April 16, 2017

Monthly Misconception for April-“Years of Living Together Count for Alimony Purposes”

Monthly Misconception for April – “Years of Living Together Count for Alimony.”

You tell your soon to be former spouse that he/she will have to pay you alimony for many years although you’ve been married for  only 2 years since before the marriage you lived together for 10 years.     Are you right?



When a judge analyzes whether to award alimony to one spouse in a divorce, the judge must consider, and may only consider, certain specific factors, sometimes called statutory criteria.  Among these statutory criteria is “the length of the marriage”. “Length of the relationship”, “length of living together” or “length of cohabitation” are not included in the statutory factors.  Therefore, the length of time you and your spouse cohabited or lived together before marriage, in itself, isn’t something a judge is even allowed to take into account when he/she creates an alimony order.

Sometimes, but not often, events may have transpired during the years of premarital cohabitation which have an impact on the way a judge analyses the other statutory criteria.  But again, in almost all circumstances, the number of years the divorcing spouses lived together before marriage has absolutely no direct relevance or impact on whether alimony is awarded or, if awarded, the alimony duration.

The length of the marriage standard rather than a length of relationship standard can sometimes feel unfair, especially for same sex couples who had long term relationships but were only recently permitted to marry under our law.

No lawyer can predict with certainty the number of years a judge will order a divorcing person to pay alimony . However, an experienced Connecticut divorce lawyer should be able to give her client an idea about a range of number of years that can be reasonably expected. Feel free to contact me via email, lcappalli@cappallihill.com, or telephone, 203-271-3888, to discuss your situation. 



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