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DIVORCE LAW: Alimony Increased to $400 Per Week After Husband Found Job

CASE: Revoir v. Revoir

COURT:  Hartford J.D., at Hartford

DOC. NO.:  FA06-4023935S, at Hartford

DATE:  May 31, 2012

A court can modify alimony if a party establishes a substantial change in circumstances.  The parties obtained a dissolution of marriage in 2007.  At that time, the plaintiff husband earned $2,819 per week, and the defendant wife earned $200 per week.  The parties agreed, and the court ordered, that the plaintiff pay $700 per week as alimony, plus 50 percent of his net bonuses.  After the plaintiff lost his job in 2008, a court decreased the alimony to $50 per week.  Currently, the plaintiff husband earns a base salary of $140,000 gross per year, working at IBM.  In 2010 he earned approximate $165,000.  In 2011, he earned approximately $241,000.  The husband informed the wife about his new job, and they informally agreed that he would pay alimony of $1,100 per month.  In 2011, the defendant wife who earns $1,030 per week, moved to modify alimony.  “The burden is on the party seeking modification to show the existence of a substantial change in circumstances,” pursuant to Jaser v. Jaser, a 1995 decision of the Connecticut Appellate Court.  The wife established that there was a substantial change in circumstances, as a result of the husband’s new job at IBM, and the court ordered the husband to pay alimony of $400 per week, plus 20 percent of his commissions, retroactive to July 2011. The court defined commissions as cash payments that do not include stock options.  The court also ordered the husband to pay the arearage of $21,125.