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Can Domestic Violence affect an Alimony Order?

Domestic violence is a real danger. As summarized by The National Domestic Violence Hotline, on average, each minute of every day 24 people are the victims of domestic violence. When one married partner has a history of victimizing and abusing the other partner, it can have a direct effect on the amount of alimony the perpetrator has to pay in divorce proceedings.

Domestic Violence Laws in Connecticut

Connecticut has laws that are directed at trying to keep victims safe and offenders accountable. These laws are called the “family violence laws” and apply to all victims, including spouses. The law (C.G.S Section 46b-38a), specifically classifies the following types of acts as family violence:

  • Incidents resulting in actual physical harm, bodily injury or assault
  • An act that constitutes fear of imminent physical harm, bodily injury or assault
  • Verbal abuse if there is a likelihood that physical violence will occur

Domestic violence situations are emotional and can carry lifelong implications. It is important to review your domestic violence case with an experienced Stamford, CT alimony attorney to ensure your rights are pursued and documented in the court system.

Alimony Rights in Connecticut

Under Connecticut law, alimony (sometimes called spousal support) may be awarded in divorce proceedings, but it is not a guarantee. Each individual judge in the trial court has great latitude to determine if the circumstances warrant alimony. Some of the circumstances, as outlined under Connecticut law, the court can weigh include:

  • Length of the marriage
  • Causes for marriage termination
  • Age and health of each party
  • Occupation, vocational skills, and employability
  • Value of assets and income sources
  • Respective needs of each party
  • If there are other court orders, for example, child support

In reviewing these factors, a large amount of discretion is left to each individual trial judge. Our experienced Stamford, CT attorneys can assist you with understanding if you might be entitled to alimony.

Domestic Violence as a Factor in Alimony Awards

In 2014, some changes were made to Connecticut alimony laws. One of the changes requires a court to consider evidence presented by both spouses prior to determining if alimony will be awarded. This means you are entitled to tell your story. Furthermore, one of the factors, as outlined above, the court considers is “causes for marriage termination.” If you are a victim of domestic violence and face financial, emotional or physical effects, whether short-term or long-term, you should be empowered to tell the court how the domestic violence affected you and your marriage. Although alimony is not guaranteed, credible evidence of such domestic violence may weigh in your favor for alimony.

Our Stamford, CT Alimony Attorneys Will Listen to Your Needs and Protect Your Rights

If you’ve been the victim of domestic violence in your marriage you need someone who will listen and be patient. You need someone who understands victims of domestic violence. Contact the Law Offices of Piazza, Simmons & Grant, L.L.C. today for a confidential consultation to learn more about the alimony and support you could be granted.

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