Other States Initiating Alimony Spousal Support Reform
I recently found an article regarding alimony reform in Massachusetts that the changes that may come with it. In Massachusetts, the Alimony Reform Act of 2011 could drastically change the state’s alimony system. Judges would retain some discretion. The bill includes the following changes:
• Alimony would come to an end when the paying spouse reaches retirement age.
• For marriages five years or less, alimony would be no longer than half the number of months in the marriage; for marriages 10 years or less, alimony would be up to 60 percent of months in the marriage; for marriages 15 years or less, alimony would be up to 70 percent of months in the marriage; for marriages 20 years or less, alimony would be up to 80 percent of months in the marriage. And the court would have discretion to set alimony for an “indefinite length of time” for marriages more than 20 years.
• Alimony could be reduced or stopped if the spouse receiving alimony maintains a “common household” with another person for at least three months.
• “Reimbursement alimony” would be created for a periodic or one-time payment of support to an ex-spouse in marriages that lasted five years or less. The money would recompense one spouse for their “economic or noneconomic contribution to the financial resources” of the other spouse.
• If an ex-spouse remarries, the income of his or her partner could not be used to reassess alimony for the recipient spouse.
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