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Divorce and alimony law reform in Massachusetts

The disintegration of a marriage is an emotional and stressful event. However, the legal strain of divorce can be alleviated with the right assistance so that individuals can focus on the health and well-being of their family. Negotiation can give those involved the opportunity to create a divorce settlement in a more amicable fashion. Recently, Massachusetts enacted a new alimony law for divorce proceedings that has been under scrutiny by many.

Specifically, there are many misunderstood issues that the law reform does not address. For example, the law ends alimony payments for persons receiving money who have cohabited with a new companion for a minimum of three months. The question remains, does this apply only to people who have moved in with new partners after the law went into effect? And furthermore, are judges enforcing the new law?

Several people complain that the judges are not acknowledging the law. Many believe that the law reform leaves too much that can be misinterpreted. The law was originally passed in an effort to help divorces recover after a divorce and allow for a smooth and reasonable transition, protecting the health and well-being of spouses. Disregarding or impartiality on the part of the judge is still under review by those affected by the new law reform.

Sometimes litigation is necessary to resolve disputes and reach reasonable negotiations in the face of divorce. There are too many unknowns in the landscape of divorce, and it can be a confusing and overwhelming process. Fully understanding one's rights and responsibilities can alleviate the uncertainty and stress of the arduous litigation process and help obtain the most favorable trial outcome for Massachusetts residents.

Source:, New alimony law in Massachusetts isn't 'hoped-for panacea', Debra Cassens Weiss, Oct. 25, 2013

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