Alimony in a Newburyport Divorce
At Turco Legal, our Newburyport family law attorney has the professional skills and family law experience that you can rely on. Taking a proactive and pragmatic approach, our firm handles all aspects of spousal support cases. If you have questions about your rights under the Massachusetts alimony laws, we are here to help get you answers. Give us a call at (978) 225-9030 or contact us online to set up a fully confidential alimony case consultation with a Newburyport family law attorney.
Alimony: Understanding the Basics
Commonly called ‘spousal support’ or ‘spousal maintenance’, alimony refers to payments made by one spouse to their former partner during or after a divorce. If you are going through a divorce in Newburyport, you may be entitled to receive or required to pay alimony. However, alimony is not awarded in every situation. The amount and duration of alimony will always depend on the specific circumstances of the marriage and divorce.
Four Types of Alimony in Massachusetts
Massachusetts law allows Probate and Family Court judges to select from four different types of alimony when awarding spousal support in a divorce case. Each type of alimony is designed for a different purpose. The four types of alimony that a judge could consider during or after a divorce in Newburyport, MA are described here.
- General Term Alimony: General term spousal support is a kind of alimony paid by the payor-spouse to the spouse who is economically dependent on the payor. The length and amount of general term alimony vary depending on the duration of the marriage, the financial circumstances of the parties, and other factors deemed relevant by the court.
- Rehabilitative Alimony: Rehabilitative spousal maintenance is a type of short-term alimony designed to help the recipient become financially self-sufficient. It could be paid to help a person go back to school, get job training, or support themselves through a job search.
- Reimbursement Alimony: Reimbursement alimony helps to ensure that a person is repaid for certain expenses that they incurred prior to a divorce. This type of spousal support may be awarded to a person who worked full-time while their partner attended graduate school and got the skills needed to get a higher paying job, for example.
- Transitional Alimony: Transitional alimony is a type of short-term alimony that is meant to help a financially vulnerable person navigate the changes brought on by a divorce. For example, transitional alimony may be used to cover moving and living expenses during the immediate aftermath of a divorce.
An Overview of the Massachusetts Guidelines for General Term Alimony
If you are going through a divorce in Newburyport and you believe that you may be entitled to receive or required to pay general term alimony, it is crucial that you understand the related laws. Under Massachusetts law (MGL c.208, § 49(b)), the duration of general term alimony is as follows.
- Length of marriage is 5 years or less: Alimony can continue for no more than half the length of the marriage.
- Length of marriage is more than 5 years, but 10 years or less: Alimony can continue for no more than 60 percent of the length of the marriage.
- Length of marriage is more than 10 years, but 15 years or less: Alimony can continue for no more than 70 percent of the length of the marriage.
- Length of marriage is more than 15 years, but 20 years or less: Alimony can continue for no more than 80 percent of the length of the marriage.
- Marriage is longer than 20 years: No limit. Indefinite alimony can be awarded.
Alimony Is Always Determined on a Case-by-Case Basis
It is important to emphasize that there are few “hard” rules for alimony in Massachusetts. Spousal support is generally approved (or denied) with careful consideration to the specific facts of the case. Notable factors that Massachusetts probate and family courts use when determining an award of alimony include the following:
- The length of the marriage;
- Current and/or future financial position of the parties;
- Any sacrifices made by the parties for the marriage or the family; and,
- Marital misconduct that led to the breakdown of the relationship.
How Our Newburyport, MA Family Law Attorneys Can Help
Spousal maintenance cases are often complicated. At Turco Legal, we have extensive experience handling complex divorces, including those involving alimony considerations. Our family law firm is prepared to take immediate action to help you achieve the best outcome. When you contact our Newburyport law office, you will speak with a Massachusetts family law attorney who can:
- Listen to your story and answer questions about alimony in Massachusetts;
- Investigate your case, and gather and organize relevant financial records;
- Advocate for your best interests in settlement negotiations with your spouse; and,
- Craft a personalized legal strategy focused solely on your best interests.
Contact Our Newburyport Family Law Attorneys for Immediate Help
At Turco Legal, our Newburyport divorce attorneys are committed to helping our clients find low-conflict, effective solutions that protect our clients’ rights and make the divorce process as smooth as possible. If you have any questions or concerns about alimony in Massachusetts, we can help. Call us at (978) 225-9030 or contact us online for your fully confidential initial consultation. We handle alimony cases in Newburyport, throughout Essex County, and across Massachusetts.