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Four types of alimony awarded after Massachusetts divorce

When people toss around the word ‘alimony,’ what does it mean? Alimony is a legal term given to monthly payments made from one spouse to the other after a divorce has rendered the financial situation unbalanced. However, alimony isn’t awarded in every divorce scenario.

In situations where alimony is awarded after a Massachusetts divorce, the court can choose from four different types of alimony. Based on the situation, general alimony could be awarded, meaning the support is paid from one ex-spouse to another due to the recipient spouse being financially dependent on the paying ex-spouse. Rehabilitative alimony is paid for the same reasons as general alimony, except it is for a shorter and usually specified amount of time due to an ex-spouse’s financial independence to be gained in the near future. Another type of alimony, reimbursement alimony, is paid from one ex-spouse to the other following a short-term marriage of no more than five years. Reimbursement pays for financial or other sacrifices one ex-spouse made in pursuit of the other ex-spouse’s gain.

Lastly, transitional alimony is paid in some short-term marriages of no more than five years and it allows the ex-spouse at a financial disadvantage to settle in to a new lifestyle or environment. There are various alimony options available to suit the financial imbalances that divorce can leave between former spouses. If you believe that you could be the payor or the recipient of alimony, it may help to understand the different possibilities.

Because divorce issues fall under state law, the way that Massachusetts handles alimony is pertinent to the outcome of a divorce settlement. It can be good to know what potential outcomes could occur after a divorce is final. Alimony can be a confusing and unexpected topic for many of those involved in the divorce process. An experienced family law attorney can help people understand the details of alimony and other divorce issues.

Source:, “Alimony,” Accessed Dec. 5, 2016