Alimony or spousal support is money paid by one spouse to his or her spouse based upon a continuing duty to support. Unlike child support, there is no formula for calculating alimony. If the parties cannot agree on whether or how much alimony should be paid, then a judge will make that decision.
There are several factors that a judge can consider in awarding alimony. Under C.G. S. section 46b-82, these factors include: the length of the marriage;
the causes for the divorce or legal separation;
the age, health, station, occupation, amount and sources of income, vocational skills
employability, estate and needs of each spouse;
the award, if any, regarding property distribution under C.G.S. section 46b-81; and
the custodial parent's desire to secure employment
Under caselaw, a judge can also consider other factors such as the tax consequences of an alimony award. Unlike child support which is nontaxable, alimony is taxable to the recipient and deductible by the payor.
A judge has broad discretion in awarding alimony. For example, alimony can be paid in a lump sum at one time or it can be paid in periodic payments over a specific time frame or it can paid in both a lump sum and in periodic payments. It can be as little as $1.00 per year or a much higher amount. Unlike a property division, alimony can be modifiable if so stated in the court order.
If no alimony is awarded by the judge when the divorce or legal separation decree is entered, then neither party can return to court and ask for alimony.