Alimony Reform Act of 2011

The Alimony Reform bill was signed by Governor Deval Patrick in 2011 and was thereafter enacted on March 1, 2012. The Alimony Reform Act added new provisions to the divorce statute, creating four types of alimony. Prior to the Reform Act, Massachusetts judges were not guided by legislation and did not use a uniform formula or method for determining the amount of alimony to be paid or the duration it was required to be paid.

There are many changes to alimony in Massachusetts under the Reform Act, but perhaps the most significant change is the implementation of a durational alimony structure. Prior to the enactment of the legislation, public policy was that the receiving spouse’s support payments must maintain the lifestyle that he or she was accustomed to during the marriage. Therefore, when the court ordered a spouse to pay alimony pursuant to a divorce judgment, the payment period was often indefinite. However, the Act has put an end to the Commonwealth’s “lifetime alimony.”

Read about the durational limits for General Term Alimony here.

The Reform Act can be found on the Commonwealth of Massachusetts’ website. Click here for more detailed information