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AN ACT CONCERNING THE PAYMENT OF ALIMONY AND CHILD SUPPORT.

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General Assembly Raised Bill No. 5509
February Session, 2012 LCO No. 2265
*02265_______JUD*
Referred to Committee on Judiciary
Introduced by:
(JUD)
AN ACT CONCERNING THE PAYMENT OF ALIMONY AND CHILD
SUPPORT.
Be it enacted by the Senate and House of Representatives in General
Assembly convened:
1 Section 1. Section 46b-82 of the general statutes is repealed and the
2 following is substituted in lieu thereof (Effective October 1, 2012):
3 (a) At the time of entering the decree, the Superior Court may order
4 either of the parties to pay alimony to the other, in addition to or in
5 lieu of an award pursuant to section 46b-81. The order may direct that
6 security be given therefor on such terms as the court may deem
7 desirable, including an order pursuant to subsection (b) of this section
8 or an order to either party to contract with a third party for periodic
9 payments or payments contingent on a life to the other party. The
10 court may order that a party obtain life insurance as such security
11 unless such party proves, by a preponderance of the evidence, that
12 such insurance is not available to such party, such party is unable to
13 pay the cost of such insurance or such party is uninsurable. In
14 determining whether alimony shall be awarded, and the duration and
15 amount of the award, the court shall hear the witnesses, if any, of each
16 party, except as provided in subsection (a) of section 46b-51, shall
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17 consider, the length of the marriage, the causes for the annulment,
18 dissolution of the marriage or legal separation, the age, health, station,
19 occupation, amount and sources of income, vocational skills,
20 employability, estate and needs of each of the parties and the award, if
21 any, which the court may make pursuant to section 46b-81, and, in the
22 case of a parent to whom the custody of minor children has been
23 awarded, the desirability of such parent's securing employment.
24 (b) Any award of alimony ordered by the Superior Court on or after
25 October 1, 2012, shall be for a duration that does not exceed one-half
26 the number of months of the length of the marriage. An award of
27 alimony entered before October 1, 2012, shall terminate (1) in
28 accordance with the terms of the order, (2) in accordance with the
29 terms of a subsequent modification of the order, or (3) as otherwise
30 provided for in this section and section 46b-86, as amended by this act.
31 As used in this section and section 46b-81, "length of the marriage"
32 means the number of months from the date of legal marriage to the
33 date of filing a complaint under section 46b-45.
34 (c) An award of alimony ordered by the Superior Court before
35 October 1, 2012, that exceeds the durational limit set forth in
36 subsection (b) of this section may be modified upon the filing of a
37 motion for modification of alimony. A party filing a motion for
38 modification of alimony pursuant to section 46b-86, as amended by
39 this act, shall not be required to make a showing of a substantial
40 change in the circumstances of either party as described in subsection
41 (a) of section 46b-86, as amended by this act.
42 (d) On and after October 1, 2012, the amount of alimony awarded
43 pursuant to this section shall not exceed thirty to thirty-five per cent of
44 the difference between the gross income of the parties, established at
45 the time the alimony order is issued. For purposes of this section,
46 "gross income" shall have the same meaning as set forth in the child
47 support guidelines established pursuant to section 46b-215. When
48 awarding alimony, the court shall exclude from the calculation of gross
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49 income: (1) Capital gains income and dividend and interest income
50 which derive from assets equitably divided between the parties; and
51 (2) income which the court has already considered in setting a child
52 support order.
53 (e) On and after October 1, 2012, when ordering an initial award of
54 alimony, or a modification of an award of alimony entered before
55 October 1, 2012, the Superior Court may deviate from the durational
56 limit set forth in subsection (b) of this section and amount limit set
57 forth in subsection (d) of this section, upon making written findings
58 that deviation from any such limit is necessary. Grounds for deviation
59 may include:
60 (1) Advanced age, chronic illness or unusual health circumstances of
61 either party;
62 (2) Tax considerations applicable to the parties;
63 (3) Whether a party ordered to pay alimony is providing health
64 insurance for his or her spouse and the cost of providing such health
65 insurance;
66 (4) Whether a party ordered to pay alimony has been ordered to
67 secure life insurance for the benefit of his or her spouse pursuant to
68 subsection (a) of this section and the cost of securing such insurance;
69 (5) Sources and amounts of unearned income, including capital
70 gains, interest and dividends, annuity and investment income from
71 assets that were not allocated in the parties' divorce;
72 (6) A party's inability to provide for his or her own support due to
73 physical or mental abuse committed by the party ordered to pay
74 alimony; and
75 (7) Economic fault occurring during the last five years of the
76 marriage.
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77 [(b)] (f) Any postjudgment procedure afforded by chapter 906 shall
78 be available to secure the present and future financial interests of a
79 party in connection with a final order for the periodic payment of
80 alimony.
