What is Alimony?
Alimony or spousal support is the amount that one party may pay the other in a divorce action. Massachusetts will often call it spousal support.
In Divorce Cases is there always an Order of Alimony?
In Massachusetts there is not always an order of alimony, it depends on the financial circumstances of each party and child support may also be a factor that might limit or eliminate alimony.
How does a Judge decide whether to order Alimony?
There is a list of factors that the courts consider determining whether to award alimony and if so, for how much and for how long. In many cases, one of the most important is the length of the marriage; how old each spouse is and the health of each spouse; the spouses income and future income; each parties employ-ability; economic and non-economic contributions to the marriage; what the couples lifestyle was during the marriage and standard of living; what might be economic opportunities that either party may have lost because of the marriage.
There are other factors as well and there is the Alimony Reform Act and some guidelines which are not the same as child support cases.