Does domestic violence impact alimony payments in Massachusetts?

argument relationship

If you’re the victim of domestic violence, you’re not alone. Unfortunately, domestic violence is prevalent in many relationships. When one spouse uses different forms of abuse to gain power and control over their partner to assert dominance, it constitutes domestic violence. This abuse can take on many shapes as it isn’t limited to physical violence; it can be a combination of emotional and mental manipulations as well. While it can often be challenging to seek help if you’re experiencing spousal abuse, it may be necessary as domestic violence affects entire families. To protect yourself and your children, you may decide to end your marriage. If this is the case, it’s in your best interest to enlist the help of our trusted Bristol County Alimony Lawyers, who can help you navigate this complex legal process. Please continue reading to learn how domestic violence impacts alimony payments in Massachusetts. 

What factors impact alimony in Massachusetts?

Alimony, also known as spousal support, is not designed to be a punishment for a spouse’s bad behavior during the marriage. It aims to minimize any financial discrepancies and provide the lower-earning spouse with financial support to maintain a similar lifestyle to which they grew accustomed during the marriage. It’s imperative to note that alimony is not automatically granted to the dependent spouse. The lower-earning spouse must request it. When the court is determining whether to award alimony, they will take numerous factors into account before making their final decision. The following include but are not limited to some of the factors a judge will consider when making an alimony decision:

  • The duration of the marriage
  • The age and health of each party
  • Each spouse’s earning capacity
  • Each spouse’s financial and domestic contributions
  • The actual need for this type of financial support
  • The payor spouse’s ability to afford alimony
  • The parental responsibilities of each party
  • The tax consequences of alimony
  • Any history of domestic violence
  • Any other relevant factors

Can domestic violence affect alimony payments?

If you’re the victim of domestic violence, it’s imperative to understand how this abuse can affect alimony payments. Generally, when an abused spouse can show that the domestic violence they suffered impacted their financial ability to be self-supporting, they may be awarded alimony. As mentioned above, alimony is only granted when the spouse who requests it has a reasonable and legitimate need for it. For instance, if the abused spouse was unable to work or secure financial independence because of domestic violence, it can warrant grounds for alimony.

If you’re the victim of domestic violence seeking a divorce, please don’t hesitate to contact a reliable lawyer from The Law Offices of Cynthia L. Hanley, P.C., who can help fight to protect your rights.