Massachusetts Alimony Reform

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Re: Massachusetts Alimony Reform

Postby Skitz » Wed Jun 22, 2016 11:39 pm

New Alimony law passed unanimously in House of Representatives

As reported earlier, the Massachusetts Reform law, passed in 2011, ran into some difficulty in the Mass. Supreme Judicial Court during a couple of challenges. The SJC decided not to accept some provisions of the law as written and made rulings that were considered not in accordance with the spirit of the law nor, in the opinion of many, the specific intent of the law.

A new law was proposed to correct the difference of opinion as to what, exactly, the original law meant. This new law, now known as H.4427, worked its way through various committees and came up for a full vote in the House today. The result of that vote was unanimous in favor of passage, 156-0 (full membership of the House is 160).

The bill now will move to the Massachusetts Senate for consideration. If it is passed by the Senate the bill will move to the Governor's desk to be signed into law.

You can find a link to the full text of the new law here:

https://malegislature.gov/Bills/189/Hou ... dium=email

Once again, sincere thanks is owed to Steve Hitner, president of Mass Alimony Reform, for the incredible work he has done and continues to do for the cause of alimony reform not only here in Massachusetts but around the country as well.

We are also indebted to Representative John Fernandes who sponsored the bill and was indispensable in shepherding the bill through committees and arguing in its favor before the full House.

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Re: Massachusetts Alimony Reform

Postby Skitz » Thu Jun 30, 2016 4:56 pm

Milford Lawmaker Leads House Effort to Restore Legislative Intent

By De Castillo (Patch Staff) - June 29, 2016 3:59 pm ET

(BOSTON) – State Representative John V. Fernandes, D-Milford, who served a major role in ushering in the Alimony Reform Act of 2011, urged his House colleagues on June 22nd to pass corrective legislation designed to restore the legislative intent behind alimony modification after several recent Supreme Judicial Court decisions. The Supreme Judicial Court ruled in three cases that the retirement and cohabitation provisions of the 2011 Alimony Reform Act do not apply to cases decided before March 1, 2012, the effective date of the reform law, which is contrary to what legislative leaders, including Fernandes, have always intended. Fernandes successfully offered language to restore the original intent of the landmark alimony reform law, which stipulated that all payors of alimony who had judgments in effect before, on, or after March 1, 2012 and met the criteria under the provisions of the law could seek modification of their alimony judgments.........

http://patch.com/connecticut/milford/mi ... ive-intent
(click for full text)

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Re: Massachusetts Alimony Reform

Postby Skitz » Sun Dec 04, 2016 11:27 pm

Do Durational Limits Apply to Cases That Were Resolved Before the Alimony Reform Act?

12/1/2016 by Robin Lynch Nardone | Burns & Levinson LLP

The Supreme Judicial Court’s recent decision of George v. George provides guidance in applying the durational limits contained in the Alimony Reform Act.

The Alimony Reform Act, which went into effect in March 2012, provides that all alimony awards that predate the Act are deemed “general term alimony.” Under G.L. c. 208, §49(b), general term alimony awards end on a date certain based upon the length of the marriage, except upon a written finding by the court that deviation beyond the time limits is required “in the interests of justice.” Many alimony payors who file complaints to terminate alimony based on the durational limit are met with the defense that it is in the interests of justice for alimony to continue beyond the durational limits. In the November 28, 2016 decision of George v. George, the Supreme Judicial Court (SJC) sets forth guidelines for how a judge of the Probate and Family Court should apply the “interests of justice” standard.........

http://www.jdsupra.com/legalnews/do-dur ... ses-90544/
(click for full text)

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Re: Massachusetts Alimony Reform

Postby Skitz » Thu May 11, 2017 3:57 pm

Massachusetts needs to divorce its divorce law

The Boston Globe
By Louise Sloan MAY 11, 2017

I never thought I’d take an interest in alimony reform: I’ve never been married. The deposits that arrive in my bank account come from my employer. I did “get the house” — but only because I paid for it.

But recently I became involved with someone who’s divorced. And under Massachusetts law, he’s required to send weekly checks to his ex-wife, even though she’s been living with another man for years. That doesn’t make sense to me. There are situations where alimony is needed, but I thought it was supposed to end when the person receiving the checks set up housekeeping with a new partner.

Turns out I was right — sort of. In 2011, Massachusetts passed the Alimony Reform Act, which was meant to address inequities in the state’s existing alimony laws. Under the old law, if your ex moved in with a new partner, even a rich one, but didn’t get married, you would likely still be on the hook for the alimony — for as long as you both shall live, as you once said in better times. Almost nothing could change that obligation, including your retirement.

The Alimony Reform Act, which took effect on March 1, 2012, aimed to give payors a light at the end of the tunnel. It stipulates that ex-spouses who live with a partner for a continuous period of at least three months may forfeit their alimony and that alimony may be terminated once the payor reaches the full Social Security retirement age. There are a few exceptions to those rules, but basically, it sounds simple, right?....

https://www.bostonglobe.com/magazine/20 ... story.html
(click for full text)

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Re: Massachusetts Alimony Reform

Postby Skitz » Mon Jul 10, 2017 12:14 am

The effort to reform alimony reform in Massachusetts continues. The Establishment does not surrender.

Plug the loopholes in alimony reform

Boston Globe editorial July 9, 2017

UNTIL A much-needed reform in 2011, the alimony and divorce laws in Massachusetts were among the most antiquated and unfair in the nation. The law that the Legislature approved unanimously that year modernized alimony rules and curbed abuses in the system, in which some spouses continued to receive alimony long after it was appropriate.

Now the Legislature is confronting a thorny question with no obvious answer: Should couples who divorced under the old law — the very law whose flaws were the whole reason for the reform — have to continue living under its legacy?

Or, to put it in human terms: Should the Legislature cut off alimony payments to some spouses, mostly women, who feel that divorce terms negotiated under the old rules should stand, or should they require paying spouses, mostly men, to continue paying alimony under conditions that the Legislature has recognized may be unreasonable?

State Senator William Brownsberger, whose judiciary committee is looking at the legislation, called it a zero-sum game, and he’s right: Someone is going to come away feeling robbed. But while applying the reforms retroactively will undoubtedly create disruption, legislators should approve a bill that would extend the 2011 reforms. As a matter of fairness, all couples in Massachusetts should be subject to the same rules..................

https://www.bostonglobe.com/opinion/edi ... story.html
(click for full text)

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When the courts order you to pay alimony, the yoke's on you!


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