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I provide experienced legal guidance in family law, divorce and special education law. I represent parents and families throughout western Massachusetts.

Alimony reform in Massachusetts and beyond

Alimony reform seems to be sweeping across the country. As Massachusetts readers are likely aware, changes to the laws governing alimony awards recently kicked into effect. Alimony in Massachusetts is now largely dependent upon the length of a marriage, and lifetime alimony will likely be the exception, not the rule. Some activists in other states hope to see this type of reform come to their jurisdictions as well.

One such alimony reform activist sees the lifetime alimony awarded to her fiancé's ex-wife as a huge impediment in their relationship. She doesn't think that it's fair that her income could potentially be considered as part of her fiancé's alimony requirements toward his former spouse. That's one reason she has taken up the fight against permanent alimony. She believes that the alimony laws in her state should be reformed, similarly to the way they have been changed in Massachusetts.

In the past, alimony was often awarded to women after divorce -- alimony that the woman would only lose should she remarry. This has left some people paying alimony to ex-spouses well into retirement. In the activist's case, she says she and her fiancé have postponed the wedding because he is paying lifetime alimony to his ex-wife. .

Couples going through divorce in Massachusetts would do well to familiarize themselves with the changes to alimony law. By having a clear understanding of the pertinent laws, divorcing spouses can make better decisions when going through the divorce process.

Source: The Sacramento Bee, "'Second wives' activist fights lifelong alimony," Donna Gehrke-White, July 22, 2012

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