Massachusetts Alimony Attorney
Getting You a Fair Spousal Support Agreement
Alimony, also called spousal support or spousal maintenance, is the money one spouse pays to another after a divorce has been finalized.
With alimony, the goal is to help a spouse maintain a similar lifestyle as he or she had prior to divorce. Alimony prevents either spouse from becoming disproportionately responsible for the other after the divorce.
Before 2012, Massachusetts courts used a standardized formula for calculating alimony. The formula factored in things such as the following:
- Age of both spouses
- Opportunity for future asset acquisition
- How long the two had been married
- What each spouse contributed to the marriage
- Overall financial conduct
Alimony After 2012: The Alimony Reform Act
One of the major changes to alimony from March 2012 was durational limiting. Now, alimony duration has limits that correspond to the length of the marriage.
- Married 5 years or less – alimony cannot exceed 50% of the length of the marriage
- Married 10 years or less – alimony cannot exceed 60% of the length of the marriage
- Married 15 years or less – alimony cannot exceed 70% of the length of the marriage
- Married 20 years or less – alimony cannot exceed 80% of the length of the marriage
Other changes included changing alimony at remarriage/cohabitation (termination upon remarriage / reduction on cohabitation for three months or longer) and termination at retirement, at which point Social Security benefits are received.
Modifying Alimony in Massachusetts
If you are looking to modify an alimony order, you must show there is a change in circumstances that alters your need or your ability to pay. The person paying alimony must prove the change is significant enough for the court to request a reduction in alimony payments, or the recipient must prove the change justifies an alimony increase.
Common circumstance changes that allow modifications to alimony orders:
- Change in employment status
- Change in salary
Alimony orders should generally not exceed 30 to 35 percent of the difference between each spouse’s gross incomes. With the help of an alimony lawyer, you may be able to successfully modify your alimony order to better fit your circumstances.
We fight for fair alimony awards for all our clients. Whether you are seeking alimony or your spouse is asking for you to pay alimony, we invite you to contact our Massachusetts divorce attorneys at Miller Law Group, P.C. today for a free consultation to discuss your legal rights and options.