Amaral & Associates, P.C. - Divorce, Family Law

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Massachusetts Alimony Reform Act: When Does my Alimony Obligation Terminate?

In March 2012, the Massachusetts Alimony Reform Act became effective. Under the Alimony Reform Act, a spouse’s alimony obligation now has a termination date, whereas under previously Massachusetts alimony law, a spouse’s alimony obligation could last forever.

To determine when your alimony obligation will terminate, you first must know what kind of alimony you are paying. There are four categories of alimony in Massachusetts: General Alimony, Rehabilitative Alimony, Reimbursement Alimony, and Transitional Alimony.

General Alimony

General Alimony is the most common type of alimony. Under this type of alimony, a spouse’s alimony obligation lasts for a percentage of the length of the marriage.

For marriages lasting 5 years or less, a spouse’s alimony obligation lasts 50% the number of months the parties were married. For marriages lasting more than 5 years, but less than 10 years, a spouse’s alimony obligation is 60% the number of months the parties were married. For marriages lasting more than 10 years, but less than 15 years, a spouse’s alimony obligation is 70% the number of months the parties were married. For marriages lasting more than 15 … Read More »



Rehabilitative, Transitional, and Reimbursement  Alimony in Massachusetts

Q: What are Reimbursement Alimony, Rehabilitative Alimony, and Transitional Alimony?

A: There are 4 types of alimony under Massachusetts law. The four types are:

General Term Alimony Rehabilitative Alimony Reimbursement Alimony Transitional Alimony Rehabilitative Alimony Q: What is Rehabilitative Alimony?

A: By the statute’s definition, Rehabilitative Alimony for a recipient spouse who is expected to become economically self-sufficient by a predicted time, such as, without limitation, reemployment; completion of job training; or receipt of a sum due from the payor spouse under a judgment.

Q: When is a spouse eligible to receive Rehabilitative Alimony?

A: Rehabilitative Alimony is available to all spouses, regardless of how long they have been married.

Q: When Does Rehabilitative Alimony End?

A: Rehabilitative Alimony ends upon the first of the following to occur:

upon the remarriage of the recipient spouse, the occurrence of a specific event in the future that is outlined in the court order the death of either spouse; After 5 years. Q: Can Rehabilitative Alimony last longer than 5 years?

A: Yes, a spouse can file a complaint for modification upon a showing of compelling circumstances in the event that:

unforeseen events prevent the recipient spouse from being self-supporting at the end … Read More »



General Term Alimony: What is It?

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Q: What is General Term Alimony?

A: There are 4 types of alimony under Massachusetts law. The four types are:

General Term Alimony: the periodic payment of support to a recipient spouse who is economically dependent. Rehabilitative alimony: the periodic payment of support to a recipient spouse who is expected to become economically self-sufficient by a predicted time, such as, without limitation, reemployment; completion of job training; or receipt of a sum due from the payor spouse under a judgment. Reimbursement alimony: the periodic or one-time payment of support to a recipient spouse after a marriage of not more than 5 years to compensate the recipient spouse for economic or noneconomic contribution to the financial resources of the payor spouse, such as enabling the payor spouse to complete an education or job training. Transitional alimony: the periodic or one-time payment of support to a recipient spouse after a marriage of not more than 5 years to transition the recipient spouse to an adjusted lifestyle or location as a result of the divorce.

 

General Term Alimony is the most … Read More »



FAQ About Alimony in Massachusetts

Q: Will I have to pay alimony to my spouse? / Q: Will I receive alimony from my spouse?

FAQ About Alimony in MassachusettsA: The short answer is it depends. Based upon the Alimony Reform Act of 2011, there are many factors that have to be considered to determine if a spouse will have to pay alimony during or after a divorce.

Q: What are some of the factors that are considered to determine if I will pay/receive alimony?

