Massachusetts Alimony/Spousal Support Attorneys
Alimony, also called spousal support or maintenance, is money paid by one spouse to the other. The main purpose of alimony is to allow both parties to a divorce to maintain a lifestyle similar to the one they enjoyed as a married couple, or to balance the economic consequences of divorce to prevent either spouse from becoming disproportionately responsible for the other.
The divorce attorneys at Pollack Law Group, P.C. (PLG) are both experienced and well-equipped to counsel our clients in all aspects of Massachusetts alimony law. We know the complex issues involved and the best strategies to take in each particular situation. For a free, no-obligation consultation with one of our attorneys, call 800-299-DIVORCE (800-299-3486). You may also contact us online to schedule your appointment at any of our convenient offices throughout the state.
Alimony Reform Act: Before and After
Before: Ever since the Alimony Reform Act took effect in March 2012, Massachusetts courts have not used a specific formula to calculate alimony. Instead, courts take into account all relevant factors in each case. Prior to 2012, Massachusetts had formulaic alimony laws in place. The parties' age, opportunity for future acquisition of assets, length of marriage, contribution to the marriage, financial conduct and employability were analyzed.
The biggest controversy related to alimony, however, was the issue of when alimony should end. Judges hesitated to order alimony termination dates because they felt limited by the language of the law, whether a marriage had lasted five years or 50 years.
After: The passage of the Alimony Reform Act provided the court new substantive and procedural alimony guidelines that had never before existed. For example:
- Durational limits: Now, the duration of alimony can be no greater than 50 percent of the length of the marriage if the marriage lasted for five years or less; 60 percent for marriages that were ten years; 70 percent for marriages of 15 years or less, or 80 percent for marriages lasting less than 20 years. For example, when a marriage lasted for eight years, the court could order alimony payments for six years. For marriages lasting 20 years or more, the court has the discretion to order alimony for an indefinite length of time.
- Termination of alimony at remarriage or cohabitation: Under the Act, alimony typically ends at remarriage of the recipient, and suspension, reduction or termination of alimony is to take place upon cohabitation of the recipient spouse with somebody whom they shared a "common household" (also referred to as an "economic partnership") for a period exceeding three months.
- Termination at retirement: With alimony reform, alimony ends when the payor reaches full retirement age for social security.
Generally, alimony orders should not exceed the recipient's need or 30 to 35 percent of the difference between the parties' gross incomes.
Massachusetts Lawyers Who Know How to Fight for a Fair Alimony Award
Determining a fair amount of alimony is a complicated matter that requires experienced attorneys and financial experts. For example, when one spouse has nurtured a career while the other has not worked outside of the household, the situation requires the services of an outstanding tactician and fearless litigator.
Contact PLG for a Free Consultation
You can rely on the lawyers at PLG to provide experienced representation. With more than 100 years of combined experience, our team of attorneys will work diligently to protect your rights – whether you are the spouse who may be paying or the one receiving support. For a free, no-obligation consultation, call 800-299-DIVORCE (800-299-3486) or contact us online.