81 Sec. 2. Section 46b-86 of the 2012 supplement to the general statutes
82 is repealed and the following is substituted in lieu thereof (Effective
83 October 1, 2012):
84 (a) Unless and to the extent that the decree precludes modification,
85 any final order for the periodic payment of permanent alimony or
86 support, an order for alimony or support pendente lite or an order
87 requiring either party to maintain life insurance for the other party or a
88 minor child of the parties may, at any time thereafter, be continued, set
89 aside, altered or modified by the court upon a showing of a substantial
90 change in the circumstances of either party or upon a showing that the
91 final order for child support substantially deviates from the child
92 support guidelines established pursuant to section 46b-215a, unless
93 there was a specific finding on the record that the application of the
94 guidelines would be inequitable or inappropriate. There shall be a
95 rebuttable presumption that any deviation of less than fifteen per cent
96 from the child support guidelines is not substantial and any deviation
97 of fifteen per cent or more from the guidelines is substantial.
98 Modification may be made of such support order without regard to
99 whether the order was issued before, on or after May 9, 1991. In
100 determining whether to modify a child support order based on a
101 substantial deviation from such child support guidelines the court
102 shall consider the division of real and personal property between the
103 parties set forth in the final decree and the benefits accruing to the
104 child as the result of such division. After the date of judgment,
105 modification of any child support order issued before, on or after July
106 1, 1990, may be made upon a showing of such substantial change of
107 circumstances, whether or not such change of circumstances was
108 contemplated at the time of dissolution. By written agreement,
109 stipulation or decision of the court, those items or circumstances that
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110 were contemplated and are not to be changed may be specified in the
111 written agreement, stipulation or decision of the court. This section
112 shall not apply to assignments under section 46b-81 or to any
113 assignment of the estate or a portion thereof of one party to the other
114 party under prior law. No order for periodic payment of permanent
115 alimony or support may be subject to retroactive modification, except
116 that the court may order modification with respect to any period
117 during which there is a pending motion for modification of an alimony
118 or support order from the date of service of notice of such pending
119 motion upon the opposing party pursuant to section 52-50.
120 (b) In an action for divorce, dissolution of marriage, legal separation
121 or annulment brought by a husband or wife, in which a final judgment
122 has been entered providing for the payment of periodic alimony by
123 one party to the other, the Superior Court may, in its discretion and
124 upon notice and hearing, modify such judgment and suspend, reduce
125 or terminate the payment of periodic alimony upon a showing that the
126 party receiving the periodic alimony [is living with another person]
127 has been maintaining a common household with another person for a
128 continuous period of time of not less than three months under
129 circumstances which the court finds should result in the modification,
130 suspension, reduction or termination of alimony because the living
131 arrangements cause such a change of circumstances as to alter the
132 financial needs of that party. For purposes of this section, a party
133 receiving periodic alimony is deemed to be maintaining a common
134 household when such party shares a primary residence with another
135 person, with or without other persons. In determining whether a party
136 receiving periodic alimony is maintaining a common household with
137 another person, the court may consider any of the following factors:
138 (1) Oral or written statements or representations made to third
139 parties regarding the relationship of the party receiving periodic
140 alimony and the person or persons with whom he or she shares a
141 primary residence;
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142 (2) Whether the party receiving periodic alimony and the person or
143 persons with whom he or she shares a primary residence are engaging
144 in conduct and collaborative roles in furtherance of a life together;
145 (3) The benefit in the life of the party receiving periodic alimony and
146 the person or persons with whom he or she shares a primary residence
147 from the relationship;
148 (4) The community reputation of the party receiving periodic
149 alimony and the person or persons with whom he or she shares a
150 primary residence;
151 (5) The economic interdependence of the party receiving periodic
152 alimony and the person or persons with whom he or she shares a
153 primary residence, or economic dependence of such party or persons
154 on one another, except in cases where the party receiving periodic
155 alimony has sufficient separate property assets, or has received such
156 assets in a settlement, and that such assets are sufficient to meet the
157 needs of the party receiving periodic alimony; or
158 (6) Such other relevant and material factors as may be determined
159 by the court.
160 (c) If the court finds that a party receiving periodic alimony is
161 maintaining a common household as described in subsection (b) of this
162 section, there shall be a rebuttable presumption that the party
163 receiving such alimony is economically interdependent with another
164 person or is economically dependent on another person. The party
165 receiving periodic alimony shall have the burden of rebutting the
166 presumption.
167 (d) A periodic alimony obligation suspended, reduced or
168 terminated pursuant to subsections (b) and (c) of this section shall not
169 be reinstated upon termination of the common household by the party
170 who was receiving periodic alimony.
