Alimony, also called spousal support or spousal maintenance in other states, is financial support paid to one spouse by the other after divorce. Husbands and wives can both receive alimony; there is no gender discrimination under Massachusetts’s alimony laws. Alimony isn’t an entitlement for being married, but rather a valuable safety net to help the spouse in need transition to a single, self-supporting life.
Alimony is almost always temporary. It is used to help one spouse become financially self-supporting after divorce. Generally, alimony is based on the length of the marriage and the financial circumstances of each spouse. There are many contributing factors such as the contributions each spouse made to the marriage and the sacrifices either spouse made in the marriage. Alimony is more commonly awarded to wives rather than husbands. This isn’t old-fashioned discrimination. Even today, the wife is the spouse who more commonly requests alimony. This is often because of the career sacrifices a woman may make while raising the couple’s child. More and more men are making similar sacrifices to be at home to raise the children. In theses cases, the husband may be awarded alimony.
Alimony isn’t automatically awarded to the husband or the wife. The spouse receiving alimony must have some sort of a financial need. This financial need is influenced by the spouses’ respective incomes and the lifestyle the couple grew accustomed to during the marriage. When children are involved, maintaining this lifestyle in both households is important. In these cases, alimony helps ensure the child is equally comfortable in both their father’s and their mother’s house. This is helpful in easing children through the transition of having two homes. Alimony may not be awarded in cases where both the husband and wife had equal or close to equal incomes.
Speak with an experienced Massachusetts divorce mediator if you have questions about alimony in your divorce. Husbands and wives can receive alimony if their case warrants it. If you and your spouse agree on alimony, you can include a provision for it in your separation agreement. A mediator can help you with working out an arrangement for alimony that suits your family’s unique needs.
Do you have questions about alimony? Mediation Advantage Services can help. Experienced in divorce mediation, Law Office of Polly Tatum can help you and your spouse negotiate an alimony agreement that looks out for both of your financial interests. Based in historic Worcester with a satellite office in Northboro, MA, our firm serves all cities and towns throughout Massachusetts and Worcester County including, Auburn, Paxton, Leicester, Sutton, Grafton, Shrewsbury, Westboro, Northboro, Southboro, Holden, Sterling, Princeton, Worcester, Charlton, Millbury, Dudley, Spencer, Brookfield, Sudbury, Natick, Framingham, Hopkinton, Milford, Blackstone, Leominster, Fitchburg, Acton, Jefferson, Barre, Oakham, Cambridge, Newton, Marlboro, Lancaster, Bolton, and Hudson. Call our office at (774) 366-3688, fill out our online form, to schedule your Complimentary Mediation Success Planning Session. You can also sign up for our eNewsletter or download our free e-book for more information regarding divorce in Massachusetts.