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How is alimony determined in Massachusetts?

When you are going through divorce, you may become worried when you are trying to figure out how you are going to pay for everything on your own. This can be especially troublesome for those you do not have an established career or have spent the last few years as a househusband or housewife. One way the Massachusetts courts make sure you are not left out on the streets is with alimony.

Alimony is essentially financial support paid from one spouse to the other. It is typically deemed “rehabilitative,” meaning it is only paid as long as the receiving spouse needs it to become self-supporting. This can include time to get an education or training, plus finding a viable job. If they are unable to hold a good job due to physical or mental limitations, alimony may be paid indefinitely. If the recipient remarries, their new spouse is responsible for their wellbeing and alimony stops.

When it comes to calculating payments, there are a few factors considered. First, the spouses’ financial, emotional and physical states are considered. This includes both the potential recipient and the payer; the courts generally will not assign alimony that leaves the payer in poverty. Next, as mentioned above, the length of time needed for training for a job is considered. Finally, the marriage itself is taken into consideration. This includes two factors: how long you were married, and your standard of living while you were together.

If you have been assigned an unfair alimony, or the alimony you are receiving has gone unpaid, contacting a family law attorney may be beneficial.

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