Showing posts from March, 2011

Alimony Reform Act Part 2 - Types of Alimony

In Massachusetts, a judge can order alimony in a divorce or not. An award of alimony will last until there is a change of circumstances. The only way alimony can terminate based on a period of time is if the parties agree. Without such an agreement, alimony lasts until a party dies, the recipient remarries, or a change of circumstances exists.
The proposed Alimony Reform Act will allow different types of alimony. The bill will allow General Term Alimony, Rehabilitative Alimony, Reimbursement Alimony, and Transitional Alimony.
General Term Alimony is the equivalent of alimony under current law. However, under the new law, the court will limit alimony to a period of time unless the court makes findings that alimony should exceed the time limits. The time limits start at 50% of the length of the marriage for marriages under five years and can be indefinite for marriages over 20 years.
Rehabilitative Alimony provides support while a spouse acquires skills to become self-supporting. Thi…

Alimony Reform Act of 2011 Part 1

There is a bill pending in the Massachusetts legislature that, if passed, will make major changes in the law of alimony in Massachusetts. The bill is called the Alimony Reform Act of 2011 and will probably be passed and become law. I will discuss the proposed changes in this blog. I will post a number of articles as there are too many changes to discuss in one posting. The first topic will be the factors a court will consider when deciding an alimony issue.
Alimony is sometimes awarded when couples get divorced in Massachusetts.  It is controlled by G.L. c. 208, § 34.  The new bill, if passed, will be a complete overhaul of the law of alimony in the state.
I have created a chart which compares the alimony factors under present law and the proposed law which is included at the end of this article. The new law includes all of the factors that a judge must consider and may consider under current law and adds additional factors. However, the biggest change is a catch all concept that all…