Part 1: Duration of Alimony:
Massachusetts completely reformed its alimony laws with the Alimony Reform Act that went into effect on March 1, 2012. Under prior law, a typical alimony order continued until the earlier of 1) death of either party, 2) remarriage of the recipient, 3) or by order of the Court after a filing of a Complaint for Modification showing a material change of circumstances. Under the new Act, the duration of alimony is dictated by the length of the marriage. The duration ranges from one-half the number of months of the marriage for those married 5 years or less, to indefinite length for those married 20 years or more. If your alimony order was entered into prior to March 1, 2012 and it exceeds the durational limits contained in the Alimony Reform Act, under certain circumstances, it may be modified by filing a Complaint for Modification. The new alimony law is very complicated and you should consult with an experienced family law attorney. If you have questions about your existing alimony order and how the new law applies to you, call the Law Office of Valerie A. Ross at 781-942-0002 to schedule a consultation.