Alimony Reform Act Provides A Way To Clearly Calculate Support
At the law firm of Davis & Davis, P.C., in North Reading, we are very cognizant of the implications of the Alimony Reform Act on divorcing parties in Massachusetts. Essentially, this Act has given courts and practitioners much-needed guidance in an area of divorce law that used to be extremely discretionary.
Prior to the implementation of the Alimony Reform Act, spousal support ordered as part of a divorce was up to the judge’s discretion. This meant that two divorcing couples with very similar circumstances might receive very different spousal support orders. For instance, judge A might order the higher-earning spouse to pay the other 40 percent of his or her income, while judge B would only order 28 percent.
Finally, the Massachusetts Bar Association decided to address the lack of uniformity in alimony awards and implement changes.
Alimony Has Time Limits Under The New Law
Prior to the Act, no end date existed on most alimony orders. Support for a long-term marriage would continue indefinitely, unless one party went back to court and filed a complaint for a modification. Today, the spousal support guidelines provide a straightforward method for calculating both the amount and the length of spousal support.
Contact Us. With This Advance Information, We Can Help You Avoid Litigation.
The new alimony guidelines still allow for a certain amount of discretion. On the whole, however, they provide the guidance necessary to allow many clients to avoid litigation. For instance, by knowing ahead of time that alimony payments will be between 30-35 percent of the recipient’s gross income, it makes it much easier to come to a mutually acceptable agreement.
To learn more about spousal support in Massachusetts and how the laws may affect you, schedule a consultation. Call Davis & Davis, P.C., at 978-276-9051 or contact our North Reading lawyers by email.