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Under Massachusetts law, the Probate & Family Court may order that a party to a divorce pay alimony or spousal support to the other party.

There are many factors that a Court considers in determining whether to award alimony to a party in a particular divorce case. Those factors include but are not limited to the length of the marriage; the amount of income of each party; the parties’ “station” or standard of living during the marriage; the age and health of each party; the occupation and vocational skills of the parties; and the opportunity for each party to acquire future assets and income.

The law with respect to alimony or spousal support has undergone recent reform, and particularly with respect to the duration of a party’s obligation to pay alimony to his or her former spouse. The following is a partial summary of the duration of alimony payments for alimony judgments entered on or after March 1, 2012:

(1) If the duration of marriage is 5 years or less, general term alimony shall be no greater than one-half the number of months of the marriage;

(2) If the duration of marriage is 10 years or less, but more than 5 years, general term alimony shall be no greater than 60 per cent of the number of months of the marriage;

(3) If the duration of marriage is 15 years or less, but more than 10 years, general term alimony shall be no greater than 70 per cent of the number of months of the marriage;

(4) If the duration of marriage is 20 years or less, but more than 15 years, general term alimony shall be no greater than 80 per cent of the number of months of the marriage;

(5) The court shall have discretion to order alimony for an indefinite length of time for marriages longer than 20 years.

The Probate and Family Court will abide by these durational time limits for payment of alimony unless the Court finds that a deviation from these time limits is required in the interests of justice.

Additionally, cohabitation of the recipient spouse may end alimony. The Alimony Reform Act of 2011 provides that general term alimony shall be suspended, reduced or terminated upon the cohabitation of the recipient spouse when the party paying alimony is able to show that the recipient of alimony has maintained a “common household”, as defined by that statute, with another person for a continuous period of at least 3 months.

The alimony lawyers at Leone Law Offices are experienced and knowledgeable regarding all of the laws and factors that determine the amount and duration of alimony payments. We have decades of experience litigating successfully for and against payment of alimony. Put our experience and our aggressive representation to work for you. Call us today to make an appointment to discuss your alimony case.

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