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Alimony - Frequently Asked Questions

Frequently Asked Questions about Alimony in Massachusetts Divorces

What can I expect?

It really depends. There are a number of factors that go into an alimony award. Length of marriage, children, health , age are just some of the factors that go into an alimony decision. Generally a long term marriage where one spouse has worked and the other has raised the children will result in an alimony award in Massachusetts .

How much will I receive or have to pay?

This will depend if you and your spouse are able to reach an agreement or if the Judge makes a decision in your case after trial. The parties tax returns, financial statements and disparities will go into how an alimony amount is negotiated or decided by a judge.

How long will I receive or pay alimony?

Currently, alimony does not automatically end in Massachusetts . However, retirement can be a basis to end alimony subject to court approval.

Is there a formula for alimony?

Unlike child support there is no proscribed formula for alimony. This does not mean that Judge's do not use some recommended formulas or formulas developed by other Judges.

See the Tool pages for some examples.

Who will decide?

If you are able to reach an agreement-the separation agreement-you and your spouse will come to an agreement on alimony If not, the Judge will make the decision.

How will the Judge make a decision?

The Judge will make a decision based on the following factors: length, conduct, age, health, station, occupation, amount and sources of income, vocational skills, employability, estate, liabilities and needs of each of the parties and the opportunity of each for future acquisition of capital assets and income.
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