How can remarriage affect alimony in Massachusetts?

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To ease the financial burden and provide needed financial support, the court may order a higher-earning spouse to pay alimony, also known as spousal support, to the lower-earning spouse in a divorce. Essentially, this is a court-ordered periodic payment that helps lower-earning spouses cover living costs and necessary expenses while they settle into their new lifestyle before, after, or during the divorce process. The court has broad discretion when deciding an alimony award in Massachusetts. A higher-earning spouse can be required to pay alimony for a substantial amount of time after a divorce. However, some factors can affect a former spouse’s alimony obligation. With that being said, many people wonder whether remarriage can affect their alimony order. Keep reading and contact a trusted Bristol County Alimony Lawyer to discover how remarriage affects alimony. 

How is alimony determined in Massachusetts?

In Massachusetts, the court considered several factors when determining whether they should grant a lower-income spouse alimony. Firstly, the court will assess three main factors. Firstly, they will evaluate whether the lower-earning spouse truly needs this type of financial support. Secondly, they will evaluate the lower-earning spouses earning capabilities. Finally, they will examine whether the higher-earning spouse can afford to make monthly maintenance payments. Once these factors have been evaluated, the court may deem it reasonable to grant this type of financial support to a lower-earning spouse. The judge will also evaluate several factors such as the length of the marriage, each spouse’s income, each spouse’s earning abilities, the age and health of each spouse, and other components to determine the amount of support a spouse should receive.

Further, the court may order rehabilitative support, reimbursement alimony, or transitional support. Rehabilitative support is granted when the lower-income spouse can become financially independent but needs financial support while they search for a job. Reimbursement alimony is ordered when one spouse contributes financially to their former spouse’s education. Transitional support is ordered to help lower-earning spouses settle into their new lifestyle. Alimony is usually a temporary court-ordered payment.

Will remarriage affect an alimony order?

The duration of alimony payments depends on several factors including the length of the couple’s marriage. Generally, rehabilitative alimony is paid for five years. Reimbursement alimony ends when on a specific date stipulated by the courts or when the higher-earning spouse dies. Transitional alimony typically is paid for three years.

As mentioned above, many people wonder how remarriage can affect an existing alimony order. If you are receiving alimony from your former spouse, it will end if you get remarried. However, lump-sum or rehabilitative alimony is not usually affected by remarriage because they are already set to end after a certain period. Ultimately, you will not have the right to receive alimony once you’ve remarried.

For more information on how alimony is determined in Massachusetts, please contact a seasoned Bristol County alimony lawyer. Our firm is committed to helping our clients understand how remarriage will impact their alimony order.