Spousal Support and Alimony Attorneys
Spousal support, also known as alimony, is supposed to ease the transition from one household into two by providing financial support from one spouse to the other. Depending on the circumstances, it can be awarded on a temporary or long-term basis.
We understand both sides of the story. We work with clients who hope to collect alimony payments from their former spouse and those who wish to defend themselves against having to pay spousal support. We also help individuals with alimony modification petitions under the Alimony Reform Act.
For more than 25 years, our attorneys have been committed to providing our clients with highest level of service. Attorney David Gabriel is a well-known and respected advocate among peers, judges and court personnel at the probate and family courts in Essex, Middlesex, Norfolk and Suffolk counties.
How is Spousal Support or Alimony Determined?
An award of alimony is dependent upon a multitude of factors. Although the state of Massachusetts provides determination guidelines, alimony is not guaranteed. Alimony is most commonly awarded when parties have been married longer, and there is a greater disparity in income between them.
The chief criteria for determining the appropriateness and amount of spousal support are generally:
- The length of the marriage, particularly if it has lasted 10 or more years
- Contributions to the marriage, such as putting a spouse through medical school or staying out of the work force to be a child caregiver
- The financial need of a party based on education and earning potential
- The ability of one party to pay another
- The standard of living during the marriage
- The age of the parties as well as their physical and mental condition
- The loss of any economic opportunity because of the marriage
When Can a Judge Deviate From the Guidelines?
Under certain circumstances, a judge may deviate from the general time and amount limits for general and rehabilitative alimony. If the parties are an advanced age or one spouse is chronically ill, for example, the judge may deviate. Similarly, a judge may deviate if the payee spouse is unable to support himself or herself due to physical/mental abuse by the payor or because there are insufficient job opportunities. Additional unearned income, such as investment income, can also impact an alimony award.
No matter what your circumstances, our lawyers can negotiate structured alimony as part of your divorce agreement, modification of an existing alimony order or represent you in court proceedings.
Speak with us about your alimony agreement
If circumstances have changed and you believe a modification to your alimony agreement is in order, please call our office and speak with an experienced attorney. Get answers to your questions and learn your options. Call the law office of David M. Gabriel & Associates.