Alimony

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Specializing in Complex Divorce & Child Custody Law

 

Alimony

Alimony is lump-sum or ongoing financial support payments that one spouse is legally required to make to the other after the divorce. While alimony used to be one the most highly-contentious and subjective issues in Massachusetts divorces, the Alimony Reform Act of 2011 has simplified the process by establishing guidelines and limitations.

Effective March 1, 2012, the Alimony Reform Act provides for four distinct types of alimony: Reimbursement, Rehabilitative, Transitional, and General. We provide a Massachusetts Alimony Calculator for
calculating the likely alimony order in your case. Keep in mind that this calculation may differ from the final order based on the specific facts of your case.

Reimbursement Alimony:

Reimbursement alimony is a lump-sum or periodic payment intended to compensate one spouse for their contributions to the financial resourses of the other spouse during the marriage. One example of such an appropriate situation is where one spouse worked to allow the other spouse to complete education or job training. Reimbursement alimony is only available in marriages up to five years and cannot be modified or extended.

Rehabilitative Alimony:

Rehabilitative alimony is a periodic payment intended to help one spouse become economically independent after divorce. Rehabilitative alimony cannot last longer than five years and may only be extended upon a showing of compelling circumstances.

Transitional Alimony:

Transitional alimony is a lump-sum or periodic payment intended to help one spouse transition after the divorce. One example of such an appropriate situation is where a spouse needs help with moving or relocation expenses. Transitional alimony is only available in marriages up to five years and cannot be modified or extended beyond three years after the divorce.

General Alimony:

General alimony is a periodic payment of support to a recipient spouse who is economically dependant. General alimony has specific durational limits based on the length of the marriage and these limits cannot be extended without specific written findings from the Court which warrant an appropriate deviation.

For marriages up to 5 years, general alimony shall end after one-half the number of months of the length of the marriage.
For marriages up to 10 years, general alimony shall end after 60% of the number of months of the length of the marriage.
For marriages up to 15 years, general alimony shall end after 70% of the number of months of the length of the marriage.
For marriages up to 20 years, general alimony shall end after 80% of the number of months of the length of the marriage.
For marriages lasting longer than 20 years, there is no specific durational limit for how long general alimony may last.

Alimony Amount:

Except for Reimbursement Alimony or circumstances warranting deviation for other forms of alimony, the amount of alimony should generally not exceed the recipient’s need or 30% to 35% of the difference between the spouses’ gross incomes.

In additional to this alimony overview, we have also provided information articles in our Education Center.

If you have questions about alimony while in the process of divorce, feel free to contact an experienced alimony attorney at Baum & Dockter for expert legal counsel regarding your case.


Education Center Spousal Support/Alimony Articles:

What can I do if I don’t know how much my spouse earns?
My spouse stopped paying alimony, what can I do?


Spousal Support Forms:

Complaint for Spousal Support
Long Financial Statement (Filed if earning over $75,000 annually)
Short Financial Statement (Filed if earning under $75,000 annually)