Yes, Spousal Support can be modified as long as 1) the alimony award is not non-modifiable, or 2) your right to alimony was not waived by way of your divorce settlement. If the parties agreed that the alimony award would be non-modifiable, then neither spouse may seek a modification, regardless of the change in circumstances. If one, or both, parties waived their right to future spousal support obligations in their divorce decree, then no matter how dramatic a change in post-divorce circumstances they experience, that party cannot seek alimony in the future.
[NOTE: As a result, spouses’ separation agreements and judges’ decisions often contain a nominal alimony payment like $1.00 to preserve the right to modify alimony — By including $1.00 of alimony, the court is able to modify alimony if it becomes appropriate down the road after a finding of a substantial change of circumstances.]
However, assuming alimony was awarded in the divorce agreement, then spousal support (even permanent alimony) can be modified. Modification typically occurs when there is a substantial change in financial circumstances or by Agreement.
Substantial Change in Circumstances
Under Connecticut law, if one party shows that there has been a substantial change in the circumstances of the other party, the court, after a hearing, may continue, set aside, alter, or modify the alimony orders. The court must use the statutory factors outlined above to determine what modification, if any, is appropriate. Retroactive modification is prohibited, except for the period during which a motion to modify the order is pending from the date of service of the motion.
If the alimony recipient cohabitates with another person and the court finds that the living arrangement alters the recipient’s financial needs, the court may, after a hearing, modify alimony payments (CGS § 46b-86(b)).
If the parties’ agree on the circumstances under which alimony may be modified, the court must enter and enforce orders that include the provisions of such agreement (CGS § 46b-86(b)).