When going through a divorce in Massachusetts or elsewhere, some individuals may think that they are entitled to receive alimony. They may be shocked to learn that this is not always the case. The awarding of spousal support is never a guaranteed thing.

So, how can one determine if he or she is entitled to alimony? In the end, it generally comes down to financial need. Spousal support, if awarded, is often granted on a temporary basis in order to help the receiving spouse as he or she finds his or her own financial footing following the marriage. However, it may be awarded long term or even permanently — depending on need and age.

Before the court awards alimony, it will need some information about one’s marriage and personal life. The length of the marriage is always considered, as is the marital lifestyle. Other contributing factors that will determine if one is to receive spousal support include:

  • Income level
  • Education level/need
  • Employment history
  • Health concerns
  • Post-divorce finances

Not all requests for spousal support that are submitted to courts in Massachusetts receive approval. There are those who the court will determine are capable of providing for themselves and do not require the support. With the assistance of legal counsel, it is possible to determine if an alimony request is warranted and then file the appropriate request in court — if deemed appropriate. If one believes alimony is a reasonable request and the court rejects it, it may be possible to appeal the decision. Again, this action can be completed with the help of an experienced family law attorney.

Source: FindLaw, “Are You Entitled To Alimony (Spousal Support)?“, Accessed on Jan. 22, 2018