Contents

Best Bet

Massachusetts Laws

Federal Laws

Forms

Selected Cases

Web Sources

Print Sources


Best Bet

Self-Help: Alimony, Mass. Trial Court. 
Explains what alimony is, how long it might last, the court process and more

Massachusetts Laws

MGL c.208, s.48-55 Alimony Reform Laws

St.2011, c.124 Alimony Reform. The sections below are not included in c.208:

  • Section 4:  Prospective application of law; material change of circumstance; existing alimony judgments
  • Section 5: Time limits for filing complaint for modification
  • Section 6: Retirement age and time limits for filing complaint for modification

MGL c. 208 includes other sections which deal with such things as, for example modification, enforcement, assignments in lieu of alimony

Federal Laws

10 USC 1408 Payment of retired or retainer pay (military) in compliance with court orders
26 USC 71 Alimony and separate maintenance payments (tax code)
26 USC 215 Alimony, etc. payments (tax code)

Forms

Complaint for Modification of Alimony pdf format of Complaint Modification Alimony

Selected Cases

Chin v. Merriot , 470 Mass. 527 (2015), Rodman v. Rodman , 470 Mass. 539 (2015) and Doktor v. Doktor , 470 Mass. 547 (2015). 
The retirement provision of the Alimony Reform Act of 2011 does not apply retroactively to alimony orders in divorce judgments that entered before March 1, 2012

Duff-Kareores v. Kareores , 474 Mass. 528 (2016)
In-depth discussion of "length of marriage" where a couple had married, divorced, remarried and were now divorcing again.

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

Holmes v. Holmes , 467 Mass. 653 (2014)
Generally, "the maximum presumptive duration of an award of general term alimony (based on the length of the marriage)" begins when the judgment of divorce is issued, and "does not include the time period during which temporary alimony was paid" while the divorce was pending.

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.

Web Sources

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Last update: August 26, 2016

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