Don’t be afraid of the “A” word, spousal support is a topic that must be considered in every divorce. When there is economic disparity in wages earned by each spouse, alimony is a tool to assist the financial restructuring of the family. Alimony is gender neutral, it is not punitive, and it is flexible. Alimony may be used for short term or long term arrangements and is dependent upon the needs of the recipient spouse and the financial ability of the payor spouse. Alimony often works in synergy with child support, so it is important to consult financial advisors to determine the tax consequences of an alimony order. This is also true in cases where no children are involved.
Alimony is discretionary, there is no simple formula to make a predictable determination of what a court might order. Under Massachusetts law the court shall consider: the length of the marriage, the conduct of the parties during the marriage, the age, health, station, occupation, amount and sources of income, vocational skills, employability, estate, liabilities and needs of each of the parties, the opportunity of each for future acquisition of capital assets and income, the nature and value of the property to be so assigned, the present and future needs of any dependent children of the marriage; and the court may also consider: the contribution of each of the parties in the acquisition, preservation or appreciation in value of their respective estates and the contribution of each of the parties as a homemaker to the family unit, in making an alimony order.
Your mediator will guide you through a critical analysis of the facts of your individual case. In mediation you remain in charge and you and your spouse will determine whether alimony is appropriate, what amount is fair and for how long alimony will continue. Breaking down the family finances and developing a plan to meet the future needs of the reorganized family will determine whether alimony is a tool that will help meet those future financial obligations.
The Worcester, MA divorce lawyers and family mediators at Parker Mediation serve the Central Massachusetts and Boston metro-west communities such as Clinton, Framingham, Fitchburg, Leominster, Marlborough, Millbury, Shrewsbury, Sutton, Westborough and Worcester, Massachusetts.
The Cape Cod divorce lawyer and family mediators at Parker Mediation serve the local communities of Barnstable, Chatham, Falmouth, Hyannis, Mashpee, Provincetown and the entire Cape and the Islands.