How is alimony decided in Massachusetts?

One of the most stressful things about divorce is figuring out how to start over. This is particularly true if your soon-to-be ex made significantly more money. Before you panic, you should know you may be eligible for alimony. Here are the rules about alimony in Massachusetts.

When deciding alimony, the court considers several factors. According to the Commonwealth of Massachusetts, these include:

  • How long you were married
  • The age and health of both partners
  • Income and assets of each spouse
  • Earning ability of each partner
  • If one partner gave up a career to support the marriage
  • Financial and non-financial contributions to the marriage
  • The lifestyle maintained during the marriage

The court may also consider other factors when determining alimony, like if you share children. However, generally, the factor that affects your alimony the most is the length of your marriage.

Length of marriage affects length of payments

Massachusetts has some specific laws about how long alimony is paid based on how long you and your ex were married. If you were married five years or less, your support will last for no more than half the months you were married. So, if you were married for 36 months, your alimony will not last beyond 18 months.

For marriages five to 10 years long, your alimony is paid for no more than 60 percent of the number of months married. With marriages for 10 to 15 years, alimony lasts no more than 70 percent of the months married. For those married 15 to 20 years, alimony is paid for 80 percent of the months married. Anyone who is married longer than 20 years may receive alimony indefinitely.

Other factors can affect your alimony payments

However, if you get remarried or move in with someone else, this will likely affect your alimony payments. Other factors may also sway the court. If you are concerned about receiving enough alimony to support yourself, consider contacting a family law attorney. An attorney can assess your case and advise you how best to move forward.






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