Lifetime Alimony

Over the last ten years or so, so-called “men’s rights activists” have increasingly focused their wrath on the divorce courts. Men who claim they were unfairly accused of spousal abuse, child abuse, financial improprieties and other serious torts by wives trying to gain unfair advantages in divorce and child custody battles have climbed onto the best-seller lists and the talk show circuit with diatribes about how the divorce process favors women. Women get the house, the kids and the money; while men disproportionately suffer heavy financial blows, loss of custody and visitation rights, and reputation damage that impacts their career prospects as well as future romantic possibilities.

Connecticut is often cited as one of the states where men fare the worst, particularly because it is one of only seven states where “lifetime alimony” is, in a couple jurisdictions at least, still a thing. How can a person move on with his life if he has to set aside a large sum of money every month until he or his ex-spouse dies?

In most states, the obligation to pay alimony ends when the recipient remarries and/or cohabitates according to statute. In addition, alimony can be modified or terminated based on substantial change in circumstances post-judgment.

While there may be some grain of truth that the family courts trended on the side of the wife, who was usually the caregiver and the less-moneyed spouse in the traditional American nuclear family model; it is also the case that in today’s economy women earn more than men and therefore have the exposure to the same alimony obligations that men traditionally carried.

One size does not fit all in the divorce context. The traditional family is increasingly an endangered species; and the increasing presence of women in the workforce means that long-term spousal support from their ex-husbands is less and less necessary or likely in the event of divorce.

Alimony is only one of a myriad of thorny issues that need be sorted in a divorce action. To avoid pitfalls such as the obligation to pay alimony for the rest of your life, or carelessly signing away your rights to any support from your millionaire spouse, you need to act in close consultation with an experienced divorce attorney.

Hirsch Legal, LLC serves divorce and family law clients in the state of Connecticut, with a regional focus on New Haven and upper Fairfield County (Bridgeport, Fairfield, Trumbull, Danbury, Waterbury, Milford, Shelton). Call us today!

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