Alimony & Alimony Reform

Massachusetts laws governing alimony in the Boston area are not well understood by the general public, and the enactment of the Massachusetts Alimony Reform Act in 2011 brought major changes to these laws for the first time since the 1970s. If alimony — sometimes called spousal support or maintenance — may be awarded in your divorce, or you need to know if you can obtain an alimony modification (or termination), our lawyers will analyze your situation and provide clear, accurate legal guidance.

Should You Expect To Pay Or Receive Alimony? How Much And For How Long?

At Amaral & Associates, P.C., our attorneys have decades of experience protecting clients’ financial interests in divorce and in the years afterward. We have the knowledge and resources to effectively handle the complex financial matters that arise in some divorce cases, including disputes over either spouse’s income, earning capacity or other factors. Our strengths cover:

  • Education of each individual client on his or her rights under current Massachusetts alimony law and important tax considerations associated with alimony payments
  • Analysis of how the court is likely to rule on any proposed award of alimony or an action to modify or terminate alimony
  • Formation and negotiation of creative solutions that may be agreeable to both parties, in order to avoid costly and stressful litigation over this often-contested issue

Reliable Guidance On Current Alimony Laws And Actions To Modify Alimony

Historically, many alimony orders in Massachusetts had no “durational limits,” which meant they were often essentially permanent. Further, it was virtually impossible to obtain an alimony modification, reduction or termination. All this has changed.

Today, alimony is categorized as general, rehabilitative, transitional or reimbursement alimony based on a range of personal and financial circumstances. For general-term alimony when the marriage lasted less than 20 years, the alimony obligation will be limited within a percentage of the length of that marriage. A schedule of dates upon which payers can seek alimony modifications based on current durational limits has been established, and we are well-prepared to advise you on whether you should take action to modify or terminate alimony.

Also, since the enactment of the Alimony Reform Act, there is a statutory formula used to calculate the presumptive amount of an alimony order. There are grounds upon which a court can deviate from this formula. We are knowledgeable of how to calculate alimony in all cases, and when a deviation may apply under the right circumstances.

There are many circumstances now that allow alimony to be modified, reduced or terminated. This includes situations in which the recipient spouse cohabitates with a significant other or when the payer spouse attains full retirement age, as defined by the Social Security Administration.

Schedule Your Consultation With An Experienced Alimony Attorney Now

If you must prepare for divorce or have questions about changing or ending an alimony obligation, please call 617-539-1010 or contact us via email now. We maintain full-service law offices in Winthrop and in Boston’s North End and Waterfront, and we will provide an initial consultation.