Do We Need an Alimony Order If We Agree?
Many spouses find it difficult to agree on alimony during a divorce. It is often one of the most contentious parts of a divorce settlement. You will need a judge to grant an alimony order if you and your spouse are in disagreement. If you do agree with your spouse on alimony, the hard part is done. To ensure your right to alimony is protected, however, you may need to do more than just work out an informal agreement.
Simply agreeing on alimony may not be sufficient to protect your rights.
You should include your agreement on alimony in your separation agreement. An agreement over alimony cannot be legally enforced unless you include it in a legally binding contract or include it in your divorce judgment. This means that you may have no legal recourse if the alimony is not paid. You may have to ask the judge for an alimony order in this instance, but there would be no guarantee it would be granted.
Including a provision for alimony in your separation agreement may make it easier for you to modify your alimony amount later on. Not all alimony can be modified. Your separation agreement could be worded in a way that prevents it. You will need to make sure your agreement allows for future modifications if you do not want a judge to grant an alimony order.
Speak with an experienced Massachusetts divorce mediator if you have questions about an alimony agreement. You may agree on alimony now but could disagree later on if your financial situations change. Including alimony in your separation agreement can protect your rights if you disagree down the road. And, if you want to be able to modify your alimony agreement in the future, you will need to ensure your separation agreement provides for that. A skilled divorce mediator can assist you and your spouse with creating an order that is reasonable, fair, and looks out for your best interests.
Do you have questions about alimony?
Mediation Advantage Services is here to help.
Polly A. Tatum is highly experienced in Massachusetts family law and can help you and your spouse create an alimony agreement that can be submitted to the court.
Based in historic Worcester with a satellite office in Northboro, MA, our firm serves all cities and towns throughout Massachusetts and Worcester
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