As we discussed in an article on December 3, 2011, a Legislative Task Force was created to recommend changes that would reach a consensus between Judges, attorneys and the alimony reform advocates. The Act proposed by Senator Candaras and Representative Fernandes is the result of that Task Force's hard work and according to the Press Release, the Act has the unanimous support of all members of the Task Force.
Kelsey & Trask, P.C., the authors of this Blog, have created a website that summarizes the provisions of the Act and provides a calculator based on the General Term Alimony recommendations: MassAlimonyFormula.com.
Here are some of the highlights:
|M.G.L. c. 208 s. 34 |
Current Alimony Law
|Alimony Reform Act of 2011|
Proposed Alimony Changes
|Types of Alimony: Undefined||Types of Alimony:|
|Formula: NONE||Formula: Not to exceed the recipient's need or 30% to 35% of the difference between the parties gross incomes.|
|Durational Limits: NONE||Durational Limits:|
Rehabilitative Alimony: 5 year maximum.
General Term Alimony:
|Cohabitation: No mention. Judge's have discretion to consider.||Cohabitation: The cohabitation of the recipient spouse with another person for a continuous period of at least three months may be cause for suspension, reduction or termination of alimony;|
|Retirement: No mention. Judge's have discretion per Pierce case.||Retirement: Alimony terminates upon payor attaining the full retirement age per the old-age retirement benefit under Social Security.|
|Remarriage of Payor: income and assets of the payor's spouse can be considered.||Remarriage of Payor: income and assets of the payor's spouse shall not be considered in a redetermination of alimony in a modification action.|
For more information about the Act, visit MassAlimonyFormula.com.
For more information about the recent history of the alimony debate, view our previous post: It's a Trap! The Massachusetts Alimony Debate - February 13, 2010
For more information about the current state of alimony in Massachusetts visit our website's Alimony page.