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Boston Spousal Support Lawyer

After a Divorce in Boston, Do You Deserve Alimony?

A divorce decree will have a huge impact on your life for years to come. Spousal support is a critical issue that should be carefully and thoroughly examined and calculated. Hiring a Boston divorce lawyer with nearly two decades of experience can be the difference between a manageable future and one fraught with financial difficulties.

In Massachusetts, there are relatively new laws governing spousal support. At DiBella Law Offices, P.C., we are well-versed in these laws. Call (617) 870-0907 today to schedule a free consultation with one of our Boston divorce attorneys.

Temporary Support

In Massachusetts, a judge can order temporary spousal support for the duration of the divorce proceedings. This is in an effort to provide one spouse with living expenses while the courts determine the final terms of the divorce agreement. The amount and the duration are up to the court to decide and are considered on a case-by-case basis. There is no standard or tiered payment to determine spousal support, even on a temporary basis.

Long-Term Support

The Alimony Reform Act of 2011 went into effect on March 1, 2012, in Massachusetts. Before that, judges did not use a uniform method or formula for determining the amount of alimony to be paid or the duration of the payments. Now, Boston judges determine the length of the alimony payments based on the length of the marriage and when the spouses reach full retirement age. The following is the guideline provided in the Alimony Reform Act:

  • Under 5 years: Up to 50% of the number of months married
  • Under 10 years: Up to 60% of the number of months married
  • Under 15 years: Up to 70% of the number of months married
  • Under 20 years: Up to 80% of the number of months married
  • Over 20 years: At the discretion of the court

It is generally accepted that alimony will end upon the death of the spouse, when the spouse receiving the alimony remarries, or when that spouse reaches full retirement age. But the family court has discretionary power in determining the timetable for alimony.

The Alimony Amount

In Massachusetts, the court will evaluate all income received by the spouse who is ordered to pay alimony. This can include salary and wages, investment income and dividends, bonuses, stock, stock options, and commissions. Inheritance can also be considered income when determining alimony. If the spouse who is required to pay alimony has a fluctuating income, such as seasonal work, the court can determine alimony as a percentage of weekly or monthly income rather than a specific dollar amount.

Payment Enforcement

Alimony in Boston is not always paid as it should be. A single late or missed payment could be due to an isolated event. However, chronic missed payments can be resolved by filing a petition through the court system. In these cases, the court may notify the payer’s employer and establish an automated payment process. This will send the alimony payments directly to the payee and help eliminate any future payment issues.

Divorce is never a simple process nor is it one to rush through. The compassionate and knowledgeable attorneys at DiBella Law Offices, P.C., have nearly two decades of experience guiding Boston clients with family law issues. Call (617) 870-0907 to schedule your free consultation, and begin rebuilding a life of happiness and success.