Divorce Alimony in Massachusetts

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In this state, if child support has been awarded in the divorce proceedings, then alimony is usually not granted. When the non custodial parent has considerable income, there is some possibility that the court may grant both child support and alimony.

Chapter 208 Section 34 of Divorce Massachusetts Alimony

The section mentioned above is related to the award of alimony in this state. This section states the following:

"If the court of the Commonwealth has personal jurisdiction over both the spouses, it may make a judgment that either of the spouses should disburse alimony to the other in cases of divorce or complaint in an action after a divorce, irrespective of whether the divorce has been adjudged in this Commonwealth or any other jurisdiction"

As a substitute or in addition to a judgment pertaining to alimony payment, the court might allocate to either spouse the following items.

  • Estate of the other spouse either fully or partially, inclusive of
    • All non vested and vested benefits
    • Funds and rights accrued during marital life
  • Retirement benefits
  • Military retirement benefits as determined by federal law
  • Pension
  • Profit sharing
  • Annuity
  • Deferred compensation
  • Insurance

In order to determine the amount and duration of alimony, the court conducts a hearing during which it hears the testimonies of witnesses. The court also considers the following factors.

  • In the future, what opportunities are there for both spouses regarding acquisition of capital assets and income?
  • The requirements, liabilities and estate of both partners
  • Following issues of both spouses
    • Employability
    • Vocational skills
    • Sources and amount of income
    • Occupation
    • Station
    • Health
    • Age
  • The behavior of both partners during marital life
  • The duration of marital life
  • The contribution of each of spouse as a homemaker to the family
  • The input of each partner towards the attainment, preservation and appreciation in value of their respective estates

Insurance in Divorce Massachusetts Alimony

Let us consider that the court has issued an order pertaining to alimony for a particular spouse. The next step is that the court finds out whether the obligor as per this alimony order has

  • Health insurance, or
  • Other health coverage through an organization or employer, or
  • Other health coverage that is available at reasonable cost
The next step is to confirm that whether the above 3 points can be extended to cover the partner who is the recipient of alimony.

Now, let us assume that the court has ascertained that the obligor has insurance or coverage. Then, the court appends the following to the alimony order.

"The obligor must do one of the following:

  • Reimburse the spouse for the cost of health insurance
  • Obtain coverage for the spouse
  • Use the option of additional coverage in favor of the spouse"
The obligor's costs for health insurance coverage of the recipient of alimony do not result in reduction of the amount of alimony.

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