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How Does the Alimony Reform Affect Me?

Dear Hindell,

My co-worker was telling me that his alimony was reduced this year because of some new legislation. How do I know if I am eligible for something similar?

Sincerely,

Let’s Make a (better) Deal

Based on the new Alimony Reform Act, which was effective March 1, 2012, the court has the power to make changes to existing and new alimony.  Within the new Alimony Reform Act, there are three major changes:

  1. Alimony can be reduced, suspended, or terminated if the recipient cohabitates for more than three months;
  2. Alimony is terminated when the person paying reaches retirement age;
  3. Alimony is no longer a lifetime obligation and the duration is determined by the length of the marriage.

           Since you already have an obligation to pay alimony, you might be able to change the amount or duration of that obligation if your former wife is cohabitating, if you’ve reached retirement age, or if the duration of your alimony is now shorter as it is now calculated in relation to the length of your marriage. If you fall into any of these categories you might have a basis to file a Complaint for Modification.

            Each of these three categories has some quirks that warrant a conversation with a qualified attorney to determine whether you qualify.

Best wishes,

Hindell Grossman

Hindell has successfully negotiated, litigated and arbitrated hundreds of cases on behalf of her clients. Several of her successes have been published in Massachusetts Lawyer's Weekly and she has been featured in the Needham Tab, Boston Business Journal and the Boston Globe.
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