For Massachusetts residents, here are two important areas of divorce law you should be aware of:
Pursuant to Massachusetts General Law Chapter 208 Section 34, property is divided in an equitable manner (this is often but not always equal) based on a series of factors that include (but are not necessarily limited to) the length of the marriage, the vocational skill or employment capability of each spouse, the financial and non-financial contribution of each spouse to the marital estate, the source of the capital contributions, the conduct of each spouse throughout the marriage, and the age and physical health of each spouse. The Court does not simply look at who was the “breadwinner” or source of income or finances during the marriage. Marriage is viewed by the Court as a partnership and things like who cared for the children and other non-financial contributions are taken into consideration.
Alimony is not the same as child support. It is based mostly on need. There are three basic types of alimony: General Term, Rehabilitative; or Reimbursement. Reimbursement alimony is awarded where one spouse made a major financial contribution or sacrifice so the other spouse could better themselves (usually through education or employment). Rehabilitative alimony is awarded where a spouse needs assistance getting on his or her “financial feet” because they have been out of the work force for some reason or maybe are still in school. General Term alimony is spousal support based on the same factors as property division plus financial need for the recipient and ability to pay of the payor.
A divorce can be an emotionally trying and painful process. We are a skilled and experienced family law firm who will make sure the legal aspects of your divorce doesn’t compound your troubles. Call or email us to schedule your consultation.