Hingham Spousal Support Attorney

Understanding Alimony in Massachusetts

If you are going through a divorce, you may be experiencing concerns about your financial future. Depending on the circumstances of your marriage and divorce, you may be asked to pay alimony (also known as spousal support). 

Whether you depended on your spouse to support you or if you had supported your spouse for the duration of your marriage, we can help. At Kellem✶Mahoney Family Law & Mediation Group, P.C., our spousal support lawyers in Hingham and Newton are committed to helping you get through the complex divorce process.

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How Alimony is Determined 

All alimony is not made equal, which is why it is important to consult with a Hingham alimony attorney. Whether you go through mediation to reach a decision or decide to litigate your divorce, it is worthwhile to learn about alimony so you understand what to expect.

The Types of Alimony Include:

  • Periodic alimony - refers to the income that is granted for an indefinite period of time
  • Lump sum alimony - similar to periodic payments, except they are paid in lump sums
  • Rehabilitative alimony - financial support that is provided for a short period of time; to allow the receiving spouse time to get adjusted, establish him or herself, financially.
  • Reimbursement alimony - reimburses an ex-spouse for some expense or expenses that he or she may have paid out on behalf of the ex-spouse.

Modifying Alimony Payments

Life circumstances can change after a divorce, and this may impact the alimony payments that were initially agreed upon. Whether you are the paying spouse or the receiving spouse, it is important to understand that alimony orders can be modified under certain circumstances. Our experienced Hingham spousal support attorneys can help you navigate the process of modifying alimony payments based on changes in income, employment status, or other relevant factors.

Factors that may warrant a modification of alimony payments include:

  • Job loss or significant decrease in income
  • Health issues or disability
  • Remarriage or cohabitation with a new partner
  • Changes in the financial needs of the receiving spouse
  • Changes in the financial ability of the paying spouse

Our legal team can assess your specific situation and provide guidance on seeking a modification of alimony payments in accordance with Massachusetts law.

For personalized assistance, contact our Hingham spousal support attorneys online or by calling (781) 304-4001.


How Is Alimony Calculated in Massachusetts?

MGL c.208 § 53(b) provides a general guideline as to how alimony is calculated in the state of Massachusetts. In short, alimony will not be more than the receiving spouse needs. Additionally, it shouldn’t exceed 30 - 35% of the difference between each spouse’s income. In this situation, “income” refers to the gross income of the spouses at the time the alimony order is issued.

How Long Does Alimony Last?

In Massachusetts, the length of support for general term alimony depends on the length of the marriage. According to MGL c.208, § 49(b), marriages lasting more than 20 years may be subject to indefinite alimony. Otherwise, the following guidelines apply.

How Long Do You Have to Pay Alimony?

  • 15 - 20 years married = Alimony up to 80% of the months married
  • 10 - 15 years married = Alimony up to 70% of the months married
  • 5 - 10 years married = Alimony up to 60% of the months married
  • Less than years married = Alimony up to 50% of the months married

Do You Lose Alimony if You Remarry?

Like many states, Massachusetts sometimes allows couples to adjust alimony if the material circumstances of one or both spouses change. According to MGL c.208 § 54(a), remarriage can influence your alimony agreement – but typically only if the receiving spouse remarries. If the payor remarries, his or her spouse’s income will not influence the modification request.

How Is Alimony Determined in Massachusetts?

When left to family court, it is up to the judge to make a decision about alimony based on the information presented to them. Our alimony lawyers in Hingham work hard to ensure they have all of the necessary information to make a fair decision. Alimony is not required in every divorce case but is decided on a case by case situation. Spousal support is often given in cases where one spouse is perceived to have significantly more income or assets.

A Few Factors Which May Be Considered in a Spousal Support Case Include:

  • The length the marriage lasted
  • The standard of living achieved
  • The age and health of each spouse
  • The separate and marital property
  • The earning capacity and education level of each spouse

If you are facing a divorce or need to handle a related family law matter, you should not have to go through the alimony proceedings alone. Contact our firm now to speak with a compassionate alimony lawyer in Hingham, Newton, or the South Shore.

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