There are many legal matters that must be addressed in divorce proceedings before both spouses can officially part and go their separate ways. A prominent part in separating two lives is handling the finances. When a marriage ends, each party does not always have the same financial status. Depending on the situation, there are many couples in which one party may have a higher income than the other, leaving a financially dependent spouse to struggle. It is because of this that financial support may be ordered by the court from one spouse to another. This is known as alimony. Continue reading to learn more and contact an experienced Massachusetts attorney for assistance with your case.
What is General Term Alimony?
General Term Alimony requires a regular payment to be made from one spouse to another after the divorce for a specific period of time. The amount of time that the payments are required to be made can vary depending on the length of the marriage. In Massachusetts, this is as follows:
- Less than 5 years, alimony cannot be required for more than 50% of the length of the marriage
- Less than 10 years, alimony cannot be required for more than 60% of the length of the marriage
- Less than 15 years, alimony cannot be required for more than 70% of the length of the marriage
- Less than 20 years, alimony cannot be required for more than 80% of the length of the marriage
- More than 20 years, alimony will be fairly determined by a judge.
What are Other Types of Alimony?
In Massachusetts, there are three other types of alimony that can be mandated by the court. They are as follows:
- Rehabilitative alimony: These are required for a short period of time to help a dependent spouse become financially independent.
- Reimbursement alimony: This may be paid broken up over time or as one whole payment. It’s purpose is to reimburse one spouse for the cost of supporting an education or job training.
- Transitional alimony: This only applies to marriages of less than 5 years. The payments are meant to help a spouse establish a new life after marriage. They can be broken up over time or paid in full.
What are Other Determining Factors?
It is possible for alimony payments to end early under certain circumstances. This can include:
- Remarriage or living with another individual
- The spouse who is paying reaches “full retirement age”
- Death of either spouse
Alternatively, alimony can even be extended if it is deemed necessary by the court. This may be in the event of:
- A critical change in a spouse’s life after the alimony was decided
- Convincing evidence for an extension
Contact our 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.