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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.

Who is entitled to spousal support in Massachusetts?

Massachusetts residents who have just made the decision to divorce often have many questions. Some of these questions may pertain to financial manners, that is, who is entitled to what in property division. Other questions may involve child support, child custody and other issues involving children. In some cases, too, questions surrounding alimony may arise. Alimony is not something that is relevant in every divorce case, and only certain situations entitle a person to spousal support.

When a spouse cannot meet his or her needs without assistance from the other spouse, then alimony may be awarded. Sometimes, alimony is temporary. A spouse may only require support for as long as it takes him or her to reenter the workforce. Retraining certain skills or finishing an education may be found necessary in order for the spouse to once again become employable, but after this is finished, spousal support ceases. In other cases, however, the spousal support may be permanent. This may be true if the spouse has a disability or is at an age when it is not viable to begin working.

Certain questions can help divorcing spouses understand whether or not one might be entitled to alimony. Looking at education and employment can be helpful. For instance, the divorcing couple may ask if a certain spouse is employed, and the level of education that spouse has received. Also, the length of the marriage, along with the length of the period of unemployment, may be useful indicators in determining alimony eligibility.

Determining eligibility for alimony is not always easy. Often, it helps to have a family law attorney clarify certain points. With the help of an attorney, it is often possible to come to a better understanding of alimony and other family law issues.

Source: Find Law, "Are You Entitled to Alimony (Spousal Support)?," accessed on March 28, 2016

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