Managing Your Money

Massachusetts alimony law could soon change

Last week the Mass House of Representatives approved a law changing the alimony rules. The new law establishes guidelines for setting alimony payments and, more importantly, does away with the ability of judges to approve “lifetime alimony.” Under the new law the length of alimony is dependent on the length of the marriage and in most cases ends at the age of retirement. In the past judges had much more loose guidelines in establishing alimony and could consider assets, employment and other factors. The new law would result in more consistent alimony rulings throughout the state.

Some other provisions of the proposed law include new types of alimony including “transitional alimony” when a spouse needs temporary assistance or job training, and “reimbursement alimony” for repayment of monies spent on helping a spouse through school or training while married.

The new law would not change alimony rulings already in place but would allow divorced parties to ask for alimony modifications.

The law still needs approval by the Senate.

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