Category Archives: Alimony Reform

No more alimony deduction? How can that be.

Just finished reading the morning paper about all the lobbying to change the new tax proposal. There was no talk about saving the deductibility of alimony.
I was unaware until the draft bill came out that eliminating the alimony deduction was being proposed. This will be catastrophic for families dependent on receiving alimony or unallocated support. The elimination of the tax deduction will result in billions of dollars of tax savings, the articles say. But those billions of dollars are coming from divided families who are struggling to manage to maintain two households on income that had previously been supporting only one. One might say, why should the tax code favor (mostly) men paying alimony. Divorce lawyers know that the tax break makes it possible for more support to go to the families and children. Statutes will have to be changed: The Massachusetts alimony reform law establishes a range of 30-35% alimony—but that is based upon the presumed tax deductibility of alimony. If it not tax deductible these percentages will need to be changed, but until then it will be up to Judges and lawyers to take tax consequences into account.–All of this results in more costs to the litigants and more work for judges. SAD!

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… 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

When should I file for divorce?

New clients often ask the question, “When should I file for divorce?” This seems like a simple question, that should have a simple answer. But it does not. The reason is that every case is different. Here are some reason to file quickly and some reasons to wait. Which of them apply to you? REASONS… Continue Reading

Six Months of experience under the new alimony reform law

We now have been working with the new alimony law for almost six months. What have we learned? Here are my thoughts: The new alimony law has resulted in a sea change. The notion of lifetime alimony in Massachusetts has gone the way of the Dodo bird. Interestingly, the wave of new modifications based upon… Continue Reading

Some little noted clarifications contained in the new alimony reform law

There has been a lot of attention given to the durational limits on alimony contained in the alimony reform law, including termination of alimony at the payor’s  federal retirement age. There are two other clarifications that will reduce litigation in areas where the prior law was unclear. Under the new law alimony cannot exceed the… Continue Reading

Featuring Recent Posts WordPress Widget development by YD