The Alimony Reform Act of 2011 brought significant changes to the alimony laws in Massachusetts. There are now limits on how long alimony lasts and the amount of alimony that is paid, based on the income of the parties and the length of the marriage. The first appellate decisions interpreting the Alimony Reform Act of 2011 are coming down and we at Kurland & Grossman are on top of those cases and the impact on past and future alimony orders.

For example, if you were married for less than five years, your alimony most likely cannot last longer than 50 percent of the length of your marriage. For marriages up to 10 years, that percentage increases to 60 percent.

In long-term marriages lasting more than 20 years, alimony payments can be indefinite. However, it may be possible to terminate or reduce alimony payments if the receiving spouse either remarries or cohabitates with a partner. This eliminates the possibility of an ex-spouse living with a partner as though he or she were married while still receiving the benefits of alimony.

The length of the marriage may include the time prior to a marriage where a couple lived as though they were married. This is particularly important in situations involving nontraditional marriages and same-sex couples who may have lived together for many years before they were legally married.

Modifying Your Spousal Support in Middlesex County and Throughout Massachusetts
These changes not only affect clients who are going through a divorce now, but they also affect those people who are paying or receiving alimony from a past divorce. If you have existing alimony, sometimes referred to as spousal support or spousal maintenance, you may be able to modify it under the new law.

The law set out a schedule for modifications based upon the length of your marriage as well as defined several specific types of alimony available, such as Rehabilitative, Reimbursement and Transitional alimony. These adjustments are dependent upon a variety of factors and is something you should get further clarification on from an attorney.

If you have an existing alimony order, we can review it for you. We help clients who are looking to reduce or eliminate alimony payments as well as those who want to take steps to secure their alimony arrangement into the future.