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Increase in income, standing alone, does not justify modifying alimony

Parties to a divorce judgment agreed on an alimony award of $15,000. per month plus 25 percent of any bonus income.  Approximately 10 years later, the former wife / recipient of alimony, sought to increase alimony based on two grounds: i) the former husband’s income increased, and ii) her own medical costs increased.

The trial judge increased the alimony award from $15,000 to $40,000 per month, plus 25 percent of any bonus income received.  (The trial court’s decision was not based on increased medical costs, but it was based on an increase in the paying spouse’s income.)  The trial court did not address the issue of whether “exceptional circumstances” justified the increase.

The decision was appealed. The Connecticut Supreme Court concluded that an increase in the supporting spouse’s income, standing alone, ordinarily will not justify the granting of a motion to modify an alimony award.

The case is Dan vs. Dan, 315 Conn. 1 (2014), and it is available here:
http://www.jud.ct.gov/external/supapp/Cases/AROCR/CR315/315CR103.pdf

 

 

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