young professionals.

Below are some of the practice areas we serve and some examples of how we help our young professional clients meet their needs within those areas of law.

Business Formation, Planning & Licensing

Whether you just graduated school or have been working for somebody else gaining experience, you may be looking to open your own business or practice. One of the things they don’t teach you in grad school, and that your previous employers are not likely to share with you, is how to start, plan and run a business. Many of our first encounters with our young professional clients are when they are trying to go out on their own but don’t know how to handle much of the business paperwork that was previous done on their behalf. Should they form a partnership, an LLC or a corporation? How should they handle partners or investors? Are they allowed to have partners or investors under State laws? What licensing will they need? What types of insurance will they need? What contracts do they need to sign with their clients and customers? How about a business plan to seek funding? Should they be charging sales tax?

We can assist our clients by identifying all of the needs of their business, the barriers it will have to get over, and how we will attack those barriers. We have the knowledge, experience and software to meet all the business law needs of our young professional clients.

Real Estate – Purchases, Sales & Refinance

Many young professionals are beginning to reap the fruits of their labor; they are finally starting to make decent money after years of education and training. One of the first things many think about, and perhaps the most important purchase of their life, is buying a home. Whether buying a condominium or a house, there are many specific considerations that go into the legal process of buying a home. As first time homeowners, young professionals need a little extra help when buying their first home. Our real estate attorneys are ready to guide our clients from contract signing to closing.

Perhaps the young professional bought a home before they were making good money, and now their income and credit score have improved. It might be a good idea to consider a refinance, lowering your interest rate and perhaps the length of the mortgage, saving you lots of money over the life of the loan. Or maybe they want to sell their condo and buy a house – we can manage a sale and purchase for the same day!

Wills, Estate Planning and Probate

Until they begin working in their profession and building up wealth, many young professionals do not feel like they own anything worth putting into a will, so many do not consider an estate plan. First, you should always have an estate plan, even if that plan is to not draft documents and allow the laws of intestacy (dying without a will) control the distribution of your assets. Second, once the money starts rolling in and the young professional owns a car, has a home, marries and has kids, the issue of what will happen to their money and will it provide for those they care about becomes very important. Young professionals also need special considerations in the modern age: child protection plans, social media property distribution, and an increased need for privacy are just some of those considerations.

As we age so do our loved ones, such as our parents and grandparents. Issues such as the need for special needs trusts or probate estate administration after the death of a loved one begin to arise. Our firm can handle the estate planning and administration needs of multiple generations; and we hope to serve the next generation too (the children of our current young professional clients).

Tax Planning & Resolution

With increasing wealth come higher taxes. The more you make the more you pay; unless you can spend it properly by investing in the future of your business. Our tax attorney can review your industry, financial situation, assets and liabilities and advise you of the most tax-advantaged ways to put your money to use.

Some young professionals have also already dug a hole for themselves with the IRS or State. Perhaps you had a job as a waiter, and now you have unpaid or unclaimed income tax debts due to the IRS. Maybe you improperly set up your service business, did not charge sales tax on the services you provided, and now the CT DRS is coming after you for uncollected or unremitted Sales & Use Tax debts. Our tax resolution attorneys can help you appeal government determinations, comply with audits, and resolve your tax debts using an array of methods available to those who know and understand tax law and procedures.

Family Law – Divorce & Child Custody

Sometimes we make decisions when we are younger that we spend our entire lives dealing with. An error only becomes a mistake if you do nothing to fix it. The impact of such decisions can be minimized. Whether you are in an early marriage that has become unhappy or abusive or you are seeking child custody or a modification of the custody agreement due to a change in circumstances, our family law attorney is ready to assist with your family matters in a way that has the least negative impact on the family relationship.

Young Professionals Need Proper Representation

At G&G Law, LLC, we know the modern landscape and how treacherous it can seem. Young professionals are the future of the the middle class and upper middle class, and will be the backbone of the United States in the decades to come. Without proper planning and guidance, the years of education, training and labor in your industry could be jeopardized.

As a young professional, you need to protect your property, your money, and your family; but most importantly yourself. As attorneys for young professionals, we help our clients review their life situation, not just their one individual need at that moment. We want to help you make the right legal decisions, place the right planning into action before it is too late, and get out of hot water if the need arises.

No matter what your needs as a young professional are, we are here to help; even if it does not fall into our area of expertise, we will help find you the right attorney to handle your needs. If you need our help, contact us today by calling 203-740-1400.