Spousal support, also known as
alimony, is often differentiated by two different forms: short-term support or
long-term support, also called permanent support. The judge will be the
one to make decisions regarding which spouse will pay support and for how long.
In general, in the state of Massachusetts, the lesser-earning spouse will
be the one to receive spousal support payments, as a way for that spouse
to continue living the same level of comfort and livelihood experienced
during the marriage.
Read our family law blog below for more information about alimony and spousal
Understanding the Types of Alimony
There are four different types of alimony: rehabilitative, reimbursement,
transitional, and general alimony. There is a possibility that a spouse
might receive one or more of the various types of alimony. For example,
the lesser-earning spouse may request temporary alimony for financial
support as the divorce process gets underway.
Our Wellesley divorce lawyers break down the various types of alimony:
Rehabilitative alimony: This a form of short-term support that offers financial support to the
spouse until the spouse has received enough training or obtained a degree
to hold a job in the workforce. The receiving spouse must demonstrate
that he or she is actively pursuing their goals.
Reimbursement alimony: It provides compensation to spouses if you received some form of financial
support while you were attending school or needed additional training.
Transitional alimony: For marriages that lasted less than five years, a judge may issue transitional
alimony to allow the receiving spouse time to make a new livelihood or relocate.
General alimony: This is awarded based on the duration of the marriage. A judge will take
into consideration the length of the marriage including how much time
each spouse provided emotional as well as financial support to one another
during that time.
Massachusetts law states that general alimony will only last as long as
the spouse who is providing support turns 65, which is considered the
age one would typically retire. You may also modify the terms of your
alimony agreements with a court-ordered modification.
As always, you can ask our Wellesley divorce attorneys to learn more about
your legal options regarding spousal support.
free case consultations to help get you started.