Alimony Lawyers in Melrose Assisting Clients With Issues Related to Spousal Support
After a divorce has been finalized and the paperwork signed, the day-to-day realities begin to set in, and one of those realities often involves the issue of alimony. Alimony, often referred to as spousal support, is a court-ordered financial obligation in which one spouse pays a set monthly amount of money to the other spouse.
Alimony is not guaranteed in Massachusetts. Whether you receive alimony or not will depend on a variety of factors, such as the number of years that the parties were married to one another and their individual incomes. This income does not include any proceeds from child support.
If you have legal questions with regard to receiving or paying alimony, then you need experienced legal representation in order to resolve your issues. One of the most difficult aspects of divorce is that it can wreak havoc on your finances.
The Martino Law Group, LLC of Melrose, MA, is firmly committed to working with each individual and analyzing their personal circumstances in each case. Whether you are court-ordered to pay alimony or receive payments, we work diligently on your behalf to ensure that the outcome is fair.
How Long is a Person Obligated to Pay Alimony in Massachusetts?
Massachusetts law provides that the length of time alimony payments must be made is dependent upon the length of the marriage. If you were married for under 5 years, the court cannot require payments for more than 50% of the number of months that you were actually married. Conversely, for couples who were married for over 20 years, payments can be determined at the judge’s discretion.
There are specific instances when alimony may completely stop, which include the following:
- Either spouse passes away
- The spouse who receives alimony remarries or lives with a new partner, whether married or not, for at least 3 months.
- The spouse responsible for paying alimony (the payor) reaches retirement age.
If you feel that your alimony order needs to be reviewed and subsequently modified, contact our law group and speak with one of our experienced attorneys, who will be glad to explain your legal options.
What is the Massachusetts Alimony Cohabitation Provision?
The law in Massachusetts used to only provide termination of alimony if the former spouse who was receiving alimony remarried. It did not specify any provisions for cohabitation. However, In March of 2012, the law was redefined, and now it states that a judge is obligated to either reduce, suspend, or permanently discontinue alimony if the individual receiving alimony is in “cohabitation” with another person continuously for the period of at least three months.
In Massachusetts, cohabitation is defined as a “common household.” If two people hold themselves out to others as being a couple, live together in the same residence, and there is an interdependence between the two that is established through economic means, they will be considered to be cohabitating with one another.
Can Alimony be Modified In Massachusetts?
It is possible to modify an order for alimony in Massachusetts, but there are only certain reasons that qualify your request to be brought before the court. You must be able to prove that there has been a change in your personal circumstances that significantly alters your need or the ability to pay. The individual who is responsible for paying alimony must be able to demonstrate the change is considerable enough for the court to request a reduction in payments. Conversely, if the recipient is the individual making the request, they must be able to prove that their life change justifies an increase in alimony.
Some of the most common reasons that the court allows for a change in alimony payments include the following:
- Change in salary
- Change in employment status
If you feel that you have strong legal grounds to ask for a change in alimony, no matter which side of the coin you may be on, contact the Martino Law Group, LLC today and ask to schedule a free initial consultation with an experienced alimony attorney who can explain the process of reducing or increasing alimony payments and help you understand your legal options.
How Can an Alimony Attorney Help Me With My Alimony Payments?
Regardless of whether or not you are seeking to terminate, reduce, or increase alimony payments, you need a lawyer who will put together a solid legal plan that is specific to your personal circumstances.
The family law attorneys of the Martino Law Group, LLC recognize that the world we live in is becoming more expensive every day. We also realize that situations may have changed significantly since your alimony order was issued. We are committed to examining all of the facts that surround your case and working to determine a strategy by which we can come to a resolution that is favorable to all parties involved.
Our law group has a variety of resources available that assist us in determining if you are eligible for an increase in your alimony payment or a reduction in your alimony obligation. We also have skilled investigators who can help us determine if your former spouse is now cohabitating with another individual, which may cause your alimony payments to be terminated.
Contact our law offices by calling (781) 531-8673 and ask to schedule a free consultation with one of our knowledgeable attorneys. We can offer you a free case review, listen to your side of the story, and analyze any evidence that you may have. We are fully committed to obtaining an outcome that is fully favorable to you.