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Helping Massachusetts residents navigate alimony

Divorce can be a challenging time for most individuals. One of the components of a divorce that can cause stress is the issue of alimony. Alimony is a tricky area of law because the law surrounding it varies from state to state.

Recently, Florida Governor Rick Scott decided to veto a bill that would end permanent alimony in the state of Florida. Although there were many factors in his decision, the governor noted that providing financial assistance to families was vital in helping support families making critical transitions in their life. He noted that in Florida, there are laws in place already that can adjust alimony payments as circumstances change down the line. The governor wants to ensure that the lower wage earning spouse who may have sacrificed their career to raise a family will not be punished.

The decision in Florida may make Massachusetts wonder where their state stands on the issue. Prior to 2011, Massachusetts was one of the most liberal states when it came to alimony. Judges could award permanent alimony, regardless of the length of time for the marriage. Alimony could also be paid out after the spouse paying alimony retired and even after the spouse receiving alimony moved in with a new partner.

In 2011, however, alimony laws were given a make- over in Massachusetts. Now, those individuals required to pay alimony can stop after their retirement. Additionally, there are restrictions now on the amount of time alimony will be paid out based on the length of the marriage.

Massachusetts residents struggling with issues of alimony should not feel alone. There are family law professionals who can answers specific questions concerning alimony and help individuals on their path to a new chapter of life.

Source: Fox News, "Florida Gov. Scott vetoes bill that would end permanent alimony in state", May 2, 2013

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