Massachusetts Alimony Reform Act

You May Be Affected by the Comprehensive Changes in Massachusetts Alimony Law

Massachusetts Alimony Reform ActAlso called spousal support or maintenance, alimony can be a highly contentious issue in divorce and modification cases. On March 1, 2012, the Massachusetts Alimony Reform Act went into effect. The new law sets term limits on alimony awards. Under the new law, cohabitation, under most circumstances, will give rise to a termination, suspension or reduction of a current alimony award. In addition to durational limits on alimony, the new law allows for the award of transitional alimony, rehabilitative alimony and reimbursement alimony. Consult with the experienced attorneys at The Law Offices of Geary & Geary, LLP, to learn more about how the new law may affect you and your family.

At The Law Offices of Geary & Geary, LLP, we have handled Family Law/Divorce and domestic relations issues for clients in Lowell, Chelmsford, Tewksbury, Middlesex County and Essex County and throughout the Merrimack Valley since 1958. We are prepared to help you understand your rights and obligations and protect you throughout the legal process.

Understanding the New Framework for Alimony in Massachusetts

Terms such as "temporary alimony" and "permanent alimony" are no longer used. Rather, there is a set of clear guidelines that dictate how long alimony will be paid, based on how long your marriage lasted:

  • Five years or less: Alimony will last half as long as the marriage, at most.
  • Six to 10 years: Alimony will last no longer than 60 percent of the length of the marriage. For example, if you were married 10 years, alimony can continue for a maximum of six years.
  • 11 to 15 years: Alimony will last no longer than 70 percent of the length of the marriage
  • 16 to 20 years: Maximum duration for alimony is 80 percent of the length of the marriage.
  • More than 20 years: The duration of alimony is left to the discretion of the judge.

What if You Are Already Paying Alimony?

If you got divorced before March 1, 2012, and are already paying alimony, it may be possible to have the payment amount modified by the court. However, you cannot seek modification until:

  • March 1, 2013, if your marriage was five years or less
  • March 1, 2014, if your marriage was six to 10 years
  • March 1, 2015, if your marriage was 11 to 15 years
  • Sep. 1, 2015, if you were married for more than 15 years

Contact a Wilmington, Tewksbury and Westford Divorce Lawyer for a Free Consultation

Contact Geary & Geary, LLP, to learn about how you may be affected by changes in Massachusetts' alimony law. Please call 978-319-4194 or contact us online. We are conveniently located in downtown Lowell.