Current alimony scheme
Alimony determination is based on need and ability to pay.
Courts consider the following factors set forth in M.G.L. c. 208 § 34:
Courts cannot order term alimony:
General term alimony
The length of marriage will determine the length of alimony:
|# of years||Alimony timeframe|
|0-5 Years||50% of number of months of marriage|
|6-10 Years||60% of number of months of marriage|
|11-15 Years||70% of number of months of marriage|
|16-20 Years||80% of number of months of marriage|
|20+ Years||Court may order indefinite alimony|
Alimony payments would be terminated in the event of the death of either party, remarriage of payee, or reaching the full retirement age. The court does have the ability to elect to continue alimony payments if the payee can show a continuing need for such payments.
Other types of alimony
Modification of existing awards
The existence of the new law is a material and substantial change in circumstances for existing judgments that exceed new durational limits and the statute does provide for a timeline and conditions for filing a complaint:
Modification of future alimony
Under the new legislation, only General Term Alimony and Rehabilitative Alimony are modifiable.
To Modify General Term Alimony:
Modification of Rehabilitative Alimony Award:
Child support modifications
What to look for
Here are some good questions to ask in order to help navigate through the new legislation:
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