What to Know About Modifying Alimony in Massachusetts

Alimony is carefully calculated. As a result, it can be difficult to make changes to the arrangement. But, some circumstances warrant a modification. Read on to learn more about modifying alimony arrangements in Massachusetts.

What are the different types of alimony?

There are different types of alimony for different types of couples. In Massachusetts, the most common types of alimony include:

  • 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 alimony determined in Massachusetts?

When determining the length of alimony payments, the court uses the following formula:

  • 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:

  • Your ex-spouse remarries
  • Your ex-spouse’s income increases
  • Your ex-spouse receives a large sum of money

It is important to know that you cannot stop paying alimony without the permission of the court. Failing to make court-ordered alimony payments can result in serious legal trouble.

If you have any questions or concerns about alimony modifications in Massachusetts, reach out to our firm today to discuss your options with an experienced attorney.

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.