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Who Can Receive Alimony?

Either spouse may receive alimony or spousal support from the other. In Massachusetts, there are four types of alimony: general term, rehabilitative, reimbursement and transitional alimony. The type of alimony you may receive will depend on the length of your marriage and the specific circumstances of your case.

How Much Alimony Will I Receive?

Except for reimbursement alimony, the amount of alimony will be between 30-35% of the difference between the spouses’ gross income at the time of the order. This excludes, amongst others, income used to calculate child support. Therefore, if child support is being paid, an order of alimony is unlikely.

How Long Does Alimony Last?

This will depend on the type of alimony you receive and the length of your marriage. The length of your marriage may be increased if you and your spouse lived together prior to your marriage. Alimony usually ends upon the recipient’s remarriage and may end if the recipient lives with another person, referred to as “cohabitation,” for a certain period of time. Alimony may also end upon the payer’s reaching full retirement age as defined by the Social Security Administration. Every case is unique, and judges continue to have discretion in how much alimony to award and for how long.

Can I Have My Alimony Modified?

A spouse can request a change in the amount of alimony being paid or received when: 1) there has been a material change of financial circumstances, the payer has died or the recipient has remarried and/or living with a partner; or 2) your alimony was awarded prior to 2012, and it imposes a payment obligation for a longer period than what has been recognized under the new law.