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Modifying alimony after divorce in Massachusetts

When couples divorce, there are often concerns with financial stability. Some individuals worry that without the support of their spouse, they may have difficulties remaining afloat. Fortunately, alimony options exist in many of these cases.

When alimony is ordered, a judge will consider several factors. Some of those factors include the length of time in which the couple was married, financial support during the marriage, financial earning potential, the age of the parties and the physical conditions of the parties. Once the elements are weighed, the judge offers a support order. This order dictates the amount to be given and how the amount will be paid. Alimony can be awarded to men or women and a presumption no longer exists that only women are in need of alimony support.

Sometimes after the alimony order is in place, modifications are necessary. When a significant change in circumstances occurs, a modification to the original agreement may be appropriate. For example if one individual is making a large amount of money and paying alimony, but then loses their job, it may be appropriate to modify the amount of alimony.

Income levels can raise and fall, which makes it important for a standard of living to be considered. This standard of living can help prevent an extreme modification in either direction. As modification motions come to pass, parties may find it beneficial to have their standard of living considered.

Massachusetts couples navigating alimony may find it beneficial to discuss their circumstances with an experienced legal professional. These professionals can help recent divorcees create or modify their support and protect their legal rights.

Source: Huffington Post, "The Importance of the Standard of Living," Fred Silberberg, July 15, 2014

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