How are alimony payment amounts determined in Massachusetts?

Often, when a Massachusetts marriage comes to an end, at least one party within it wants to secure alimony payments from the other to help him or her get by in the absence of the former partner. If you are among those planning to pursue alimony from your former partner, you may have questions about what factors undergo consideration when making alimony determinations and how much you can expect to receive in your payments if awarded alimony.

According to, a court will typically examine a broad number of areas before deciding whether to grant you alimony in your divorce. Some of these areas include the length of your marriage, you and your ex’s ages and your overall health and physical conditions. The court will also typically consider how employable you are, assessing factors that might include your level of education and the amount of time you spent outside of the workforce before making alimony-related decisions.

The court will generally also consider your current lifestyle and how much you contributed, whether financially or otherwise, to the marriage, among other factors when determining whether to give you alimony. If the court does, in fact, decide to grant you alimony, just how much can you expect to receive?

Unless your situation has any extenuating circumstances that apply, you can expect to receive somewhere between about 30% and 35% of the difference between you and your ex’s gross incomes at the time the alimony order takes effect. In some cases, though, a court may decide to grant you “general term” or “rehabilitative” alimony, and if so, the usual formula may not apply.

This information is meant for educational purposes only and is not a substitute for legal advice.


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