171 (e) The periodic payment of alimony shall terminate upon the party
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172 responsible for the payment of periodic alimony attaining the full
173 retirement age. Such party's ability to work beyond the full retirement
174 age shall not be a reason for the court to extend alimony, provided the
175 court may grant a recipient of periodic alimony an extension of an
176 existing alimony order for good cause shown. After considering and
177 granting any such extension, the court shall make written findings that
178 include, but are not limited to, the following: (1) There is a rebuttable
179 presumption that the durational limit set forth in subsection (b) of
180 section 46b-82, as amended by this act, shall be applied to the facts of
181 any case before the court; (2) the reasons proffered by a recipient of
182 periodic alimony to extend the receipt of such alimony beyond the
183 durational limit establish good cause to rebut the presumption and
184 such reasons are supported by clear and convincing evidence; and (3)
185 there has been a substantial change in circumstance that occurred after
186 entry of the judgment containing the alimony award. A party
187 responsible for the payment of periodic alimony who attained full
188 retirement age on or before October 1, 2012, may file a motion seeking
189 termination or modification of an order for the payment of periodic
190 alimony in accordance with the provisions of this section. For purposes
191 of this section, "full retirement age" means the normal retirement age
192 of the party responsible for the payment of periodic alimony in order
193 to be eligible to receive full retirement benefits under the federal Old
194 Age, Survivors, and Disability Insurance Program, but does not mean
195 (A) "early retirement age", as defined under 42 USC 416, if early
196 retirement is available to the party responsible for the payment of
197 periodic alimony, or (B) maximum benefit age if additional benefits are
198 available to the party responsible for the payment of periodic alimony
199 as a result of delayed retirement.
200 (f) Notwithstanding the durational limit set forth in subsection (b) of
201 section 46b-82, as amended by this act, periodic alimony shall
202 terminate upon the remarriage of the recipient of such alimony or the
203 death of either party.
204 (g) An award of alimony ordered by the Superior Court before
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205 October 1, 2012, that exceeds the durational limit set forth in
206 subsection (b) of section 46b-82, as amended by this act, may be
207 modified upon the filing of a motion for modification of alimony. A
208 party filing a motion for modification of alimony pursuant to this
209 section shall not be required to make a showing of a substantial change
210 in the circumstances of either party as described in subsection (a) of
211 this section.
212 (h) The provisions of this section shall not provide a party with the
213 right to seek or receive modification of a nonmodifiable final order for
214 the payment of periodic alimony included in a decree or judgment
215 entered before October 1, 2012.
216 (i) The provisions of this section shall not provide a party with the
217 right to seek or receive modification of a final order for the payment of
218 periodic alimony solely due to an increase in the income of the party
219 responsible for the payment of periodic alimony which occurs after the
220 date of dissolution of the marriage.
221 (j) In the event that a party responsible for the payment of periodic
222 alimony remarries, the income and assets of the spouse of such party,
223 including any assets held in tenancy by the entireties by such spouse
224 and party, shall not be considered in any action involving a motion for
225 modification filed pursuant to this section.
226 (k) In any proceeding to modify an order for the payment of
227 periodic alimony, evidence of income received by a party responsible
228 for the payment of periodic alimony, which is attributable to such
229 party's working more than one full-time job or overtime at such party's
230 full-time job, shall be inadmissible if such party commenced working
231 more than one full-time job or overtime at such party's full-time job
232 after entry of the initial order for payment of periodic alimony.
233 [(c)] (l) When one of the parties, or a child of the parties, is receiving
234 or has received aid or care from the state under its aid to families with
235 dependent children or temporary family assistance program, HUSKY
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236 Plan, Part A, or foster care program as provided in Title IV-E of the
237 Social Security Act, or when one of the parties has applied for child
238 support enforcement services under Title IV-D of the Social Security
239 Act as provided in section 17b-179, such motion to modify shall be
240 filed with the Family Support Magistrate Division for determination in
241 accordance with subsection (m) of section 46b-231.
242 Sec. 3. Section 46b-40 of the general statutes is amended by adding
243 subsection (g) as follows (Effective October 1, 2012):
244 (NEW) (g) For purposes of this chapter, "alimony" means the
245 payment of support from a spouse who has the ability to pay, to a
246 spouse in need of support for a reasonable length of time, with the goal
247 of allowing the spouse who is the recipient of alimony to become self248
sufficient.
249 Sec. 4. Subsection (d) of section 46b-84 of the general statutes is
250 repealed and the following is substituted in lieu thereof (Effective
251 October 1, 2012):
252 (d) In determining whether a child is in need of maintenance and, if
253 in need, the respective abilities of the parents to provide such
254 maintenance and the amount thereof, the court shall consider the age,
255 health, station, occupation, earning capacity, amount and sources of
256 income, estate, vocational skills and employability of each of the
257 parents, and the age, health, station, occupation, educational status
258 and expectation, amount and sources of income, vocational skills,
259 employability, estate and needs of the child. Upon determining that a
260 child is in need of maintenance, the court may order that (1) a trust
261 account be established for the benefit of a child, and (2) a portion of
262 any support order be deposited in the trust account and made
263 available for the maintenance of the child under such terms and
264 conditions as the court considers just.
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This act shall take effect as follows and shall amend the following
sections:
Section 1 October 1, 2012 46b-82
Sec. 2 October 1, 2012 46b-86
Sec. 3 October 1, 2012 46b-40
Sec. 4 October 1, 2012 46b-84(d)
Statement of Purpose:
To (1) enact reforms concerning the amount and durational limits of
alimony awards entered in family matters, and (2) provide family
court judges with the authority to establish child support trust
accounts.
[Proposed deletions are enclosed in brackets. Proposed additions are indicated by underline,
except that when the entire text of a bill or resolution or a section of a bill or resolution is new, it is
not underlined.]

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