Author Archives: DBilodeau

Proposed Bill to Allow Pre 2012 Alimony Orders to Terminate at Retirement

Massachusetts Representative John Fernandes recently (February 19, 2016) filed House Bill HD4546 which if enacted would now allow alimony orders which were entered into prior to 2012 to terminate upon the Federal Age of Retirement per Massachusetts General Laws Chapter 208 Section 49.

This proposed bill is in direct response to what many believed to be a surprising ruling by the Massachusetts SJC in Chin v. Merriot, which held that alimony orders made prior to enactment in 2012 could not terminate upon the payor reaching the full federal age of retirement.

The Bill would also clarify issues related to cohabitation making the existence of cohabitation a material change of circumstances opening for doors to a modification of the payor’s obligation.

It should be interesting to see where this goes.  The Bill appears to have a fair amount of support.

BBA Talk on Income from Pass-Through Entities

On Tuesday November 3, 2015 at 5:30pm (at the Boston Bar Association on Beacon Street in Boston) I will be giving a talk with financial expert Robert Stankus from CBIZ Tofias about the implications of income from a pass-through entity. This is a challenging but interesting topic that can cause fits to practitioners and the Court as they… Continue Reading

Temporary Alimony is NOT General Term Alimony

The Massachusetts Supreme Judicial Court added new clarification today in its opinion in the Holmes case (see full opinion here). In Holmes, Husband was ordered to pay temporary alimony during the pendency of the divorce modification case.  The SJC held that the 2 years Husband paid “temporary alimony” (during the pendency of the modification case)… Continue Reading

Child Support is Becoming More Complex

I used to tell my clients that child support was a straight forward issue.  Prior to the August 2013 Child Support Guidelines, I believed that it was.  If one parent had primary custody of the child/ren then to determine income, simply input the data into the child support calculator and whatever the number was, would… Continue Reading

New Child Support Guidelines Effective Today

Today, August, 1, 2013, Massachusetts rolled out new Child Support Guidelines, affecting any parent who pays or receives child support.  The new Guidelines can be viewed at http://www.mass.gov/courts/childsupport/2013-child-support-guidelines.pdf.  I also find it useful to review the red lined version (http://www.mass.gov/courts/childsupport/2012-task-force-recommendations-redlined-against-2009-child-support-guidelines.pdf) so that you can clearly see the differences between the new and old guidelines. The… Continue Reading

Does alimony reform affect when I should file for divorce? Absolutely!

Typically when divorce is contemplated by one or both spouses, the actual complaint for divorce may not be filed in court for many months, or even at all.  During that initial time period, the parties may be in negotiations or may have reached an informal agreement about custody, child support and spousal support for the… Continue Reading

Buyer’s remorse over separation agreements in divorce

We can all relate to the following scenario: after many long and grueling hours on the phone and in meetings, you and your client have settled his divorce outside of the courtroom.  Everyone is relieved that they only need to go to court once, and that is to have their separation agreement approved by a… Continue Reading

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