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Alimony

Why don’t men get alimony more often?

Though many people often think of men as the main breadwinners for the family unit in the vast majority of cases, recent studies show that this is largely an outdated mode of thinking. In reality, roughly 40 percent of households have women as the main earners. When it comes to alimony, there are about 400,000 people in the country being paid. Out of that, a tiny 3 percent are men. When considering this with the 40 percent figure above, it stands to reason that a lot of men could be asking for and receiving alimony, but they’re simply not doing it. Why not? There are many reasons. Experts have noted that the following show up often: — Gender roles that just won’t go away: As noted, many people automatically assume that men should be the main providers, despite the real-world statistics, so men may not consider asking for alimony. — Pride: One man said that he would never hit a woman or beg for her help, and he felt like alimony was no better than begging. Despite the fact that his wife made more than $100,000 a year, he didn’t ask for alimony and instead got help from his parents. — Sexist judges: In some cases, a man may fully be qualified for alimony, and a judge may have ruled that it should be paid if the roles were reversed, but the judge allows bias to sway his or her decision, refusing to give alimony to the man. In some

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What judges consider regarding alimony

If you’ve asked for alimony in your divorce filing or filed a Complaint for Alimony after the fact, you’re probably wondering how much you can get and how a judge determines what should be paid out. Every situation is a bit different — there is no strict law saying a set level of alimony must be paid — so the judge has to look at a variety of factors and make a specific ruling in every case. Some of these factors include the following: — How long you and your spouse were married before getting divorced.– How old you are and how old your spouse is; this is important when determining if you can still enter the workforce and earn money yourself.– Your overall health and the health of your spouse.– The contributions you both made to the marriage, both economic and non-economic.– Any economic opportunities that one of you gave up when getting married.– Your current income levels.– Your employment situation and your ability to be employed going forward.– What each of you needs to keep the same standard of living. Essentially, the court is just trying to figure out what it will take for both of you to keep living the way you were before the split. If you quit your job 20 years ago and have little hope of gainful employment, for example, because you thought your spouse would be there to support you, the court wants to provide some support even though you’re divorcing, as you

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How much can be taken through wage garnishment?

If your ex is ordered to pay alimony or child support and then he or she does not pay, wage garnishment can sometimes be used to get back the money that is owed. This is a preferred method because the wages are garnished before they pass from the employer to the employee, so there is no way for your ex to stop that money from coming to you. It is important to know that there are some limits on wage garnishment that are set up by Title III of the Consumer Credit Protection Act. You’re not likely going to get all of the money that is owed at once. The two basic limits are: — 50 percent of the total personal earnings. This can be done if your ex has remarried and then he or she is supporting the second family. If your spouse is supporting a child, the 50 percent limit is also used. — 60 percent of the total personal earnings. This limit is used when your ex is not married and does not have a child or a family to support. In addition, it’s important to note that an extra 5 percent could be added on to the above if the payment totals have been in arrears for at least 12 weeks. This means the maximum total that could be reached is 65 percent of the earnings from each paycheck. As you can see, the amount that can be deducted is quite significant and could have a

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What does rehabilitative alimony mean?

As its name may suggest, rehabilitative alimony is when one spouse makes payments to the other in order to help the receiving spouse get back on his or her feet after divorce. Its main purpose is to help the receiving spouse become employable and self-sufficient. Rehabilitative alimony is awarded for a predetermined amount of time after which the payments will cease. Rehabilitative alimony may be awarded without regard to how long the marriage lasted, but a judge will look at the length of the marriage when making a determination. Five years is the longest period a spouse can receive this kind of spousal support. In many cases a judge may award rehabilitative alimony when one spouse has been absent from the Massachusetts workforce for a long time. Other times, it may be awarded if a spouse is overcoming an injury or illness and needs financial assistance while recovering. The amount of rehabilitative alimony may undergo changes if the paying spouse loses a job or if one spouse experiences a significant change in income. If certain circumstances mandate the need, a judge may consider extending rehabilitative alimony. These circumstances include: — An unexpected event that delays the receiving spouse’s self-sufficiency — The receiving spouse has made every effort to become self-sufficient but is still experiencing hardships — And, the paying spouse will not suffer financial hardships from an alimony extension In many situations, rehabilitative alimony is good for both spouses. However, any time spousal support is an issue it is a

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Can I end my alimony in Massachusetts?

