What are the major changes to the new alimony law in Massachusetts? How does this affect divorce agreements finalized before the new law went into effect?
ANSWER: by Allan Baron
The new Massachusetts alimony law generally puts some limits on amounts (how much money is to be transferred) and duration of alimony (for how long will the money transfers be made) especially where child support is also being paid.
The old concepts of needs, ability to pay and length of marriage are the still considered but there now are some guidelines/limits that have been set up to avoid some of the “never ending” or permanent awards of the past. The new law also provides for possible payments to a spouse for putting the other through school and also a possible payment to prepare a spouse to return to the workforce.
Divorce agreements before the law went into effect may be eligible for modification only if the agreement “merged” and was not a final agreement. Many divorce agreements as opposed to court rendered decisions in regards to alimony are set up by the parties to be final and therefore not modifiable. Of course to get a full interpretation of your situation, you should contact a qualified and experienced divorce attorney.
Our Greater Boston Divorce Attorneys at Baron Law & Mediation provide legal services to individuals and families in the Greater Boston communities including: Andover, Annisquam, Boxford, Georgetown, Ipswich, Newbury, Newburyport, North Andover, North Reading, Rowley, Salem, Tewksbury, and Topsfield.
Baron Law & Mediation
Greater Boston Divorce Attorneys
800 Turnpike Street, Suite 300
North Andover, MA 01845