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Court Awards Wife Alimony...
Based on Husband’s Earning Capacity Despite His Unemployment

In a recent divorce action pending in the Judicial District of Stamford at Norwalk, the court awarded a wife alimony and child support based on the husband’s earning capacity even though he was unemployed at the time of trial. The parties were married in 1995 and lived in Wilton, Connecticut with their three minor children. The wife brought approximately $360,000.00 into the marriage, consisting of liquid assets and a trust interest. Although the parties had numerous disagreements over the years, the court found them equally at fault for the breakdown of the marriage.

Although the husband was unemployed at the time of trial, the court found that he had a minimum earning capacity of $200,000.00, plus bonuses and commission. Thus the court ordered the husband to pay the wife unallocated alimony and child support in the amount of $7,500.00 per month for a period of approximately ten years. Additionally, commencing January 1, 2013, and for the same ten year period thereafter, the court ordered the husband to pay the wife 40% of his gross earned income between $201,000.00 and $400,000.00, and 30% of his gross earned income between $400,001.00 and $800,000.00.


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If the court refuses to award alimony at the final hearing, and if alimony is not included in the final judgment, neither spouse can return to court in the future and request alimony due to a change in circumstance. Many final divorce judgments in Connecticut award $1 a year in alimony because this preserves the right to revisit the alimony issue if circumstances change.
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