Alimony, also known as spousal support, is typically given by the spouse with a greater income to the spouse with a lesser income. This is designed to help the transition more smoothly into a life outside the marriage. In some cases, alimony is only temporary, presumably while the lesser-income spouse becomes more employable. In other cases, it may be deemed that the lesser-income spouse requires permanent alimony. All spousal support decisions are handled on a case by case basis.
Alimony agreements may be handled between the parties before the divorce is finalized. If they can draft a divorce settlement to which they can both agree, it may save a lot of time and difficulty. If not, the judge will decide on an alimony amount based on several factors, including the age and health of the spouses, occupation, length of marriage, employment skills, income and assets, and who will be providing child care.
Another major factor involved in deciding the alimony agreement is the property division in the divorce as a whole. A judge will consider each divorce holistically, meaning that the entire agreement must be fair and equitable given the differing skills and capabilities of each party in the divorce. The division of property will affect and be affected by the alimony payment amount.
A divorce lawyer may play an integral part in deciding how much alimony must be paid as well as the length of time for which it must be paid, and the manner and frequency in which it will be given. For contentious divorces, a lawyer may advocate and speak for the client to fight for his or her behalf either in the courtroom or at the settlement table. A lawyer may also assist with drafting legal documents in a manner that will be expeditiously handled by the court.
Source: Divorce, “Connecticut Spousal Support/Maintenance/Alimony Factors“, September 11, 2014