Friday, October 14, 2011

Massachusetts Takes a Hard Look at Spousal Support

Massachusetts drastically reforms their spousal support laws. Two weeks ago Massachusetts Governor Deval Patrick signed the Alimony Reform Act into law in Massachusetts. It is intended to instill more clarity and certainty for divorcing couples, but it contains an array of definitions, limits, and formulas that may have some unintended consequences. Family law attorneys in Massachusetts are torn about the new legislation. Some celebrated it because it gives predictability and consistency to legal decision, but others called it Draconian and mean-spirited because of limits on a judge’s ability to create a spousal support plan tailored to the individual needs and requirements of a divorcing couple.


Oregon’s lawmakers will be watching the consequences of the Massachusetts law as they continue to look at their own spousal support laws. There are some laws being proposed at the Oregon legislature that have similar requirements as the Massachusetts law. Like the Massachusetts law, Senate Bill 512 would terminate spousal support upon death, remarriage, or cohabitation. The Oregon Legislature will be looking at what happens in Massachusetts when weighing Senate Bill 512.


Massachusetts has made some pretty big moves in their spousal support law and the lawyers here at Gevurtz Menashe will continue to watch what happens in Massachusetts and around the country. We at Gevurtz Menashe continue to stay on top of the trends in family law to stay ahead of the curve and represent our clients with the most innovate arguments.