Support Payments After a Divorce in Massachusetts

Divorce has the power to change the lives of everyone involved in a family. It separates the lives that two spouses built together over a certain amount of time. This is a difficult task, as some spouses’ lives are bound in several different ways. It is because of this that one spouse may still owe payments to the other even after the divorce is official. Two types of payments that are made from one spouse to another can be spousal support and child support.

Spousal Support

Spousal support is more commonly referred to as alimony. When a couple combines their lives over a period of time, their finances are often intertwined as well. In the event of their separation, it can become difficult to divide their finances and assets. In some cases, one spouse is the breadwinner of the family while the other is the caretaker. This can sometimes leave one spouse in an unfair situation after a divorce, as they do not have an income of their own to sustain themselves.

When this happens, one spouse may owe court-ordered financial support payments to the other spouses for a required period of time after their divorce. This allows the dependent spouse the chance to live on their own while they begin to gain independence. In the state of Massachusetts, there are different types of alimony payments:

  • General Term Alimony
  • Rehabilitative Alimony
  • Reimbursement Alimony
  • Transitional Alimony

Child Support

When a couple has children together, the matter of child support must be determined during the divorce proceedings. When a parent has physical custody of a child, the child lives with them the majority of the time. This requires the parent to provide their child with shelter, clothes, food, and more. The cost of caring for a child can become very expensive for one parent to handle. Because of this, a non-custodial parent must still financially assist their child after a divorce.

Child support payments must be made from one parent to another in order to support their children and allow them to maintain the life they are accustomed to living. This money is to be used solely for matters relating to the child.

In Massachusetts, a parent is required to pay child support until a certain age. This age can vary on a case to case basis. Typically, the age of emancipation is 18 years old in Massachusetts. However, there are some cases in which a court may extend child support payments longer. This may be if a child decides to seek higher education. If a parent believes their child is no longer in need of support payments, they may petition the court to assess the child’s emancipation to end their payments.

Contact our Firm

If you or someone you know is seeking an experienced attorney for a divorce case, contact the Law Offices of Cynthia L. Hanley, P.C. today.

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.