Alimony in a Newton Divorce
At Turco Legal, our Newton family law attorney is an experienced, solutions-oriented advocate for clients. With experience handling all aspects of spousal support cases, our family law team has the professional skills to protect your legal rights and financial interests. If you have any questions or concerns about alimony laws in Massachusetts, we are here to get you answers. To set up a fully confidential, no obligation alimony case consultation with a Massachusetts divorce attorney, please call us at (978) 225-9030 or connect with us directly online.
What is Alimony?
Also commonly referred to as ‘spousal support’ and ‘spousal maintenance’, alimony is a payment or series of payments made by one spouse to the other during or after a divorce. As a general rule, alimony will be paid by the financially advantaged person to their more vulnerable former partner. There are several different types of alimony in Massachusetts. Further, alimony is not guaranteed in a divorce in Massachusetts. It will only be awarded when deemed appropriate.
An Overview of the Different Types of Alimony in Massachusetts
If you are preparing for a divorce in Newton and you believe that alimony may be an issue in your case, it is imperative that you understand the different types of support that can be awarded under Massachusetts law. Here is an overview of the four types of alimony in Massachusetts.
- General Term Alimony: General term alimony is the most traditional kind of alimony. It is paid to the person who is economically dependent on the payor. The duration of general term spousal support depends, largely, on the length of the marriage. The amount will vary based on the specific financial circumstances.
- Rehabilitative Alimony: Generally a type of short-term spousal support, rehabilitative alimony is designed to help the financially vulnerable spouse get back on their feet after a divorce. Often, the spouse receiving rehabilitative alimony will use it to go to school or get job-training.
- Reimbursement Alimony: Reimbursement spousal support is designed to directly repay one spouse for costs they incurred prior to their divorce. As an example, imagine that one spouse worked full-time to pay living expenses while the other was in medical school. The paying spouse may be entitled to reimbursement alimony.
- Transitional Alimony: Another type of short-term alimony, transitional spousal support is designed to help the financially vulnerable spouse transition into their new life after a divorce. It could cover things like moving expenses and initial rent payments.
Massachusetts Guidelines for General Term Alimony
As noted above, general term alimony is the type of spousal support awarded to help the financially disadvantaged spouse support themselves and retain the standard of living that they have grown accustomed to, even after a divorce. Under Massachusetts law (MGL c.208, § 49(b)), the duration of general term alimony is based largely on the length of the marriage. The guidelines are as follows.
- Length of marriage is 5 years or less: Alimony limited at half the length of the marriage.
- Length of marriage is more than 5 years, but 10 years or less: Alimony limited at 60 percent of the length of the marriage.
- Length of marriage is more than 10 years, but 15 years or less: Alimony limited at 70 percent of the length of the marriage.
- Length of marriage is more than 15 years, but 20 years or less: Alimony limited at 80 percent of the length of the marriage.
- Marriage is longer than 20 years: Indefinite alimony can be awarded.
Understanding the Alimony Factors
Spousal support is awarded on a case-by-case basis. A wide range of factors can be considered in determining alimony obligations. Some of the specific factors that courts look at when calculating alimony include:
- The duration of the marriage;
- Age and health of each party;
- Current and future financial prospects of each party; and,
- The conduct of the parties during the marriage.
How Our Massachusetts Family Lawyers Can Help
Alimony cases are complex. You do not have to navigate the legal process alone. At Turco Legal, we take a pragmatic approach to family law—with a focus on helping our clients secure the best outcome. When you contact our Newton law office, you will have an opportunity to consult with a Massachusetts divorce lawyer who can:
- Conduct a comprehensive evaluation of your case;
- Gather and prepare all relevant financial information;
- Represent you in divorce/alimony settlement negotiations; and,
- Devise a personalized legal strategy designed to meet your unique needs.
Contact Our Newton Divorce Attorneys Today
At Turco Legal, our Newton family law attorneys provide proactive, pragmatic legal guidance and support to our clients. If you have questions about Massachusetts’ spousal support laws, we can help. Give us a call now at (978) 225-9030 or contact us online to arrange your fully confidential initial family law consultation. From our law office in Newton, we provide family law representation throughout Middlesex County, including in Lexington, Belmont, Cambridge, and Somerville.