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Alimony laws in Massachusetts

Couples who are getting divorced in Massachusetts should understand alimony laws in the state so it is fair for both parties. Alimony is financial support that is paid to the other spouse for a certain period of time, and it is determined by the court.

According to the Massachusetts Court System, there are four types of alimony. They are:

  • General term - regular support paid for a period of time that is determined partly by the length of the marriage
  • Reimbursement - one-time or regular support for costs (such as specialized training or school tuition) incurred by the ex-spouse to support the paying spouse  during the marriage
  • Rehabilitive - regular support for a period of time in which the one receiving the support is able to get back on their feet and support themselves
  • Transitional - on-time or regular support to help spouse readjust to life in a new location

According to the Boston Globe, the state passed a new law in 2012 that limits alimony requirements. Basing monetary support on need and years of matrimony, the law puts a stop to payments over a lifetime and limits the amount of time one has to pay alimony support for marriages in which the couple was together for 20 or fewer years. Alimony is also cut off once the person paying is eligible for social security. Alimony is also curbed once the spouse receiving the support is with a different partner and they have cohabitated for three months or more.

Although the new law is in place, it had a rough start because it was easily ignored and misinterpreted. However, there is still hope that these new regulations will encourage newly-divorced spouses to rebuild life on their own. 

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