Alimony, also known as maintenance, can be given to a spouse following a marriage dissolution in Massachusetts. Maintenance is typically given irrespective of the party’s gender and it could either be on a temporary or permanent basis, depending on both parties’ financial circumstances.
The basic requirements for a spouse to get alimony are an inability to gain sufficient employment, or a dearth of assets once marital property has been divided.
There are many factors to be considered when calculating the amount of maintenance to be given.
Massachusetts’s alimony law enables the court to use any spousal fault, such as drunkenness, adultery or any other nefarious act as a factor when deciding the maintenance.
Special Factors to consider when calculating maintenance
The court has the power to consider some special when it chooses to award maintenance:
- Any form of disability
- Medical treatment
- Continuing learning or educational disability
Temporary Maintenance and Massachusetts Alimony Laws
A Massachusetts court is able to award numerous forms of maintenance. One form is referred to as temporary maintenance. This is usually has a short validity and is ordered during the divorce proceedings.
The spouse that requests the temporary maintenance has to show an expenses and assets list which has to be looked at to determine eligibility. This temporary maintenance is typically terminated once the marriage has been dissolved.
This maintenance is one that kicks in after the marriage has been dissolved. A spouse might be eligible for permanent or rehabilitative maintenance during this circumstance.
It is rare that a Massachusetts court grants permanent maintenance and it is usually given to spouses that were in a former marriage that lasted for a minimum predetermined number of years, as long as the spouse that receives the maintenance has no source of income or an income level that is less than that of the paying spouse.
It can also be given when the spouse receiving the maintenance payment has a health problem which prevents them from finding employment. The most popular form of maintenance is rehabilitative maintenance.
This is usually given when both parties were in a marriage that lasted a maximum of 5 years. A spouse is able to ask for rehabilitative maintenance if they require time to gain a sufficient source of employment which would also include education and training time.
Duration and Amount
Once the court presiding over the divorce case in Massachusetts concludes that an individual from a dissolved marriage has met the requirements for maintenance, the court has to deliberate on numerous factors so as to calculate the amount of the payments as well as the duration.
These factors consists of things like: the health and age of both spouses, the marriage’s duration, the asset value of each spouse, the income of each spouse, any hindrance stopping the receiving party from getting employment, financial needs, the paying spouse’s paying capability and just how long the receiving party requires to gain an education or training that can be used to get adequate employment.
Typically one-off payments or lump sum form of maintenance are typically considered terminated or closed once they have been awarded. They are also not modifiable.
What this means is that should a court instruct a certain sum in maintenance, that sum has to be fully paid, either if the payment is paid in periodical installments or one large sum. Nevertheless, all other forms of maintenance ordered are able to be altered.
A court in Massachusetts can choose to either raise or lower maintenance payments when requested by the parties involved if either spouse experiences a change in finances like job loss or injury or illness severe enough to inhibit one’s ability to find employment.
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