Alimony Law Changes
posted Sep 10, 2015, 8:07 AM by Michael Vosilla [ updated Sep 10, 2015, 8:08 AM ]
The alimony reform act has been the subject of numerous complaints for modification in the Probate and Family Courts, and appeals thereof, in the past couple years. These appellate decisions have been providing divorce and family law attorneys with guidance on the practical effects of the recent alimony changes.
Of note, the Probate and Family Courts are allowed to modify separation agreements that MERGED with the divorce judgments, if they predate the alimony reform statues and include a spousal support order, solely on the basis that the alimony orders have exceeded the new alimony durational limits. But, if the spousal support order in the separation agreement survived the judgment of divorce as an independent contract, then termination solely on the basis of the new durational limits will not be allowed. Further, in either case of merger or survival, the courts will deny modification to a “pre-alimony reform statutes” order for spousal support, on the basis of the payer reaching full retirement age, unless the judgment, of which modification is sought, provided for reaching retirement age being a situation entitling the payer to modify the alimony payments.