During a divorce, alimony refers to the financial support that one spouse could have to provide to the other. However, it is important to know that alimony payments do not last forever.
In fact, there are specific circumstances and conditions that determine when alimony payments end.
Length of marriage
The duration of alimony payments often depends on the length of the marriage. In general, the longer the marriage, the more likely it is that the court will award alimony for a longer period of time. This is because longer marriages usually involve a greater level of financial interdependence between the spouses.
The Commonwealth of Massachusetts states that for those married less than five years, the court could order alimony payments for 50% of the total number of months a marriage lasts. However, this increases to 80% for marriages that last between 15 and 20 years.
Remarriage and court determination
Alimony usually ends if the recipient spouse remarries or starts living with a new partner. This is because the financial support provided by a new spouse or partner might eliminate the need for alimony. Also, courts sometimes modify alimony payments if there is a significant change in the financial circumstances of either spouse.
The judge considers various factors when determining the duration of alimony payments, such as the financial needs of the recipient spouse, the ability of the paying spouse to provide support and the standard of living established during the marriage. Based on these factors, the court decides on a specific duration when issuing an alimony order.