If you are a divorcing spouse with financial needs, you may make a request for alimony as part of your divorce. A provision for alimony may be included in the separation agreement. Typically, alimony payment will commence once the divorce is finalized. For those whose divorce did not address the issue of alimony, Massachusetts law also provides that spouses may request alimony at any time post-judgment.
The judge will determine the amount and duration of alimony based on the same factors that would be considered if your divorce was not yet finalized. These factors include the length of the marriage, the conduct of the spouses during the marriage, the age and health of the spouses, the amount and source of income, occupation, financial status, employability, and vocational skills of each spouse, as well as the debts and financial needs of both spouses. The judge will also give consideration to the financial needs of any dependent children. The duration of general term alimony may be limited based on the length of the marriage. Although you and your spouse may agree on the terms of an alimony request, a judge will ultimately have to review it for fairness before he or she can consider granting it. If you were not awarded alimony with your divorce but you made a request for it, you may be able to request alimony again if you can show that there has been a material change in circumstances that would warrant a modification.
Alimony is a commonly disputed topic in many divorces and has the tendency to complicate divorce proceedings fairly quickly. If you and your spouse cannot agree on alimony, a significant amount of discovery, or information and evidence, may need to be exchanged before a judge can consider granting the request. This can be a costly process and is counterproductive to the entire purpose of the action: to seek financial support. Divorce mediation is a cost-effective alternative to litigating an alimony complaint. Consider working with an experienced Massachusetts divorce mediator if you have any questions about requesting alimony now or in the future. A skilled mediator can ensure the language used in your separation agreement does not negate your right to seek alimony after the divorce is final. And, if you are seeking a post-judgment action, a mediator can assist you and your spouse with negotiating an agreement over the terms of the alimony and submitting the right documentation.
Are you going through a divorce and have concerns about alimony? If so, Mediation Advantage Services can help. Experienced in divorce mediation, family law attorney Polly A. Tatum can help you efficiently mediate your alimony issues, ensuring your separation agreement provides you the opportunity to request alimony at a future date. Based in historic Worcester, 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 guide for more information regarding divorce in Massachusetts.