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steve-copyConnecticut Divorce for the Stay-at-Home Mom

Stay at home moms need to make special considerations during divorce proceedings, and being an informed parent can make the difference in your future life after your marriage ends.

Stay at home moms face a special dilemma when they are contemplating divorce. They often have no independent financial resources. They often stay in bad marriages for years due to the fear of being left penniless. Many have been unemployed for most of their married lives and think they have little to put on a resume. Knowing that the kind of job she will get may not support her children, often a stay at home mom will not leave a bad situation out of fear of having her precious bundles taken from her. For most, it’s worth staying in a bad marriage in order to keep the children. This is certainly understandable. However, it doesn’t necessarily have to be a choice between the two. Take the following steps to ensure your financial stability when you walk out that door.

First, understand that it’s best not to make the announcement that you’re leaving before you are prepared. If you can, try to live as peacefully as possible with your spouse until things are at least planned out. For the sake of this article, it will be assumed that you have at least one month before you need to leave your marriage. If you don’t, just take as many steps as you can before you head out.


Frequently asked questions about alimony by stay at home moms

What is Alimony?
Alimony is the term for court ordered payments to an ex-spouse. It is a specific dollar amount paid over a specific period of time or in a lump sum at the time of the dissolution of the marriage.

How do Courts determine Alimony?
This is covered by Connecticut General Statutes 46b-82. In determining whether alimony shall be awarded, and the duration and amount of the award, the court shall hear the witnesses, shall consider the length of the marriage, the causes for the annulment, dissolution of the marriage or legal separation, the age, health, station, occupation, amount and sources of income, vocational skills, employability, estate and needs of each of the parties and the award, if any, which the court may make pursuant to section 46b-81, and, in the case of a parent to whom the custody of minor children has been awarded, the desirability of such parent’s securing employment.

Am I taxed on Alimony payments?
Yes, The alimony is taxable income for the receiving spouse while tax on alimony paid by the other spouse is exempted from it. So, the alimony is regarded as a very effective mechanism of balancing the tax burden as the tax is to be paid by the spouse whose burden of tax is much less compared to that of the other spouse.

How can I even start a divorce with no income?
It may be possible to get an order of alimony pendente lite. This means alimony or maintenance ‘pending litigation’ and is payable during the pendency of a divorce proceeding so as to enable a dependent spouse to proceed with or defend against the action. Yo should speak with an attorney about this and complete the checklists enclosed so a proper amount can be sought at court.

Important Points to Consider

The process of a divorce is stressful. There is no getting around that. The sooner you start to take the right steps, the sooner you can secure your future. Finances, living arrangements, employment and child custody all impact the progression of a divorce. The best divorce lawyers look at the whole picture, and can help you with questions you may not even have at this point. Lawyers with experience in the divorce process can help you make the right decision for your future.

Attorneys Fees
The cost of hiring an attorney varies based on the time expended, the issues involved, the difficulty of the matter, the results achieved, and any extraordinary time or demands placed upon an attorney which would prevent an attorney from representing other clients. Of these factors, the time expended is generally the most important. Most attorneys will require that a retainer be paid at the time of retention. Every attorney in Connecticut should have a written fee agreement with his/her clients.

Either spouse may be required to pay the counsel fees and disbursements of the other spouse, based on the same factors to be taken into account in making an award of alimony. Generally, a party with enough funds to pay his or her own attorney will not receive an award of counsel fees; however, the provisions of the support statutes make it possible for the non-monied spouse to recover counsel fees from the monied spouse in a proper case.  Never fail to consult an attorney simply because you do not have the immediately available funds to pay a retainer.

Connecticut requires both parents to support their children in accordance with their respective abilities. The published guidelines are required to be considered in each case. The State publishes child support guidelines which are created based on the supporting parent’s income. In exceptional circumstances there are deviations for the standard. By hiring a lawyer familiar with support issues, you can be sure you are getting the right amount of support from your ex spouse. Our attorneys also assist in support order modifications, which enable you to reduce or increase a prior support order based on new circumstances. In divorce cases, every case is unique – there is no one size fits all result – and hiring a lawyer to fashion your correct result is sometimes your best bet.

Not Every Case is the Same
One thing people with a divorce come to learn is that while you may feel like you are alone many others you know have gone through a divorce. However, simply because a friend or family member may have gone through a divorce and have facts that sound similar to yours, does not mean that your case will resolve the same way. Even when a case is in the same courthouse, with the same judge, many people have chosen to hire a “jack of all trades” lawyer who may not have done everything legally possible. You cannot change what has happened but you can change how you deal with it.