Spousal Support in Massachusetts
Money complicates everything when a relationship is on the rocks. When spouses have a disparity in earnings or assets, it can feel as though the power dynamic shifts. If there is a prenuptial agreement in place, it can create even more financial upheaval. That’s why you need a solid Massachusetts spousal support attorney to advocate on your behalf and ensure that your interests are protected.
Two Instances of Spousal Support
Spousal support in Massachusetts typically arises because a couple is divorcing. Since divorces can take a long time, you may need spousal spousal support on a temporary basis until there is a final division of assets. Or, you may need a spousal support order as part of your divorce. If you are the higher wage earner, you may decide you are willing to pay spousal support for a short time, but do not want to pay it after you retire. All of these alimony considerations are incredibly important.
In a divorce proceeding, if both spouses agree to a support arrangement, they can file an uncontested no-fault divorce. If there is no agreement, then the court will determine the amount of spousal support based on the alimony law in Massachusetts. The judge may grant temporary spousal support while the divorce is in process, and later determine the amount and length of time that spousal support will be paid following the divorce.
Determining Support Amounts and Duration
The court takes into consideration a number of factors when deciding on whether or not to grant spousal support, and how much to grant. The ages of the spouses and the length of the marriage, as well as each person’s income, employability, and earning potential will be reviewed. The judge will contemplate what each spouse contributed to the marriage, both financially and in other ways. If a marriage lasted 20 years or less, then the spousal support obligation will have a finite end date. If the marriage lasted more than 20 years, then spousal support may be ordered to be paid until one spouse remarries or dies.
Spousal Support Complexities
The 2019 Tax Reform Act has incredible consequences for spouses seeking divorce. One of our family law attorneys, Rachel B. Biscardi, who participated on the Legislative Task Force which drafted the 2011 Alimony Reform Act , recently testified before the legislature about the unintended consequences of the Tax Reform Act in Massachusetts. It is more important than ever to engage the services of an experienced Boston spousal support lawyer. Your Massachusetts spousal support attorney can see the entire playing field, anticipate the other side’s reactions, and predict the judge’s decisions.
Circumstances can change once the divorce is final. If you receive spousal support, perhaps your ex-spouse remarried and their new partner’s income and earning potential should be taken into account to increase your monthly alimony. Maybe your ex isn’t paying the required amount and you need to go to court to enforce the judgment. There are any number of reasons why you might need to revisit the issue of spousal support after a judgment of divorce.
The bottom line? You need an experienced Boston spousal support attorney who you can depend on to have your best interests at heart. The spousal support attorneys at Piltser Cowan Law can see you through every step of your spousal support proceedings. Call us to schedule a free consultation.