What Support Is Right for You?
It is important to understand your alimony options when approaching the divorce process. Alimony affects other areas of divorce such as dividing assets and debts. Because of this, the alimony discussion should happen early on in your divorce. Massachusetts has several types of alimony. Different types of alimony serve different purposes. It is a good idea to determine what type is right for you early in the divorce process so you can better understand what your financial situation will look like after the divorce.
The four types of alimony in Massachusetts include:
- General term: Periodic payments to an economically dependent spouse. Typically reserved for long-term marriages.
- Rehabilitative: Periodic payments to a spouse who expects to be economically dependent in the foreseeable future. This can be used to support a spouse while he or she gets an education or training needed to find gainful employment.
- Reimbursement: Periodic or lump sum payment to a spouse as compensation for their contributions, economic or non-economic, to the financial resources of the spouse paying. For example, to compensate a spouse for supporting their spouse through school. Reserved for marriages that lasted not more than 5 years.
- Transitional: A periodic or lump sum payment to a spouse to help them adjust to their new life. This can include moving expenses. Reserved for marriages that lasted not more than 5 years.
As you can see, each type has a context in which it is appropriate. Each type will have a time limit for payments, but alimony is short-term in most cases. In marriages that lasted more than twenty years, however, a judge may order alimony for an indefinite period of time.
Your may need some help deciding what type of alimony is right for you. Massachusetts alimony law is complex and recently underwent reform. The reform adjusted durational time limits, amount caps, and the circumstances under which alimony can be changed or terminated. An experienced Massachusetts divorce mediator can assist you with determining your alimony options. You might need help negotiating an agreement with your spouse. Working with a divorce mediator can provide both the information and guidance needed to do just that.
Do you have questions about alimony? If so, Mediation Advantage Services can help. Experienced in divorce mediation, family law attorney Polly A. Tatum can help you and your spouse negotiate an alimony agreement in your divorce. Based in historic Worcester with a satellite office in Northboro, MA, our firm serves all cities and towns throughout Massachusetts and Worcester County including, Auburn, Paxton, Leicester, Sutton, Grafton, Shrewsbury, Westboro, Northboro, Southboro, Holden, Sterling, Princeton, Worcester, Charlton, Millbury, Dudley, Spencer, Brookfield, Sudbury, Natick, Framingham, Hopkinton, Milford, Blackstone, Leominster, Fitchburg, Acton, Jefferson, Barre, Oakham, Cambridge, Newton, Marlboro, Lancaster, Bolton, and Hudson. Call our office at (508) 645-6374, fill out our online form, or email us at firstname.lastname@example.org today to schedule your Complimentary Mediation Success Planning Session. You can also sign up for our eNewsletter or download our free e-book for more information regarding divorce in Massachusetts.