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Understanding The New Massachusetts Alimony Reform ActFamily Law and Divorce 

Understanding The New Massachusetts Alimony Reform Act

In 2011, the Massachusetts Legislature passed the Alimony Reform Act, which completed overhauled the alimony laws in Massachusetts. When the Act became effective in March 2012, alimony then became categorized into four different types of alimony.The first, and most common type is General Alimony. This is the periodic payment of support to a dependent former spouse, usually paid in monthly or weekly installments. This type can be awarded in a marriage of any length, but terminates after a certain number of months, which is a certain percentage of the duration of your marriage. Generally, the award is 30-35% of the difference in income between the payor spouse and the recipient.General Alimony can terminate if the recipient spouse begins to cohabitate with another person for a period of at least 3 months. General alimony also terminates when the payor spouse dies, the recipient spouse dies, remarriage of the recipient spouse, or the payor spouse reaches full retirement age.The next type of alimony is called Rehabilitative Alimony. This type is awarded for a marriage of any length, however, the payments cannot last for more than 5 years. This, too, is paid in periodic (monthly or weekly) installments. The purpose of this alimony is to allow the recipient spouse to become more self-sufficient while receiving the alimony payments. Rehabilitative alimony terminates upon the death of the payor spouse, death of the recipient spouse, remarriage of the recipient, or by a specific event in the future, as defined by a court order.Another type of alimony is Reimbursement alimony. This type is awarded in short-term marriages of not more than 5 years. The purpose of this alimony is to compensate the recipient spouse for his or her contributions to the financial resources of the payor spouse. This type of alimony can be made as a one-time payment or in periodic payments. Reimbursement alimony terminates upon the death of the recipient or on a specific date.The last type of alimony is Transitional Alimony. This type is awarded for short-term marriages of 5 years or less. The purpose of this type of alimony is to transition the recipient spouse to a certain adjusted type of lifestyle or location. Payments of transitional alimony are made in periodic installments, or in a one-time payment. Transitional Alimony lasts for not more than 3 years from the date of divorce, and terminates upon the death of the recipient or on a specific date.

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