Will My Existing Alimony Agreement be Affected by the New Alimony Reform Act?

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.

Is Child Support affected by the payment of College expenses?

child support college costs

The answer to this question is “probably” but it depends on your unique situation. The Child Support Guidelines are intended to apply to all child support orders for children up until the age of 18, with the Court retaining the discretion to order support and or contributions to college costs for children over 18. (more…)

How Much Child Support Will I Pay or Receive?

Massachusetts child support

Child support in Massachusetts is calculated by use of the Child Support Guidelines. New guidelines were issued on August 1, 2013. The guidelines are used whether the parents are married or unmarried. The new formula looks at the first $250,000 in combined income but the Judge has discretion to calculate additional support by using the income above $250,000. Income earned from a second job or overtime may be considered at the Judge’s discretion. Income may be attributed when the Judge finds that either party is capable of working and is unemployed or underemployed. (more…)