Alimony/Maintenance/Spousal Support in a Massachusetts Divorce

Alimony is payment made by one party to the other after the divorce, either by court order or by mutual agreement. This type of post-divorce payment is also sometimes referred to as maintenance. 

Under Massachusetts law, married people are financially responsible for each other the husband has a duty to support his wife, and the wife has a duty to support her husband. This duty lasts until the final Decree in Divorce is granted. It doesn't stop simply because the couple separates. Once the parties file for divorce, they must wait at least one year before the final Decree in Divorce is granted. During this period, an agreement on support payments may be appropriate if the parties are separated.

In Massachusetts, either spouse may be awarded alimony, without regard to fault, based on the following factors.

(1)    the income and property of the spouses, including any marital property divided as a result of dissolution of the marriage;
(2)    any transfer of property made in anticipation of the divorce;
(3)    the duration of the marriage;
(4)    the wasteful dissipation of marital property;
(5)    the contribution of each spouse to the marriage and the career of the other spouse, including services rendered in homemaking, child care, education, and career building of the other spouse;
(6)    the tax consequences to each spouse;
(7)    any custodial and child support responsibilities;
(8)    the ability of the spouse seeking support to become self-supporting and the time and training necessary;
(9)    any reduced lifetime earning capacity as the result of having foregone or delayed education, training, employment, or career opportunities during the marriage;
(10)    whether the spouse from whom maintenance is sought has sufficient property and income to provide maintenance for the other spouse; and
(11)    any other factor the court deems just and equitable.

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