Alimony Attorneys in Salem, Massachusetts
Marital dissolution often has an economic effect on the divorcing or separating couples, especially the lower-earning or unemployed spouse. To help meet their financial needs and living expenses during or after the divorce, the Massachusetts court may order one spouse to support the other party financially.
If you are considering divorce and want to know your rights and options regarding alimony or spousal support, speak with a Massachusetts family law attorney for legal assistance. At Lamb and Lamb, P.C., we are here to give outstanding legal guidance and trusted advocacy to clients in divorce and spousal support-related matters.
Our team at Lamb and Lamb, P.C. proudly serves individuals and families across Salem, Massachusetts, and the surrounding area, including Lynnfield, Danvers, Salem, Peabody, and Beverly.
Overview of Alimony in Massachusetts
Alimony, also referred to as spousal support, can be described as a court-ordered financial provision or support from one spouse to another for a period after a divorce. In a Massachusetts divorce, the family court may order the higher-wage-earning spouse to provide periodic or lump-sum financial support to the non- or lesser-wage-earning spouse.
Types of Alimony in Massachusetts
The different types of alimony that may be awarded in Massachusetts include:
General Term Alimony
General term alimony is a spousal support that is paid regularly to an unemployed ex-spouse who is financially dependent on their former partner. The length of the general term alimony often depends on the duration of the marriage.
In addition, if one spouse contributed to the career, skill acquisition, or educational advancement of their ex-partner financially, the court may award reimbursement alimony. This is to repay the spouse for their contributions.
However, if the lower-earning spouse needs financial support to get a job, complete their education, or acquire a skill to become financially independent, the court may award rehabilitative alimony. This type of spousal support is temporary, and a higher-earning spouse will only be ordered to provide support for the period the recipient spouse needs to become self-sustaining.
Transitional alimony is financial support from the higher-earning spouse to help the recipient spouse settle down into a new location or lifestyle post-divorce. This type of alimony may be paid periodically or through lump-sum payments. The Massachusetts court will only award transitional alimony for marriages that are dissolved within five years.
Who Is Entitled To Alimony?
However, spousal support is neither awarded in every divorce case nor based on gender. In the Commonwealth of Massachusetts, the court may award alimony if:
the requesting spouse can prove that they need financial support for a period of time, and;
the other spouse has the ability and resources to pay.
Determination of Type, Amount, and Duration of Support
The Massachusetts court may consider the following factors to determine the type, amount, and duration of alimony:
the length of the marriage
the age and health of each spouse
the income and employment history of each spouse
the spouse's marital lifestyle
the employability of both spouses, including through reasonable effort and additional training
the non-economic and economic contributions by both spouses during the marriage
the ability of each spouse to maintain the marital standard of living post-divorce
whether either spouse sacrificed economic opportunity due to the marriage, and
any other factor deemed relevant by the court
No matter your situation, it's wise to consult a spousal support attorney who can advocate for your alimony rights and work to settle any disputes in an effective and peaceful manner.
Making Changes to the Current Alimony Agreement
However, provided there is no clause that prevents modifying the alimony order, the court may be able to change the terms of the spousal support agreement. To make changes, the requesting spouse must show that there has been a "substantial or material change of circumstances" since the existing order.
Some common reasons to seek a modification of spousal support include loss of job, remarriage, illness, increased living cost, or decreased need for support. However, only general terms and rehabilitative alimony can be modified. You cannot change transitional and reimbursement alimony.
Get Dependable Legal Help
Filing for divorce in Massachusetts usually involves several complex processes and legal paperwork. In addition, establishing a fair alimony arrangement and divorce settlement with your soon-to-be ex-spouse can be quite complicated. Therefore, if you need to make an alimony agreement, you should speak with a practiced family law attorney for reliable advocacy.
At Lamb and Lamb, P.C., our attorneys have an abundance of experience giving services and directing clients in complex family law and divorce matters. Whether you're trying to establish alimony agreements or change an existing spousal support order, we can walk you through the legal procedures involved and help you make intelligent decisions.
Alimony Attorney Serving Salem, Massachusetts
If you want to establish or adjust an alimony agreement, contact us at Lamb and Lamb, P.C. today to schedule an initial consultation. Our trusted legal team has the dedicated legal counsel and advocacy you need in your spousal support matters. We're proud to serve clients across Salem, Lynnfield, Danvers, Salem, Peabody, and Beverly, Massachusetts.