Articles from The Mediator
Alimony Modification in CT: Now Harder to Get Increases?
In a unanimous decision the Connecticut Supreme Court seems to have made it more difficult to get increases in alimony in certain circumstances.
In many situations alimony is modifiable if either party’s financial circumstances change significantly after the divorce. Some practitioners had thought that this meant that if the payer had a big jump in income after the divorce, the recipient could apply for an alimony increase.
However, in Dan v Dan the CT Supreme Court held that the court has no authority to grant an increase in alimony based solely upon a substantial increase in the payer’s income, without a showing of other exceptional circumstances.
The court reasoned that the purpose of alimony is to provide the recipient with enough support to enjoy the same standard of living as he or she had during the marriage — and not to allow him or her to receive additional benefits by participating in the payer’s post-marriage success.
If the original alimony amount remains sufficient to meet this purpose, then, the court stated, “an increase in income, standing alone, does not justify [an increase in alimony].”