The following flow-chart depicts the decision tree for determining whether you qualify for a modification of a Massachusetts alimony order under The Alimony Reform Act of 2011. You always have the ability to reach an agreement for modification, but in the event that you and your ex-spouse disagree about whether a modification order should be changed, this chart can help you figure out whether a court will change your order.
The new law becomes effective March 1, 2012 but to prevent a rush to the courthouse steps, the Act provides for delayed implementation of some of the provisions. The dates are as follows:
March 1, 2012 - the Act takes affect for current cases; previously adjudicated cases can be modified if the recipient spouse is cohabitating as defined in the statute;
March 1, 2013 - Modifications allowed for marriages of less than 5 years or if the payor will reach Social Security Retirement Age by March 1, 2015;
March 1, 2014 - Modifications allowed for marriages of less than 10 years;
March 1, 2015 - Modifications allowed for marriages of less than 15 years;
September 1, 2015 - Modifications allowed for marriages of less than 20 years.
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Click here for more information about Modifications in Massachusetts.