A: Every case is different in what is considered whether a spouse will pay/receive alimony, but generally, there are some of the factors that are considered:

Do you have any unemancipated children? What is the combined gross income for you and your spouse? the length of the marriage; age of the parties; health of the parties; income, employment and employability of both parties, including employability through reasonable diligence and additional training, if necessary; economic and non-economic contribution of both parties to the marriage; marital lifestyle; ability of each party to maintain the marital lifestyle; lost economic opportunity … Read More »



Massachusetts Alimony Reform Act & Durational Limits

When the Massachusetts Alimony Reform Act went into effect in 2012, it provided for a payor spouse to file a Complaint for Modification to reduce or terminate his or her alimony obligation based upon durational limits, as further explained below. Rather than allowing spouses to file all at once in 2012, modification for only durational limits are being phased in over the course of three years.

Under the Alimony Reform Act, all alimony orders existing prior to the enactment of the Alimony Reform Act, are considered “General Term Alimony” unless otherwise specified. “General Term Alimony” is defined as “the periodic payment of support to a recipient spouse who is economically dependent.” Under this type of alimony, a spouse’s alimony obligation lasts for a percentage of the length of the marriage.

• For marriages lasting 5 years or less, a spouse’s alimony obligation lasts 50% the number of months the parties were married.

• For marriages lasting more than 5 years, but less than 10 years, a spouse’s alimony obligation is 60% the number of months the parties were married.

• For … Read More »



Postnuptial Agreements

Dear Clients and Friends,

Properly executed pre-nuptial agreements have been enforceable for sometime in the state of Massachusetts. These agreements are entered into between the couple before they are married to protect assets each party had at the time of marriage. Here are Amaral & Associates, P.C., we prepare pre-nuptial agreements on a regular basis on behalf of our clients.

Post-nuptial agreements, however, are entered into after a couple is married. They were considered invalid in the United States at one time and the present case law in Massachusetts has been uncertain as to the current validity until recently. Based on a July 16, 2010 case, entitled Ansin v. Cravin-Ansin, a Mass. Supreme Judicial Court case, the court for the first time enforced a post-nuptial agreement. Therefore, it is now possible for a couple to remain married yet prepare an agreement regarding how their assets are to be divided in the event of a divorce. This agreement could be helpful for parties who are thinking of getting a divorce or are afraid of losing additional assets if the marriage were to be extended. By having an agreement in advance, neither party would … Read More »



PreNups: Myths v. Truths

There are several myths regarding Pre-Nuptial Agreements that prevent many couples from broaching the topic. Keep reading to find if a Pre-Nup is right for you!

MYTH #1: ONLY PROTECT WEALTHIER SPOUSE

False. Pre-Nuptial Agreements must be fair for both parties. If the Agreement is found to be unconscionable by the Judge, it will not be honored.

MYTH #2: ONLY FOR THE RICH

False. Even if you and your spouse do not have much now, over time your income and assets will most likely increase. Your home and retirement accounts will probably become more valuable and you may even inherit additional money or assets from your families. A Pre-Nup can protect the accumulated wealth and decide how it will be dealt with.

MYTH #3: MUST COVER EVERYTHING/ONLY USEFUL IF YOU SPLIT

False. The agreement can be as detailed or broad as you like. It can be limited and cover one specific asset or inheritance, or deal with a wide range of areas. You may also specify in the Pre-Nup issues that you will encounter during the marriage, such as the usage of … Read More »



Divorcing During Your Golden Years

Recently there has been an uptick in divorces amongst Baby Boomers. Given that Baby Boomers are now in their 60’s, a divorce involving Baby Boomers, or any older couple, is known as a gray divorce.

Although a divorce for an older couple proceeds just like any other divorce does, there are certain factors that both spouses must consider and be aware of during their divorce if divorcing in your Golden Years.

First, if either spouse, or both spouses, are currently receiving Social Security, there are important regulations from the Social Security Administration, that the spouses should be aware of. Any widow or widower of a deceased spouse will receive that deceased spouse’s basic Social Security benefit amount when the widow or widower reaches full retirement age. This remains the case for divorced spouses who were married at least ten years. Thus, if a couple is married 10 years or more, and then one spouse dies, the surviving spouse will be entitled to receive the deceased spouse’s full social security benefits, as long as the … Read More »



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