Wednesday, December 28, 2011

Modification under the Alimony Reform Act of 2011: Updated Flowchart.

UPDATE: The SJC reached a decision on 1/30/2015 on three cases that interpreted the modification provisions of the Alimony Reform Act.  The SJC disagreed with our interpretation below and decided that the provisions on retirement age and cohabitation can not be read retroactively.  To read more on these decisions check out our post here: Lifetime Alimony is Back (for some)! - Chin v. Merriot.  To see an updated flow-chart on modification visit this post: Can I Modify my Alimony? Updated Flowchart.

Original Post:

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.

You may reprint or distribute this Infographic on your website so long as the copyright and contact information for Kelsey & Trask, P.C. remains attached to the bottom of the image.

Click here for more information about Modifications in Massachusetts.

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