Can a Change in Circumstance End Alimony Payments Early in Massachusetts?

The topic of alimony can be one of the most stressful parts of a divorce, as it often leads to the most spousal disputes. When a dependent party requires support from the independent party, the outcome can frequently result in a heated courtroom. If you are thinking about or are going through a divorce with unresolved divorce issues, contact our experienced Massachusetts family law attorneys to guide you through this stressful process. The Law Offices of Cynthia L. Hanley have been serving our clients with quality services for over 30 years. Contact us today for a consultation. Continue reading to learn more about the different avenues of alimony:

What is alimony in Massachusetts?

Alimony was crafted to assist dependent spouses to maintain their standard of living after a divorce. This can be done through payments over a period of time usually determined by a judge.

What are the different types of alimony?

  • General term alimony: when a judge decides on regular alimony payments for a determinate period. The length of the marriage is usually the most important factor in terms of this type of alimony.
  • Transitional alimony: This is a support obligation that is used to assist independent spouses into a single, unmarried person. This type is usually awarded in either a lump-sum payment or regular payments.
  • Reimbursement alimony: This type of alimony is for spouses who financially supported their spouse while he or she received higher education or training.
  • Rehabilitative alimony: This alimony may be used if a spouse puts his or her career goals on hold to further the goals of the other spouse.

How is the duration of alimony payments calculated in Massachusetts?

  • Marriages less than 5 years: Alimony cannot be ordered for more than 50% of the duration of the marriage.
  • Marriages less than 10 years: Alimony cannot be ordered for more than 60% of the duration of the marriage.
  • Marriages less than 20 years: Alimony cannot be ordered for more than 70% of the duration of the marriage.
  • Marriages lasting longer than 20 years: It will be up to a judge to decide a fair obligation.

Can a change in circumstance end alimony payments early?

In most cases, alimony payments are made until the end of the term. However, there are some circumstances that could merit an early termination of payments. The factors that can typically terminate alimony payments are:

  • Remarriage or cohabitation
  • A recent increase in income
  • Receiving a large sum of money
  • Death

Contact our experienced Bristol County firm

For over 30 years, The Law Offices of Cynthia L. Hanley, P.C. has provided quality legal support and representation for clients in Bristol County and all of Massachusetts. Our firm’s experience eases the stress of clients while providing the legal services they deserve. If you need help through a contested divorce, contact The Law Offices of Cynthia L. Hanley, P.C. for a consultation today.