When a divorce occurs, there are many legal matters that must be addressed before the couple is officially split. If there are children in the picture, parents must determine child custody and child support arrangements. Another legal matter is dividing assets and finances between the two spouses. Alimony is court-ordered financial support from one spouse to another for a required period of time after the divorce. There are 4 different types of alimony in the state of Massachusetts, each of which depends on different factors of a marriage.
General Term Alimony
General Term Alimony requires a regular payment from one spouse to another. The payments occur for a specific period of time. For this type of alimony, allotted time in which the payments are required by a spouse is determined by the length of the marriage. The laws in Massachusetts for General Term Alimony are as follows for marriages:
- 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.
Other Types of Alimony
The other 3 types of alimony each have their own circumstances surrounding the payment requirements. They are as follows:
- Rehabilitative alimony: Payments under this type of alimony are required for only a short period of time in order to help a dependent spouse become financially independent.
- Reimbursement alimony: Payments under this type of alimony may be paid broken up over time or as one whole payment. It is in place to reimburse one spouse for the cost of supporting an education or job training.
- Transitional alimony: This type of alimony only applies to marriages of less than 5 years. The payments are required to help a spouse establish a new life after marriage. They can be broken up over time or paid in full.
Other Determining Factors
There are other possible circumstances that may end alimony payments earlier than expected. This may include:
- Remarriage or living with another individual
- The spouse who is paying reaches “full retirement age”
- Death of either spouse
Alimony payments may also be extended by a court if it is deemed necessary. Certain factors that may influence this can be:
- A critical change in a spouse’s life after the alimony was decided
- Convincing evidence for an extension
Contact our Firm
If you or a loved one are going through a divorce and are seeking legal representation, 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.