How is alimony decided?

During divorce proceedings, there are issues that need to be solved to prepare for the newly single life for the spouses. Some of these issues deal with the separation of possessions that have been acquired during a marriage, how much time the parents will spend with their children and alimony payments. Alimony is money that the independent spouse pays to the dependent spouse after their divorce is official. This is to help the dependent spouse maintain a certain standard of living.

There are certain guidelines that judges follow when deciding how alimony payments should be made and what they should consist of. However, each case can be vastly different due to the spouses involved. General term alimony is one of the forms of alimony that is used for these divorce matters. It consists of a regular payment made by one spouse to another for a determined period of time. For this method, the length of the marriage is taken into account when deciding the amount of support that is obligated.

Rehabilitative alimony is another method that includes a regular payment for a short period of time to help the dependent party become financially stable. Reimbursement alimony is a form of support that can be paid regularly or as a one-time payment after a marriage. This method is made to reimburse one party for the cost of supporting the other while he or she pursued education or job training. Transitional alimony helps a person settle into their new life. With this form of alimony, it can be paid as a lump sum or regular payments. This method is for shorter marriages that have lasted less than five years.

Can alimony payments change?

When alimony is decided, it is legally binding and should be paid. However, there are some factors that may lead former spouses to no longer require alimony. Alimony payments may stop when death has occurred, remarriage or cohabitation of the dependent spouse happens or if the paying party reaches full retirement age. The full retirement age will be reviewed by the court to ensure it is a just decision. A judge may also consider the extension of alimony due to new circumstances that have risen. This could be due to significant changes in circumstances or that evidence for an extension has become quite clear.

If you require compassionate and knowledgeable legal guidance for a matter of divorce, family or estate law, please contact the experienced attorneys at the Law Offices of Cynthia L. Hanley today. Our firm proudly serves clients in Mansfield, Massachusetts and throughout Bristol County.