According to the Massachusetts court system, alimony is the court-ordered payment of support from a spouse who has the ability to pay to a spouse in need of support for a period of time. Only people who are divorcing or are divorced can ask for and get alimony.

The Purpose of Alimony

The purpose of alimony is to limit any imbalanced economic effects of a divorce by providing an income to a non-wage-earning or lower-wage-earning spouse. Part of the justification is that one spouse may have chosen to put a career on hold in order to support the family, and would need time to develop job skills and experience to support his or herself in order to continue the standard of living they had during marriage.

Some Different Types of Alimony

The four different types of alimony are:

  • General Term Alimony – support paid regularly to an ex-spouse who is financially dependent on the former spouse. The length of time general term alimony is paid depends in part on the length of the marriage.
  • Rehabilitative Alimony – support paid regularly to an ex-spouse who is expected to be able to support themselves by a predicted time.
  • Reimbursement Alimony – support paid regularly or one-time after a marriage of not more than five years to make up for costs that the ex-spouse paid to help the paying spouse, such as such as enabling the spouse to complete an education or job training.
  • Transitional Alimony – support paid regularly or one-time after a marriage of not more than five years to help the spouse receiving the alimony to settle into a new lifestyle or location as a result of the divorce.

How is the Amount of Alimony Determined?

Massachusetts courts consider the following factors in determining whether to award alimony, how much and for how long:

  • The age, financial state, emotional state, and physical condition of the former spouse
  • The length of time needed for education or training for the recipient to become self-sufficient
  • The divorcing couple’s standard of living throughout the marriage
  • The length of the marriage
  • The ability of the paying spouse to support the recipient while supporting himself or herself.

Contact an Experienced Buzzards Bay Divorce / Alimony Lawyer

If you have any further questions regarding alimony in Massachusetts, or if you’re looking for representation in your divorce or child custody battle, please don’t hesitate to contact Attorney Mike Saurez.

The Law Office of Michael Suarez

Photo Copyright: olegdudko / 123RF Stock Photo

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