Every state has different spousal support laws. This week, this column will address the different types of alimony recognized by the state of Massachusetts. This is not something that is applicable in every divorce case, but for those who do qualify for spousal support, it can drastically improve their post-divorce financial situations.

So, what types of alimony are there? Massachusetts recognized four different types of alimony. These are:

  • General term
  • Rehabilitative
  • Reimbursement
  • Transitional

General term support is provided to a person who has been financially dependent on his or her spouse. Rehabilitative alimony may be provided, temporarily, to someone who needs a little help getting on their feet after divorce. Reimbursement support may be awarded to a person who helped pay for his or her spouse to go to school or complete job training. Finally, transitional alimony may be provided for up to five years to help the receiving spouse settle into post-divorce life.

A Massachusetts court will look at a number of factors before awarding alimony as part of a divorce settlement. A couple of them include the length of the marriage and the financial need of the requesting spouse. If awarded, how much is to be paid and for how long can vary.

Massachusetts residents who believe they are entitled to alimony can certainly bring it up when going through the divorce process. It is always worth looking into. If one meets all the qualifications to receive alimony, one’s legal counsel can pursue it during divorce negotiations or file an official spousal support petition in court for review.