August 19, 2017

I am getting a divorce. My wife makes more money than I do, will I be entitled to alimony and how is it determined in Massachusetts?


Alimony is generally based in MA on two principals: need and ability to pay.  If there is a need by one spouse for alimony or spousal support from the other spouse and their is an ability to pay by the payor spouse, then you may be eligible for alimony in MA.  The Court will consider all of the statutory factors set out in M.G.L. c. 208 s. 34. There are no guidelines for alimony (such as there are for child support) in MA and the case law is not very helpful, however a committee has been formed to make findings and report on those findings to the judiciary and the legislature relative to establishing a model for determining how alimony should function in MA.  A determination of whether you will be entitled to alimony will largely depend on the details of your case.  For example the length of the marriage is an important factor, in general the longer the marriage the more jusitifcation for alimony.  Conduct of the parties during the marriage is another factor, particularly conduct having economic consequences.  Age, health, station in life, occupations, amount and sources of income, vocational skills and employability, and contribution of spouse as homemaker to the family unit are all factors the Court can consider and weigh in determining an award of alimony.

The fact that your wife makes more than you do will not automatically entitle you to receive alimony, on the other hand it will not preclude you from receiving it either.  The court will need to condsider the totality of the circumstances of your case and all of the statutory factors in determing whether or not to award you alimony.  If you would like to cosult in detail with our firm on the specifics of your case please contact us so that we may advise you appropriately on your legal rights.

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