Alimony can be a stressful and frustrating hardship. Many people in Massachusetts are curious about whether alimony can be terminated. Here are some general rules for receiving and ceasing alimony. A judge decides who can change general term alimony based upon a number of factors and guidelines, unless there is a written agreement incorporated into a divorce judgment which states that alimony shall remain unchanged and the agreement “survives” the judgment. Alimony may be terminated in a variety of circumstances, including if; 1) The recipient remarries 2) Either spouse passes away 3) The spouse who is paying alimony reaches full retirement age, the alimony term reaches its durational limit based upon the length of the marriage or if the recipient spouse lives with another individual and they share common finances. In Massachusetts, alimony is a key factor with many divorce negotiations. People often rely spousal support to meet their needs and living expenses. Likewise, those who pay alimony often do not believe that their former spouses should be receiving benefits and alimony should terminate. Former spouses may wish to file complaints for modification to increase, decrease or terminate their alimony. If you have an additional question regarding alimony or spousal support, contacting David M. Gabriel & would be beneficial to your case.

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If asking for alimony changes, you must serve your ex

You cannot get your alimony payments altered, even if they need to be changed because of alterations to the law, without telling your ex. You must serve the papers to your ex so that they can be signed and then filed. The paper you have to serve is known as a summons form, and you can get it from the staff at the court. In some cases, you may already know that your ex is going to be fine with the change—perhaps the two of you have talked about it in advance. If so, you can simply take the papers to your ex, meet up with a notary public, have your ex sign the documents while the notary watches, and then bring the papers to the court. These steps are not difficult to take, but they must be followed to the letter, especially when it comes to having an official watch to see that the signing is done properly. In other cases, your ex may not want to sign off on the change. If so, you may not want to bring the paperwork to your ex on your own. Instead, you can have the sheriff or constable do it for you. The county law enforcement officials should be contacted, and they’ll serve the papers to your ex in person. Do not simply mail the paperwork to your ex. After the law enforcement officer has served the papers, they will either be given to you or taken straight to the court

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Alimony waivers in ante nuptial agreements

Alimony, or spousal support, is money paid by one spouse to another when a couple gets divorced. The general purpose of alimony is to help a spouse meet his or her needs after the marriage ends. In Massachusetts, either party to a divorce has the option to waive the right to receive alimony. When a couple’s ante nuptial agreement contains an alimony waiver, there are certain factors a court must consider in deciding whether the agreement is valid. If you are going through a divorce, consider speaking with an attorney who has experience in family law. Alimony laws can be difficult to understand. An attorney can look at your individual circumstances and help you decide whether waiving alimony is right for you. Under Massachusetts’s law, alimony can be waived by a prenuptial, or ante nuptial, agreement. An ante nuptial agreement is an agreement that a couple enters into prior to getting married. Courts scrutinize alimony waiver clauses in such agreements very closely. Essentially, in order for an alimony waiver clause to be enforceable, the court must find that: The agreement was valid at the time it is executed; and The agreement was fair and reasonable at the time of the parties’ divorce. In deciding whether an agreement is fair and reasonable, courts consider a number of factors. These factors include the age, intelligence, literacy level, earning capacity, and financial circumstances of each spouse. Courts will generally accept waivers of alimony unless one spouse will be left without enough property, income,

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What are the federal tax implications for alimony?

Many divorce settlements and court orders will include provisions for spousal support (“alimony”) and child support. Aside from questions of how these amounts are to be calculated, and additional consideration must be how each of the spouses must treat alimony sums with regard to federal and Massachusetts tax laws. This post provides a brief introduction to how the Internal Revenue Service considers alimony for federal tax purposes. The general rule is that the tax consequences for alimony payments depend on whether you are the person paying or receiving spousal support. If you are the person making the payments, you can use Form 1040 or Form 1040NR to deduct those payments from your income, while if you are the person receiving the payments then you need to declare those sums as income. Note, however, that there are conditions that the IRS imposes on what constitutes a payment of alimony, and rules that determine whether a payment qualifies as alimony. Not all amounts paid from one spouse to another will be considered to be spousal support for tax purposes. For example, the following are not considered to be alimony by the IRS: Child support (this applies the reverse of the alimony rule, meaning that the payer cannot deduct child support from income and the recipient does not need to declare such sums as income) Noncash property settlements Use of the property of the payer, or amounts spent to maintain the payer’s property Payments that are part of the community income of your

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