Claudette-Jean Girard, Attorney at Law
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Family Law Attorney

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

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Massachusetts led way for Florida alimony reform

Divorce often leads to many questions that need to be answered. Financial obligations of all parties involved as well as child custody and support tend to be the forerunners of issues that need speedy resolutions. The laws governing these issues can seem complicated and can become outdated. Massachusetts passed an alimony reform in 2011 which changed alimony laws for the state. This reform sparked national interest, and alimony reform is currently a hot button issue in Florida.

Much like the reform in Massachusetts, the Florida bill outlined issues such as how much alimony would be paid, the duration of the payments, and child custody. Florida residents have been sending messages to their representatives voicing their opinions on whether or not the new Florida Alimony Reform bill should be passed. The bill was recently vetoed, which brought joy to some and dismay to others.

Permanent alimony payments would have been eliminated, making Florida the fifth state to do so, had the bill been passed. Some divorcees resisting the idea of removing permanent alimony have been unemployed for some time due taking care of their children and rely heavily on those payments. Others who are employed but have been less successful during the economic hardships support the ideas of the bill as they would then be able to keep more of their own income.

Like those in Florida and all states, Massachusetts residents find divorce proceedings difficult situations to go through. Several factors go into the process of dealing with issues that center around divorce. Having information regarding divorce proceedings and laws can often lead to a more prompt divorce process. Decisions regarding alimony are still complex and having an understanding of the laws can be beneficial in easing some of the stress that comes along with those decisions.

Source:, "Gov. Rick Scott's veto of Florida alimony bill brings relief, outcry," Barbara Peters Smith, May 3, 2013

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