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Showing posts from July, 2014

Can Alimony continue past Retirement in Massachusetts under the new law?

Part of the significant ground-swell of support for a change to Massachusetts alimony laws came after the  Pierce decision , which ordered alimony to continue past retirement.  While a quick reading of the new alimony statute might lead you to believe otherwise, there are a number of scenarios in which alimony could (and in many cases will) still continue past retirement age. The Alimony Reform Act of 2011, which became effective on March 1, 2012 provides for multiple types of alimony, and for maximum amounts and duration of alimony.  Any alimony orders that were in effect prior to March 1, 2012 will be considered General Term Alimony, and the Act included duration limits for General Term Alimony that we described at length in a previous post. One of the limitations on duration is contained in M.G.L. c. 208 s 49(f)  and indicates that the court SHALL terminate alimony "upon the payor attaining the full retirement age."  Full retirement age is defined as when he or she is

Can the Court order less than the 30-35% formula for Alimony in Massachusetts?

The Alimony Reform Act of 2011 added a formula to Massachusetts Alimony determinations: "Except for reimbursement alimony or circumstances warranting deviation for other forms of alimony, the amount of alimony should generally not exceed the recipient’s need or 30 to 35 per cent of the difference between the parties’ gross incomes established at the time of the order being issued. Subject to subsection (c), income shall be defined as set forth in the Massachusetts child support guidelines." M.G.L. c. 208 s 53(b)  (emphasis added) Mathematical formulas are convenient and many practitioners and Judges are running the formula right away to see what the boundaries of alimony are (we've even encouraged this behavior with the creation of a website calculator and iPhone App ).  But the recent decision in  Hassey  indicates that the formula should not be the first step in the alimony inquiry. The formula should not be the first step in the alimony inquiry.   When ru

Middlesex Pilot Program: Fast-Lane Informal Estate Petitions

from Wikipedia The Middlesex Probate & Family Court already has a very successful and convenient "Fast Lane" program for so-called uncontested divorce petitions (Section 1A Joint Petitions for Divorce).  It saves time for both the courts and the parties to be able to walk an uncontested matter in to the courthouse and, if all of their paperwork is in order, be heard the same day. According to a press release dated July 9, 2014 ( available here ), the Court will now be expanding this type of procedure to include Informal Estate Administration Petitions: "Tara E. DeCristofaro, Register of the Middlesex Probate and Family Court, has announced that she will be piloting a walk-in session for informal petitions. The walk-in session will be available in the Registry every Tuesday afternoon from 12:00 pm. - 3:00 pm., beginning August 5, 2014. If the program is well received, plans are to expand it to multiple days per week." As with joint petition divorce walk-

New Divorce Calculator Apps for Massachusetts

Kelsey & Trask, P.C. was the first to have an iPhone App for calculating Child Support in Massachusetts  and we've recently updated it with a new look .  In addition we are now introducing two new iPhone applications: The Massachusetts Alimony App : Use this worksheet to calculate the maximum amount and duration of alimony in Massachusetts based on the Alimony Reform Act which took effect on March 1, 2012.  The App allows you to save your calculations or e-mail them.    Massachusetts Divorce Calculators App:  Includes the following 4 calculators necessary to determine family support in Massachusetts: Massachusetts Child Support Calculator, Massachusetts Alimony Calculator, Full Retirement Age Calculator, and Alimony Recapture Calculator. The Massachusetts Child Support Calculator is the same one contained in our Child Support App and the Massachusetts Alimony Calculator is the same one contained in our Mass Alimony App :    The two additional calculators rel