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Latest Update on Massachusetts Alimony Reform Act of 2011

Both the House of Representatives and the Senate in the Massachusetts State House have unanimously passed the Alimony Reform Act of 2011, however, the Senate changed a few words. Proponents of the bill are hoping that it avoids going back to committee, and as of now it is unclear as to whether a full House vote will be required. The bill is still expected to pass, but this is a bump in what has for some been a very long road towards reform.

Comments

  1. Changed a few words .. another way of saying it .. sabotaged.

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  2. this reform act is corrupt and unfair discriminating against women and should be changed

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  3. This dragging on is killing me, lost job, bankruptcy, foreclosure, disability, just living on SS, 66 yrs. old, 21 yr. marriage, divorced almost 12 yrs. x filing contempt for not being able to come up with alimony payments, borrowing from relatives and friends to pay.

    I need this law NOW... tomorrow is to late for me.

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  4. As a woman paying alimony to a deadbeat I want an end to this suffering!

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  5. I definitely disagree with the changes in this bill. It is unfair to women who have been in long term marriages and who have worked hard to survive after divorces. Many times while ex husbands are remarrying ,traveling, and moving on to more lucrative positions, ex wives are continuing to expend money for children over alimony age and working hard to maintain a decent life style. Why should women who have been forced to completely change their lives.. and who have done so.. be penalized for their efforts. I can for see men taking lesser positions, leaving jobs and whatever necessary to get alimony responsibilities changed. Many times just when ex wives begin to get on their feet the rug is pulled again to decrease alimony. This is unfair totally.
    I have no sympathy for men who squander their money and then come back to the courts crying for money to survive. Why should their
    incompetent money management come back to haunt hard working ex
    wives. Another thing I would hasten to add is that decreases in alimony should definitely include the total amount being made by the ex and his new spouse. All of this adds to what is available income for his household. The household total income is there to be used by both parties.

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  6. I'm engaged to a divorced man and I refuse to marry him until this reform law passes. The Commonwealth is not currently protecting MY rights. Should we get married, why should my income be vulnerable to pay alimony and child support to people I am unrelated to? The current law is totally unfair and MUST be changed.

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  7. Wow, I agree. I am also a hard working woman who is engaged to a divorced man. I have my own business, which I built from the ground up. I also own a home and have saved for retirement. I earned all of it, by myself, before I met my fiance.

    Sadly, I cannot marry him until this reform bill is passed. I have never been married to anyone and I don't have any children. So, if we were to get married, it is INSANE the court could consider my hard-earned money and assets as "available household income to be used by both parties." Why should I be forced to support his ex-wife and children?

    His ex was the one who filed for divorce and broke up the marriage and their family. She wanted a NEW LIFE. Now she doesn't work. She sits at home and collects his money every week.

    The current law is totally unfair to both of us, but especially to me. Clearly I had nothing to do with the dissolution of their marriage, their children or their alimony agreement. And now the current law is preventing us from moving on with our new life.

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  8. You say, the "household total income is there to be used by both parties." So, if the ex-wife remarries, then her new "total household income" should be available to both parties for consideration in a recalculation of child support. It is only fair the deal works the same both ways. But that is not the case right now. The current law MUST be changed.

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  9. We are all influenced by our own cases, of course. In mine, I am still paying alimony at the age of 74, to a former spouse who quit working at 62. Why work, when someone else will support you? She received half of retirment assets; should I pay alimony out of my half, as well as live from them when I finally can retire? And the alimony included, explicitly by the judge,enough for her to continue to save. Paying alimony after retirement in these circumstances seems unfair to me, whether the payer can in some technical sense afford alimony or not. But under current law it seems courts won't end the alimony obligation, even with retirement and split retirement assets. We need the reform bill! And somehow we need to get it "unstuck" in the committee process.

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  10. I'm a female who divorced as a stay at home Mom with babies. I would have LOVED to cont. that lifestyle, not work, snuggle with them on snow days, etc. But, rather than try to live off or punish my ex by seeking alimony, I got a job. As a result, we have a good relationship, there is more money for our kids with both of us working, the children are very happy, well adjusted, straight A students. My ex and I both moved on and got remarried. This would not have happened if like the woman above, I felt entitled to his money for life (she appears not only to want to punish her ex, but she now also wants to tap into the money of his new wife as well - which is despicable and greedy.) There appears to be a reason she is still single - it's called Karma. This is new law is clearly a much needed reform so that both ex spouses can move on with their lives, and more importantly, the innoncent children are not subject to constant litigation and bitterness.

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  11. Good for you. I like your story and wish more divorced women had a similar one to tell. I love that you got a job, made a new life, took the high road with your ex and decided to be a great role model for your kids.

    My finance's ex has her NEW life now and all she does is whine and play the poor-pitiful-me victim card every chance she gets. She has done nothing to actually build a new life for herself or be a good role model for her own children. Alimony has enabled this bad behavior. Sadly their kids are not well adjusted. They struggle in school and share her special brand of laziness. You are right, despite serial online dating for the past four years, she is still bitter and single. I imagine she thinks Karma does not apply to her!

    I'm so glad to hear the bill is back on the governor's desk for signature. It will pave the way for us (and many others) to get married. I'm looking forward to moving on and hopefully the kids will benefit from seeing a loving and healthy relationship for a change.

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  12. Good for you. Taking the high road is always the best way and I'm sure you've been a super role model for your kids. What could be more important...

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