ALIMONY

BULLWINKEL & BROOKS, L.L.C.​

          Following marriage, the couple begins to create a new life together. Often, couples begin to co-mingle their finances and live a lifestyle according to their joint income.  They also begin to make financial decisions as a pair, such as one person remaining home to care for children while the other one earns an income to support the family.  Unfortunately, when faced with a divorce, all of a sudden one person may be unable to support themselves either because they have been out of the work force for a long time, have to care for young children at home, or simply do not earn enough to support the lifestyle that the couple has become accustomed to.  This often leads to a claim for alimony.


          Alimony is the legal obligation to provide financial support to a financially dependent spouse.  In March 2012, Massachusetts enacted the Alimony Reform Act, which made significant changes to the alimony law, affecting any previous and all future orders of the court.  Among many things, the Alimony Reform Act established three different types of alimony and created durational limits on alimony payments depending on the length of the marriage. In addition, the new law also stated that alimony should terminate if the person receiving the alimony payments began to live with (“co-habitate”) with a new partner. The new law also permits the termination of alimony payments once the person making the alimony payments (the “Payor”) reaches retirement age.

          If you have any questions about alimony, if you think your alimony payments should be increased or if you are paying alimony and believe that you are paying too much, our attorneys may be able to assist you. We can assist you in a legal proceeding to seek a modification of the court order regarding alimony. We are determined to make sure our clients rights are protected and understand that each marriage is unique and the financial decisions that were made years ago can have a lasting impact on your post-divorce well-being.

          If you would like to discuss your present circumstances, learn what your rights would be in relation to an alimony obligation, or need representation in a current modification action related to an alimony obligation, please call or email us and arrange for a free consultation with one of our domestic relations attorneys.

Alimony Resources

  • Alimony Reform Act
    • ​Recent Cases
      • ​​​The retirement provision of the Alimony Reform Act of 2011 does not apply retroactively to alimony orders in divorce judgments that entered before March 1, 2012.
      • Supports the proposition that alimony might continue beyond an obligor's retirement.
      • ​​Generally, "the maximum presumptive duration of an award of general term alimony (based on the length of the marriage)" begins when the judgment of divorce is issued, and "does not include the time period during which temporary alimony was paid" while the divorce was pending.
  • Alimony Tax Guide
  • Alimony and Child Support Distinguished