Barbara J. Katzenberg, Attorney at Law

Alimony in Massachusetts divorce has many aspects to consider

It is not uncommon for couples who are considering divorce to have little or no knowledge of matters such as spousal support. If it is their first divorce, couples may have only the experiences of friends and family by which to go. However, the circumstances of every Massachusetts divorce is different, and it may be beneficial to consult with professional advisors to obtain a full understanding of how alimony laws will be applied in their case.

There are very specific term limits to alimony, based upon the time the marriage lasted, and in addition, there are some factors that are usually considered by the court when determining alimony. These may include the living standards of the couple prior to divorce and the earning ability of each party. In determining this, the court may consider the ages, health and education level of both spouses. In addition, the assets and liabilities of both parties, along with the responsibilities each parent would have where minor children are involved, may be taken into account.

The number of years that the marriage lasted will determine the term of alimony. Alimony for marriages that lasted in excess of 20 years will end at retirement age, and a scale with 5-year increments prescribe the alimony term of marriages that lasted for less than 20 years. The duration is calculated as a percentage of the months that the marriage lasted. There are definite limitations with relation to other factors such as remarriage and cohabitation.

Rather than going by the information supplied by other divorced couples, Massachusetts couples may want to ensure that they are fully informed before filing for divorce. With the assistance of experienced professionals, couples may be able to work out an alimony plan to suit both parties. There are also different payment options that can be discussed, such as periodic payments or a lump sum payment, and the most suitable option may be determined before going to court.

Source: mattersofdivorce.com, "The Truth About Alimony and Child Support", , Sept. 12, 2014

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