Passage of the New Massachusetts Alimony Reform Bill
In September 2011, Governor Deval Patrick signed into law the long awaited Alimony Reform Bill. The law has significant impact on currently pending divorce cases and outstanding alimony orders in specific circumstances. For instance, the Alimony Report Law:
- outlines the duration of alimony awards,
- prohibits the use of a second spouse’s income or assets in assessing an alimony award,
- sets a presumption that alimony will terminate upon attaining full retirement age,
- terminates alimony upon remarriage and certain cohabitation and
- considers child support in the determination of the amount of alimony.
The length of a couple’s marriage will now determine the length of time alimony is paid. For marriages lasting more than twenty years, the courts may still have the ability to issue lifetime alimony awards but the courts are no longer required to issue lifetime alimony awards. If divorced couples were married for less than twenty years, the courts have new parameters to determine alimony awards. How does the new law affect you?