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Massachusetts Law About Alimony

Massachusetts Laws

Federal Laws


Complaint for Modification of Alimony

Selected Massachusetts Cases

Green v. Green, 84 Mass. App. Ct. 1109 (2013). Supports the proposition that alimony might continue beyond an obligor's retirement.

L.J.S. v. J.E.S., 464 Mass. 346 (2013). "[I]f presented with evidence of potential tax consequences, a judge should consider those consequences when creating or modifying alimony provisions in a divorce instrument.."

Sampson v. Sampson, 62 Mass. App. Ct. 366 (2004). The Appeals Court reversed and remanded an alimony award because the Probate judge's order left the wife in "economically strained circumstances" while the husband was "guaranteed continued enjoyment of the secure, comfortable marital lifestyle."

Pierce v. Pierce, 455 Mass. 286 (2009). Discusses the factors a judge must take into consideration in making an award of alimony or a modification of an award and the balance a judge must strive for when resources are inadequate to maintain the marital standard of living. The court found that the Probate judge "did not abuse her discretion in finding that a reduction in the amount of alimony, but not a termination of alimony, was warranted in view of the totality of the circumstances." Also provides a good review of the history of alimony in Mass.

Other Web Sources

Alimony, Mass. Legal Help, June 2014. In plain language, explains alimony law in Massachusetts, including an introduction to alimony, the four different types of alimony, and answers to common questions. Includes links to forms. New!

Alimony, Mass. Dept. of Revenue A tax guide to alimony and Mass. income tax instructions for payor and payee.

The Alimony Reform Act: Early Lessons to be Learned, by Anita Wyzanski Robboy, 2013. Extensive review of the law, with practice tips.

Dept. of Revenue LR 85-38: Alimony and Child Support, Distinguished

Massachusetts Alimony Reform Act Goes Into Effect March 1, 2012, Berid and Schutzbank, 2012. In easy-to-read list format, provides a "summary of highlights of the new Alimony Reform law in Massachusetts."

Pitfalls of the New Massachusetts Alimony Law - Recomputation and Alimony Fixed as Child Support, David H. Lee. Explains in some detail (with drafting suggestions) "two provisions of the Code which can impact that assumed income tax treatment: Recomputation and Alimony Being Fixed as Child Support."

Tips for Handling Cases Under the New Alimony Law, Fern F. Frolin, 2012.

Print Sources

Deeley, Megan. “Splitting the  difference:  the historical context and practical ramifications of the 2012 Massachusetts alimony reform.  Massachusetts Family Law Journal, vol. 30 Issue 2.  (April 2012, entire issue, 15 pages.)

Ginsberg Formula for Alimony: Ginsberg, Edward M. Hon. "The Place of Alimony in the Scheme of Things", 14 Massachusetts Family Law Journal 107 (Jan. 1997).

“Impact of cohabitation under Alimony Reform Act” by Maureen McBrien, Massachusetts Lawyers Weekly, April 30, 2012. (40 MLW 1500). This article reviews the conditions under which alimony may be suspended, reduced or terminated.

Kindregan, Charles P., Jr. Reforming Alimony: Massachusetts Reconsiders Postdivorce Spousal Support, Suffolk University Law Review, vol. XLVI, no. 1, p. 13-43 (2013).

Latest developments in alimony, Suffolk Univ. Adv. Legal Studies, 2011. Gives short history from 1974 statute to Alimony Reform Act of 2011, comparison of 2011 act to previous M.G.L. c. 208 s. 34, describes forms of alimony, modifications. Includes a list of cases.

Massachusetts Practice v.1-3 (Family Law and Practice), 4th ed., Thomson Reuters, 2013. Chapter 53: Alimony

Principles of the Law of Family Dissolution: Analysis and recommendations, American Law Institute, 2002 with supplement. Chapter 5: Compensatory Spousal Payments