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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Permanent alimony still an issue for some outside Massachusetts

After a couple decides to separate, certain divorce issues could cause a deal of tension. Alimony payments are often a point of contention because payment amounts are not often easily agreed upon and the duration of alimony is often a point of concern. Massachusetts has been a forerunner in alimony reform, but unfortunately for those in nearby states, many are facing the consequences for spousal support guidelines that many former spouses across the country are beginning to see as outdated.

A man in a nearby state is facing serious penalties for not making his support payments. According to reports, he missed eight payments within a period of two years. He claims that losing his job and the difficult economy caused him to use up his savings and be unable to make the court-ordered payments to his ex-wife.

Part of the man's defense is that he does not have the ability to pay, but the judge claims that the man must stay in jail and work as part of a work-release program until he pays back a certain amount of the approximately $233,000 in owed support. The judge also stated that the man could have requested a review of his ability to make the payments. The ex-husband being held believes that his state's laws requiring him to pay alimony indefinitely are unfair.

Alimony issues are not easily solved as payment modifications are hard to get and can also be expensive in themselves to fight for. While those making the payments may feel they do not have the means, those parties who are entitled to support payments typically feel that they need the payments, which can lead to a stalemate. Being knowledgeable on the subject and having information on Massachusetts alimony laws could be greatly beneficial to those who feel that their situations may need review.

Source: Bloomberg, New Jersey Ex-Husband Fighting Alimony Denied Release, Sophia Pearson, Sept. 9, 2013

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