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Understanding transitional alimony in Massachusetts divorces

Massachusetts couples who are looking for a divorce may be interested in some information on a special type of alimony payment available in the state. This type of alimony helps with a spouse's transition to supporting themselves.

When a couple gets a divorce, they often encounter post-divorce life changes that can have serious financial implications. For instance, if a couple had been commuting together to work during their marriage, they will each have to provide their own transportation after the marriage ends. If they only had one car, this makes it difficult for the ex-spouse who did not keep that vehicle without receiving spousal support. This is where the concept of transitional alimony comes in.

Transitional alimony allows for temporary spousal support payments that can help one of the ex-spouses to get back on their feet after a divorce. Massachusetts law only allows this transitional alimony is cases where the former couple was married less than five years. There is an upper limit of three years to transitional alimony, and the judge may not modify or replace the transitional alimony during this time. However, the judge is free to set a shorter duration of the transitional alimony period at the time that the order is made. If the ex-spouse receiving the alimony passes away before the period ends, this also ends the payee spouse's legal obligation.

In cases where a person could potentially be ordered to pay alimony, they may wish to consult with an attorney. The attorney may be able to help determine what an appropriate alimony settlement might look like and argue their client's case before the judge. The attorney may also be able to assist with drafting the alimony settlement agreement with their former spouse and their attorney.

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