Laws about spousal support or alimony differ from state to state, and after the Alimony Reform Act of 2011 was enacted in Massachusetts, divorcing couples may have questions about alimony and how it affects them. Under the reform act, alimony may form part of a couple’s negotiations when drawing up their separation agreement, and it also allows modifications to existing obligations. Alimony is sometimes awarded to equalize the disparity between the incomes of divorcing spouses.
The ability to afford alimony payments from current earnings forms the basis of an alimony agreement. Furthermore, the length of the marriage plays a part, and, in Massachusetts, the court may also take into consideration the time couples spent as cohabitating partners prior to the date of marriage. This will determine when the alimony payments will stop.
A court may award alimony for a predetermined period to enable a former spouse’s rehabilitation, such as when preparing him or her to re-enter the job market. A judge will decide on the length of time rehabilitative alimony must be paid. If the spouse who receives the alimony remarries or decides to cohabitate with another person with whom he or she is in a relationship, alimony payments will cease. Alimony will be tax deductible for the person making the payments and taxed as income for the person receiving it.
Divorcing couples in Massachusetts may benefit from gaining knowledge related to state alimony laws. Retaining the services of an experienced alimony attorney may be helpful. Financial decisions may affect the financial stability of both spouses and making informed judgments at this time is vital.
Source: quadcitiesdaily.com, “Do Courts Still Award Alimony?“, Thomas Mccutcheon, June 17, 2015