One of the biggest events in Massachusetts divorce law to come down in recent years was the overhaul and reform of alimony law. This reform brings back the formerly eliminated idea of lifetime alimony. In 2012, a court order required termination of alimony benefits once the payer reached retirement age.
This law was intended to apply to all payers of alimony rather than just those who divorced after March, 2012, but this was not always the case in practice. Recent appeals courts have now issued decisions to end those reform benefits. Three different decisions in January of 2105 have ended the retirement provision in these reforms for those who were divorced prior to the March 2012 cutoff date.
Now, modifications to the termination of alimony that were initiated under the reformed alimony laws can only be rescinded if the former recipient of the alimony requests it. Certainly this is problematic for those left in uncertain gray areas who don’t know where they stand.
The process of legislation reform regarding alimony law is ongoing, but if you are in this situation and need your rights protected, you would do well to speak to your divorce attorney. The new laws can be confusing and difficult to understand and navigate, and even if you’ve been divorced for years, a qualified divorce attorney will know how to help you best. They can explain where you stand, and help you to work within the bounds of the law to ensure that your alimony agreement remains fair and equitable to everyone.