Skilled Handling Of Contested Alimony Issues
Spousal support, which is also referred to as spousal maintenance or, more commonly, alimony, is an important financial issue that comes into play during many divorces. Unlike child support, in which clear-cut guidelines establish how it will be handled, handling alimony can be extremely complicated and is often highly contested.
Laws Affecting Alimony Payments
The already highly controversial and contentious subject matter of spousal support and alimony was significantly changed with the passage of the new Massachusetts Alimony Reform Act, which became effective March 2012. Previously, Probate and Family Court judges had significant discretion in ordering alimony, both in the amounts awarded and duration of payments. The new law defines various classifications of alimony. Spousal support can now be designated as general-term alimony, rehabilitative alimony, transitional alimony or reimbursement alimony. Each is distinct from the other.
Durational limits are now dependent upon the length of the marriage, along with other factors. In cases where both child support and alimony are likely, the new act provides guidance to litigants and the courts. Further, the effect of a recipient spouse cohabitating with a significant other may now affect an existing alimony payment order. For divorced parties seeking to modify their support orders, the act restricts the timing of a modification filing dependent, in part, upon the length of the marriage. As with all rules, there are exception or deviation factors to be considered, which are quite numerous. If you feel you are entitled to alimony or spousal support or if you believe you may be obligated to pay support to an ex-spouse, you need to contact an experienced Worcester County alimony attorney at the Roncone Law Offices, P.C.
The lawyers at the Roncone Law Offices, P.C., have over 50 years of experience serving people in Leominster, Fitchburg, Worcester and the surrounding parts of Massachusetts. We have a long history of achieving results in disputes over spousal support.
The Determination Of Alimony In Massachusetts
If a divorce goes in front of a judge, the judge will look at a variety of factors to determine if and how much alimony should be issued. The initial request is based on need of the recipient spouse. The judge will also look at the length of the marriage and incomes of both parties. If the party seeking alimony doesn’t have an income, the judge may look at that person’s capacity to earn an income, reviewing his or her work history, education, time out of the workforce, age and other factors. There are subtleties to the calculation and each case is unique.
Because these subtleties exist, the experience possessed by our attorneys is important. We understand how judges commonly rule on these issues, and can use this understanding to formulate an effective strategy for your case.
How Spousal Support Ties To Other Areas Of Divorce
While divorce is often broken down into a variety of issues, the fact of the matter is that all of those issues must be looked at as a whole. For example, when considering the issue of alimony, consideration must be given to how this issue relates to property division or debt division, or allocation and even child support, if applicable.
We take pride in the personal attention we provide in these cases. This is important, because it allows us to get to know what is important to you. When we move forward with your case, you can be confident that we will be working to achieve results that are right for you.
Contact Us for a Free Initial Phone Consultation
To discuss alimony and divorce with an experienced lawyer, call us at (978) 534-2444 or send us an e-mail.