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How does alimony work in Massachusetts?

If you and your spouse are heading for divorce and there is an imbalance of income in your marriage, you may worry about how you will make ends meet after the divorce.

The state of Massachusetts has alimony laws in place to help you get back on your feet if your divorce puts you at risk financially.

What is alimony?

Alimony is court-ordered monetary support paid by a financially secure partner when you are in need after a divorce. There are four types of alimony:

  • Transitional
  • General term
  • Reimbursement
  • Rehabilitative

Transitional alimony helps you comfortably ease into the next stage of your life. General term alimony consists of regular payments to help you make ends meet if you depend on your ex-spouse’s finances. Reimbursement alimony is either a one-time payment or continued payments to pay you back for costs you incurred helping your former spouse. Rehabilitative alimony is terminal and intended primarily to help you get back on your feet.

Can I ask for alimony?

You can request that alimony is in the terms of your divorce. If your divorce is already finalized, you can still file a request for alimony or, if you are already receiving payments, you can ask for a modification to the current alimony arrangements. The amount of alimony you can receive and how long you can receive payments depends on the duration of your marriage and your need.

If your soon-to-be ex-spouse earns much of your household’s income and you are not sure how you will financially survive after a divorce, alimony may help you get back on your feet as you settle into this next chapter of your life.

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