Our Alimony Attorneys Can Help

O’Connor Family Law has a number of highly experienced Hanover divorce lawyers ready to help you explore your alimony options. Alimony in Massachusetts, also called “spousal support”, refers to court-ordered payments of a preset amount that are awarded to a former spouse during and/or following a divorce. Working with an alimony lawyer familiar not only with state laws, but also the processes and procedures of your local courts (Hanover is in Plymouth County so an attorney who regular works there will be especially valuable), can help to provide the greatest quality of support throughout your divorce and negotiation of alimony.  

The purpose of alimony is to maintain the quality of life of the recipient spouse, or to preserve financial stability equally as it was throughout the marriage. Alimony is something that may be awarded to either partner in the couple, although is generally in place to assist the spouse who makes a lower income, or no income at all, to maintain financial stability. The exact amount of alimony that is appropriate will depend upon the unique facts and circumstances of your case, and a Hanover divorce attorney from our firm can help determine what your best options are. 

Calculating Alimony 

Determining the amount in alimony that you might be entitled to depends upon a variety of factors, namely:

  • The duration of the marriage
  • The age of the spouses involved
  • The gross income of both partners in the marriage
  • The way of life the couple lived throughout the duration of the marriage
  • Each individual partner’s health 

Identifying what your rights are, and what alimony you could be entitled to, requires an understanding of the various types of alimony in Massachusetts. As if divorce wasn’t stressful and complicated enough already, there are also four different types of alimony to take into account when determining what fits best with your individual situation.

The 4 Types of Alimony in Massachusetts

When it comes time to determine spousal support in a divorce in Hanover, there are four different types of alimony that can be awarded.

General-Term Alimony Can Be Long-Term, Depending on Marriage Length

This type of alimony is paid to the ex-spouse who throughout the marriage was financially dependent upon the other spouse. The amount that a spouse is entitled to in general-term alimony will depend upon the duration of the marriage, with the term that payments are received likewise influenced by the length of marriage. Basically, the greater the length of the marriage, the longer the duration that payments are made to provide support to the financially dependent ex-spouse. 

Reimbursement Alimony Covers Support During Education or Injury/Illness

This type of alimony can be established as a one-time payment, or as an agreed upon series of periodic payments. The purpose of reimbursement alimony is to reimburse the recipient spouse for money that they spent during the marriage to allow for the spouse to complete their training or higher education. Alternatively, reimbursement alimony can be available in instances where a spouse provided the other with support when they were unable to work. 

Transitional Alimony Provides a Bridge From Divorce to Single Life

The purpose of transitional alimony is to provide the spouse with the capacity to adapt to single life with a one-time payment of support, or a number of periodic payments. This income is meant to assist the spouse in transitioning to a new lifestyle, or to relocate to a new residence, following the divorce. The spouse that is eligible for this support is generally the spouse who was financially dependent during the marriage. 

Rehabilitative Alimony is Meant to be a Temporary Foundation and Source of Support

This level of support is paid over a set period of time agreed upon by the spouses. The purpose is to assist the ex-spouse in gaining the necessary footing and stability to support themselves entirely in the future. 

Factors that Influence the Establishment, Amount, and Duration of Alimony

There are a variety of factors that influence the ultimate amount of alimony that is awarded in each individual case. It is helpful to understand these key elements of alimony so that you have a better understanding of the process and know what to expect. 

The main elements that impact the amount in alimony that you are eligible for include:

  • Duration of marriage – The duration of the marriage is generally one of the most influential aspects in setting the length and amount of alimony, with longer marriages usually leading to higher alimony payments over a greater period. 
  • Income and the ability to earn – The income of both spouses during the marriage, in addition to their earnings capacity, is more impactful upon alimony when one spouse has a significantly greater income or potential to earn, with the higher earning member of the couple usually being required to provide financial support. 
  • Financial necessities and available resources – The financial needs of each spouse, and the capital that is available to each of them, will be considered in terms of alimony, with factors such as healthcare, childcare, and other obligations factored in. 
  • The marital standard of living – The lifestyle that the couple enjoyed during the marriage is factored into the determination of alimony, with the goal being maintaining the same standard of living as during the marriage. 

While this list is not completely comprehensive, these are the main aspects that are taken into account in determining alimony. 

Discuss Your Alimony Case with a Local Hanover Divorce Lawyer 

To explore options on your case, it is helpful to reach out to a local Massachusetts divorce attorney who can help advise you. Identifying the ideal amount of alimony, and which spouse is responsible for it, will have a strong impact on your lifestyle following the divorce. Experienced Hanover divorce lawyers are standing by at O’Connor Family Law to help, so contact us online or give us a call at 774-703-3755 to learn how we can help.