Alimony Lawyers Helping Clients Explore Options in Westborough

Alimony (also called Spousal Support) refers to court-ordered payments of a predetermined amount that are awarded to a spouse or former spouse during and after a divorce. The object of alimony is to continue the quality of life or preserve financial stability equally as it was during the marriage. Alimony can be awarded to either partner but is set up to allow the spouse who makes a lower income (or no income) to remain financially stable.  There are several factors that go into calculating what an alimony payment will be. Some of these factors are; the length of the marriage, the ages of the spouses, the gross income of both parties, their health, and their way of life throughout the marriage. Call the Westborough offices of O’Connor Family Law at 774-703-3755 to find out more about alimony in your particular case.

Is All Alimony the Same?

There are actually four different types of alimony that can be awarded.

General-term alimony is paid regularly to an ex-spouse who was financially dependent on their spouse during their marriage. Typically this is calculated based on the length of the marriage, and the term of the payments is determined this way as well. Generally speaking, the longer the marriage, the longer the term of payments is set to continue to support the ex-spouse.

Reimbursement Alimony can be set up in either a one-time payment or periodic payments and is generally issued to reimburse the spouse for money spent during the marriage to allow their spouse to finish training/college or to support them when they were unable to work.

Transitional Alimony is also set up as a one-time payment or several periodic payments to ensure that the spouse receiving the alimony is able to transition into their new lifestyle or location as a result of the divorce.

Rehabilitative Alimony is support paid to an ex-spouse for a set period of time with the expectation that the ex-spouse will be able to support themselves in time.

Understanding the Factors that Affect Alimony Payments

When it comes to determining alimony payments, there are several factors that are taken into consideration. It is important to understand these factors in order to have a clearer picture of what to expect during the alimony process.

Some of the key factors that can affect alimony payments include:

  1. Length of the marriage: The duration of the marriage is often a significant factor in determining the amount and duration of alimony payments. Generally, longer marriages may result in higher alimony payments.
  2. Income and earning capacity: The income and earning capacity of both spouses are crucial in determining alimony. If one spouse has a significantly higher income or earning potential, they may be required to provide more financial support.
  3. Standard of living during the marriage: The lifestyle enjoyed by the couple during the marriage is also considered when determining alimony. The goal is to ensure that both spouses can maintain a similar standard of living after the divorce.
  4. Financial needs and resources: The financial needs and resources of both spouses are taken into account. This includes factors such as childcare expenses, healthcare costs, and any other financial obligations.

It is important to consult with an experienced alimony lawyer who can assess your specific situation and guide you through the alimony process. Our team at O’Connor Family Law is dedicated to helping our clients understand their rights and options when it comes to alimony.

When Does Alimony End?

Alimony payments cease upon the death of one or the other spouses, or if the spouse receiving the alimony payments remarries, or the spouse paying the alimony reaches “full retirement age.”  In some cases, there can be an extension if there’s a good reason. Filing a Complaint for Modification would be your next step at this juncture, although this does not guarantee an extension.

Another aspect to keep in mind is in the event that “general term” or “rehabilitative” alimony is awarded, a judge may decide to modify the length of the payments or the amounts if there is good reason to do so. Some of these situations may arise where the spouse isn’t able to support themselves due to the ex-spouse abusing them physically or mentally, or if the spouse that is paying has been required to provide life insurance for the ex-spouse, if either party is elderly, has a chronic illness, or other unusual health circumstances, and also each parties tax consequences are considered, and if good reason is found, the judge may decide to modify either the length or the amount awarded in these cases.

General Term alimony can also be reduced, suspended, or terminated if the spouse receiving the payments cohabitates with another party for a continuous period of at least three months.

No two situations are alike, and consulting an experienced attorney to help you determine what is best or to be expected in your unique situation is of great benefit to you during this process.

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