Changes in Massachusetts Alimony Rulings

By Tracy Fischer

What This Means For You

The Massachusetts Supreme Judicial Court has made a controversial ruling recently regarding alimony payments. They decided that alimony payments do not automatically end when the paying spouse reaches the age of retirement.

In the recent case the spouse who had been paying alimony, voluntarily retired at the age of 65 and requested to be relieved of his alimony payments. The ex couple’s divorce agreement did not specify that alimony would end at retirement, rather upon the death of either or remarriage. The Supreme Judicial Court ordered that he continue paying alimony to his ex spouse because she had lost her job, concluding that retirement is only one factor in several when it comes to rulings on alimony modifications.

You may be wondering what this means for you. In terms of mediation, it gives divorcing couples additional knowledge to use in the discussion of appropriate alimony provisions for your particular situation. An understanding of what the courts are doing now will aid in the construction of mediated agreements so both parties can address these particular issues before they arise.