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Showing posts from June, 2014

Alimony & Property Division: 7 Lessons from the Appeals Court

The Alimony Reform Act of 2011  took effect on March 1, 2012 and significantly changed the law in Massachusetts relating to awards of alimony. Today, the Massachusetts Appeals Court released an opinion that addresses some of the questions still surrounding the Act.  Hassey v. Hassey,  No. 13-P-864 (2014,  available for download here ). In Hassey , the Appeals Court addressed four primary issues in the lower court's decision: Base Alimony of $8,500 per month - VACATED Self-Modifying Alimony of 30% of Husband's gross income in excess of $250,000 - VACATED Termination of Alimony on ""retirement as defined in the Act Reforming Alimony of 2011, as it may be amended." - REMANDED FOR AMBIGUITY Exclusion of Wife's inherited interest in vacation home from marital estate - VACATED We've summarized the take-away points from this decision: 1. The Basic Definition of Alimony and its Purpose HAS NOT CHANGED While there are numerous provisions deali

Lifestyle During Separation Does Not Define Marital Lifestyle, According to Massachusetts Appeals Court

Guest Post from Jonathan R. Eaton, Esq. of Finn & Eaton, P.C.  and of counsel to Kelsey & Trask, P.C.   - Attorney Eaton focuses his practice on family law, serving clients in the areas of divorce law, child custody & visitation disputes, modifications of existing judgments in the Probate & Family Courts, drafting and negotiating prenuptial agreements, and guardianships & conservatorships.  Jonathan is also trained in Collaborative Law. Lifestyle During Separation Does Not Define Marital Lifestyle,  According to Massachusetts Appeals Court In setting the amount of alimony to be paid, and how long it is to be paid, a Probate & Family Court judge in Massachusetts must consider twelve mandatory factors: "In determining the appropriate form of alimony and in setting the amount and duration of support, a court shall consider: the length of the marriage; age of the parties; health of the parties; income, employment and employability of both parties, i